Painting: When and where to use a primer

 In Exterior Painting, Interior Painting, Renovations
Why Use a Primer? 

Well, I’m going to start off by stating that the primer is very important. Despite all of the publicity involving “Paint and Primer in One” products, there are many circumstances in which a coat of primer on its own is necessary to properly prepare a surface, interior and exterior, for a paint job.  While “Paint and Primer in One” products can very well be a valid choice for formerly painted interior surfaces that are in good condition, we find that most other occurrences, especially on exterior projects, require a separate coat of primer.

Primer creates a layer that paint can better attach to.  While applying primer may seem like an extra step, since primer tends to be less expensive it leads to you actually saving time and spending less money. Primer allows the paint to last longer during the job, saving you that extra money on buying more paint. In this blog, we have listed some scenarios where the primer is most helpful.

New Drywall

New drywall is exceedingly absorbent.  It tends to soak the paint up like a sponge, causing you to use more paint than need be. With that being said, the paint often lays unevenly when it comes to bare drywall. This causes “flashing” or sometimes an uneven appearance in sheen. Don’t fret. Primer was invented for a reason. The primer will help to seal these blemishes among the service, creating a smooth finish, previous to your paint. With that being said, the primer is able to improve the overall appearance and longevity of your completely finished product.   

Raw Wood

Unfinished wood should always be primed before painting. Primer, consisting of high-solids, helps fill in the wood grain and creates a soft and smooth surface for the finishing coat. Like the raw drywall, unfinished woods tend to do a good job absorbing paint, and primer aids to seal the surface to prevent this from happening. Latex primer and oil-based primer are both very suitable for raw wood, depending on the type of paint used. Keep in mind, oil-based primer is actually required for wood such as cedar and redwood, as it penetrates deeper. 


Stains from water damage, smoke, pets, fire, etc. can be exceedingly strenuous and tough to get rid of.  They can make their way through your new coat of paint, even if you used primer previously.  The main goal here is to use a special primer designed to block stains and even odours.  Our favourite product at Hotshot Construction is KILZ Primer.

Colour Changes

For drastic colour changes, a primer is completely necessary for you to achieve your desired look for the finished product, in a reasonable amount of time. Have you ever tried to change a dark coloured wall to a lighter colour, and noticed that the dark colours continued to show through even after multiple coats? This may be because the primer wasn’t utilized. Primer helps hide the darker colour before you begin applying the lighter paint. Contrariwise, if you have ever painted dark over light, you may notice the darker paint goes on too sheer, even after plenty of coats. Primer, of course, also can aid in this situation. 

In conclusion, primer is by far something we here at Hotshot highly recommend in many situations, for all of the reasons listed above. Contact us today so we can start getting you on the right track towards your dream home!

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search