In a nutshell, a primer is a type of undercoat (or foundation coat) that is used to coat a surface before painting it. Though some people feel that it is not necessary, a primer helps to ensure that the paint is able to better adhere itself to the surface you’re painting, as well as being able to increase the durability of the finished paint job.
To simplify, primer is a type of paint product that is intended to help the paint adhere better to the surface than how it would if it were to be used alone. However, compared to paint, primers are not actually intended to be used as the final layer/finish of a paint job, as it has been specifically designed to be able to help improve the binding properties of the paint layers that go over the top.
In addition to this, a primer is often used while painting porous materials, such as wood and brick. Besides helping to improve the bonding properties of the paint, primers can also help to seal the surface from moisture, which can help to prevent damp patches and the growth of mold.
On top of that, a primer can also be used on discolored surfaces to help even out the color, and ensure that the paint that goes over the top is even and uniform, while also being useful at helping to improve the overall finish when painting lighter colors over darker surfaces.
Can regular paint be used as a primer?
Yes, you can use regular paint as a primer, although you will have to be careful about what type of paint you decide to use. Generally speaking, if you are planning a home improvement project, using a paint primer is usually the best course of action because it is a paint product that has been specifically designed to help improve the bonding properties of paint, while also ensuring that the paint job lasts.
However, there are many people who find that regular paint can serve a similar purpose to paint primer, as well as being a more cost-effective way to help enhance both the appearance and durability of the finished paint job.
If you would like to use regular paint, then you’ll get the best results from using flat, white paint, as it is similar in nature to a primer and will not take away from the color of your chosen paint.
Is primer just white paint?
Though primer can sometimes be white in color, it is not the same as white paint, as both types of paint products have been formulated completely differently. Even though paint and paint primers often contain similar ingredients (such as binder and color pigments) both are specifically designed to serve different purposes.
In the case of paint primer, this type of paint product is specifically created to help prepare the surface for the paint to be applied to. For this reason, a primer is able to serve a multitude of purposes that white paint hasn’t been created to necessarily offer, including helping to create a moisture barrier, prevent stains, enhance the overall appearance of the paint, while also improving the adhesive properties of the paint when applied to it.
What’s the difference between white paint and primer?
Though the terms “paint primer” and “white paint” are more often than not used interchangeably, that doesn’t mean that they are the same! As you might have already guessed, the main difference between white paint and primer is that they have been formulated differently, and this is due to the fact that they both have totally different purposes.
White paint is essentially designed to help enhance walls and furniture with a clean and bright appearance, while also being able to withstand being scrubbed and cleaned, while also resisting any staining and dirt. This is because the paint is designed to be used last in the painting process, so it will have been formulated with ingredients intended to be able to withstand exposure to moisture, dirt, and general wear and tear.
In contrast, a paint primer is very different and designed to be used as a preparatory layer in the painting process. Though many people see it as an unnecessary step when deciding to paint a wall or piece of furniture, a primer is essential to ensuring that the paint will be able to adhere itself to the surface that is being painted, while also increasing the durability of the finished paint job.
What can I use instead of paint primer?
If you don’t have any paint primer at hand or simply want to discover more affordable ways to prepare the surface you are planning on painting, there are some alternatives that you can try out.
One of the most popular and effective alternatives to paint primer is to use a flat finish paint, that is preferably white in color. It’s important to make sure that the paint is flat, as you want the appearance to be dull, rather than glossy. Just like a paint primer would, a flat finish paint will be able to fill in any bumps or imperfections across the surface in order to create a smooth base for the paint to then be applied to.
Usually, you will only need one layer of flat finish paint and, just like a primer, you will need to allow around 24 hours for the primer to set.
What happens if you don’t paint over primer?
Since a primer’s main purpose is to help increase the bonding ability of paint, while also filling in porous surfaces to create a smooth base, all sorts of trouble can arise if you do not paint over it.
Why? Well, as a primer is specifically designed to be used as a first step in the painting process, it isn’t formulated to be able to withstand the elements in the way that paint is, an exposed primer will only deteriorate and break down if left as it is.
As a side note, you don’t have to paint over primer if you don’t want to. If you like the way that a primer looks and do not want to color over it with paint, then you can simply choose to use a transparent topcoat that will serve the same purpose as paint and keep the primer protected.