The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Primer for Your Painting Project


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If you’re planning on painting, then you know that the key to a good finish is all about the preparation. One essential part of the preparation process is priming. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of primers available and what surfaces they are best suited for.

Why Prime Before Painting?

Before we dive into the types of primers, let’s discuss why priming is important. Priming a surface before painting can protect the material you are painting, reduce the number of topcoats you will require, and help achieve a better overall finish.

Types of Surfaces That Need Priming

Different types of surfaces require priming before painting. New surfaces like wood or plaster, old surfaces like existing paint, and surfaces like galvanized steel or PVC all require specific types of primers.

Best Primers for Different Surfaces

New Plaster

For new plaster, the best primer to use is a well-watered down vinyl matt emulsion. This primer seeps into the fresh plaster and creates a good bond for the following coats.

New Wood or MDF

For new softwood, a water-based primer is quick to apply, dries fast, and has very little odor. For new hardwood, you will need a primer that can block tannin bleed. You have two options here: use an oil-based primer or a shellac-based primer.

PVC & Galvanized Steel

Water-based primers are the best option for PVC and galvanized steel surfaces.

Water/Smoke Damage

For water/smoke damage, shellac-based primer is excellent for blocking stains. An oil-based stain-blocking primer is ideal for bathrooms.

Painting Over Wallpaper

Water-based primers are best for painting over wallpaper.

Painting Over Old Oil-Based Paint

For painting over old oil-based paint, it’s best to use a water-based grip primer first.

Best All-Round Primer

If you’re looking for an all-round primer, then an oil-based primer is the way to go.

Some popular brands of primers include Zinsser, Fleetwood, and Crown. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any primer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it essential to prime a surface before painting?

Priming a surface can protect the material you are painting, reduce the number of topcoats you will require, and help achieve a better overall finish.

Can you paint over wallpaper without priming it first?

It’s best to prime before painting over wallpaper to prevent the wallpaper from bubbling and coming away from the wall.

What’s the best primer for painting over old oil-based paint?

It’s best to use a water-based grip primer first when painting over old oil-based paint.

What’s the best all-round primer?

Oil-based primers are the most versatile and can be used on a variety of surfaces.

In conclusion, choosing the right primer for your painting project is essential for achieving a good finish. If you’re unsure which primer to use, don’t hesitate to consult a professional. For all your painting needs, contact Paintingincolour for a high-quality and reliable service. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more tips and inspiration!


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