Are you thinking about painting the exterior of your home? Are you wondering if applying paint primer first is really necessary for the job? Painting the exterior of your home, whether for a full-blown renovation or just a touch-up, is an involved process. And one of the most important steps that many homeowners often overlook is priming.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss situations when you should use paint primer and situations when it may not be absolutely necessary. By the end of this post, you will know when and why you should use paint primer so you can get the best results possible with your exterior painting project.
Why It’s Important To Use Paint Primer For Exterior Painting
Paint primer is often overlooked when it comes to painting projects. But primer can be an invaluable tool when it comes to exterior painting projects. And if you’re wondering if painting your home is worth it, be sure to check out our blog post on the 7 benefits of exterior painting.
Paint primer helps ensure that your paint job looks better and lasts longer. It’s also necessary in certain cases. Let’s start by taking a look at the basic function of primer and why you should use it.
Why You Should Use Paint Primer
The function of a paint primer is to create a superior base layer for your paint job. Primer creates a protective coating that prevents paint (or any other liquids) from bleeding into the material you are painting. The non-porous, uniform surface created by the primer improves the adhesion of the paint and helps extend the life of the paint job. A base coat of primer also makes the finished product look smoother and more professional.
When You Should Use Paint Primer
As noted above, using paint primer has many advantages for an exterior painting project. That being said, you can paint without primer in some situations. However, there are other scenarios when it is absolutely necessary to use a primer. Let’s take a closer look at situations when you should definitely use a primer.
When You Are Painting New Surfaces That Have Never Been Painted
If you are painting something for the first time, then a primer is an absolute must since it will act as a barrier between the surface and the paint. This is especially true if the surface is porous or if it has numerous imperfections. The primer will ensure that the paint adheres to the surface and will help fill in any cracks or imperfections on the material you are painting.
When You Want To Get Better Color Coverage
Primer helps your paint adhere better to the surface so that you get better coverage with fewer coats of paint. It also helps ensure that your color won’t fade over time from exposure to sunlight or rain.
If you are painting over dark colors, consider using a white-tinted primer which will help lighten and brighten up your color selection. The primer acts as an intermediary layer that allows you to apply fewer coats of paint while still getting good coverage.
When You Are Painting A Surface That You Removed Old Paint From
Primer is essential if you are removing old paint from a surface before repainting it. This is because primer helps fill in any cracks or imperfections left behind by the removal process.
Primer can also act as a sealant which prevents moisture from seeping into the cracks and causing damage later on down the line. So if your old paint job is literally peeling off of your house, you will definitely need to apply a primer after removing the loose paint.
When You Are Painting Bare Wood
If you are painting bare wood, then applying primer is especially important since wood is one of the more difficult materials for the paint to adhere to. Primer also provides additional protection against moisture and keeps your wood from warping or cracking due to water damage over time. It also gives your wood more vibrant colors when painted over since the natural oils present in wood tend to dull colors when painted directly on top of them without any primer applied beforehand.
When You Are Painting Masonry
Masonry is another material where using a primer is recommended before painting over it with regular latex or oil-based paints. There are several reasons why a primer is absolutely necessary for painting masonry.
Covers stains: If masonry surfaces such as concrete or brick are left unpainted for too long, they can become stained with dirt, oil, grease, mold, algae, moss, etc., making them difficult (if not impossible) to clean without damaging them further in some way. Applying a primer prior to painting masonry will provide an extra layer of protection against future stains while also helping make sure that any existing ones don’t bleed through and show after you have applied new paint.
Efflorescence: Another reason to apply a primer to masonry is an issue known as efflorescence. Efflorescence is a white powdery substance that can often be seen on the exterior of brick homes. While it may look like mold or mildew, efflorescence is actually caused by a chemical reaction between water and salt. Efflorescence is not only unsightly, but it can also weaken the brick and cause it to crumble. There are primers designed specifically for masonry that are efflorescence-resistant and can help prevent it from further deteriorating a brick home.
High pH: Many masonry surfaces have a high pH level that inhibits paint adhesion. A quality masonry primer improves adhesion so that your paint job looks more even and lasts longer over time than if no primer was applied beforehand.
Porosity: Masonry–whether it is brick, stone, or concrete–tends to be a very porous surface. Using a primer creates a smooth, even surface that will allow the paint to better adhere to it.
When Paint Primer Is Not Absolutely Necessary
While primer almost always improves a paint job, it doesn’t have to be used in every situation. Here are several scenarios when it is not absolutely necessary to use a paint primer.
When You Are Painting Over An Existing Quality Paint Job
If the previously painted surfaces are in good condition, with no peeling or cracking, then a primer is usually not needed. If the surface has been cleaned and prepped properly, then two coats of quality paint should do the trick. Of course, if you want to get the best results possible, applying primer first won’t hurt–but it may not be absolutely necessary either.
When You Are Painting A Darker Color Over A Lighter Color
When painting a dark color over a light color, many people assume that they must use a primer first–but this is not always true. If the existing paint job is in good condition and has been properly prepped, then two coats of quality paint should suffice for achieving even coverage and hiding any underlying hints of the underlying lighter color. That being said, using primer on particularly porous surfaces may help prevent underlying colors from seeping through.
When You Are Using A Paint-And-Primer-In-One Product
Also known as self-priming paints, paint-and-primer-in-one products come with built-in primers–so using a separate primer before applying them would be redundant. However, these types of paints don’t necessarily work better than traditional paints without primers; they just save time by combining two steps into one. In other words, if you have plenty of time on your hands, go ahead and use a separate primer beforehand–it will probably give you a superior paint job than trying to use a new primer paint product that is essentially a time-saving gimmick.
Benefits of Using Primer For Exterior Painting
Now that you know which situations you should absolutely be using primer and which situations you can get away without it, let’s go over the main benefits you get from using a paint primer.
Primer Covers Over Dark Colors Well
One of the main benefits of using primer for exterior painting is that it can conceal underlying dark colors without having to use multiple coats. If you are trying to paint a bright color over a dark color, you may find that it takes multiple coats to fully cover the original color. By using a primer first, however, you will ensure that your new lighter paint color doesn’t show a darker color underneath.
Primer Makes Paint Look Better
Another benefit of using primer for exterior painting is that it makes the paint look better overall. Primer helps to fill in any small cracks or imperfections on the surface before you apply the paint, which creates a smoother finish and helps prevent any ridges or bumps from forming on your walls after the paint has been applied. It also helps to create an even finish, making sure that all areas are covered evenly and completely with no patchy spots.
Primer Improves Durability Of Paint
Primer helps improve the durability of your paint job by providing an extra layer of protection against weathering and fading due to sunlight exposure or heavy rains. This means that your painted surfaces will stay looking great for much longer than if you had just used paint alone.
Primer Allows For Better Paint Adhesion
Another benefit of using a primer before applying paint is that it allows for better adhesion between the two surfaces. Primer provides a layer between the old surface and new paint, which creates a stronger bond between them and ensures that your new coat won’t peel or flake off easily over time. This also helps protect against any chipping or cracking due to temperature changes or normal wear and tear over time.
Tribble Painting Company Are Your Local Painting Experts
Whether you’re doing touch-ups or taking on an entire renovation project, using a primer prior to beginning an exterior painting project can help ensure that you get great results every time. If your home’s exterior is looking a little worn, and you think it might be time for a fresh coat of paint, the experts at Tribble Painting Company can help!
Want to learn more about how we can help you with your exterior painting needs? Give us a call or fill out our contact form today–we’d be happy to chat with you about your specific project!