2022-01-24 Paint Philadelphia Newtown PA When To Use and Not Use Primer for Painting

Using a primer is generally necessary for painting on various surfaces because primer is made to make the paint look its best and last longer.

One of the standards in judging a good paint job would be the paint’s finish, which should be bright, vibrant, and evenly spread – all of which is made possible by the usage of primer.

Additionally, some paint problems, such as faded paint, loose and peeling paint, or paint bleeding, arise from skipping primer.

However, there may be a few times where primer is not at all necessary – it is undeniable that a paint project is expensive, and it is important to make sure that you are only buying materials you absolutely need in painting.

So, if you’re currently on the verge of doing a paint project and wondering whether or not you could skip buying primer, well, we might have the answers to your question.

Here’s When To Use And Not Use Primer for Painting in Newtown, PA.


When to Use

1. If You’re Painting Porous Surfaces

Primer is absolutely needed if you’re painting on porous surfaces, such as a newly installed drywall, bare wood, or concrete.

Painting these surfaces bare with paint might cause it to soak up the paint formula, causing an uneven coverage.

Applying a coat of primer first when painting on porous surfaces will provide you with a smoother and more even surface finish for you to apply your paint on, which will result in generally more satisfying results.

2. If You’re Painting on a Glossy Surface

If you’re painting on a glossy surface, you should keep in mind to buy a can or two of primer during your trip to the local hardware store.

Glossy surfaces do not hold paint well, so for your paint to adhere better, a coat of primer or two will help create an ideal surface for painting.

Additionally, it would help to do light scuffing or sand down the glossy surface you’re planning to paint on before putting primer to help the coat of paint stick even better.

3. If You’re Painting From Dark to Light

If you’re planning to paint a lighter paint color over a dark wall, it is absolutely necessary to use primer for your plan to be successful.

Darker walls are generally harder to cover up since they have a stronger color and tint, so a coat of two or more primer would be recommended for you to be able to paint a lighter paint color over it.

Additionally, painting a light color over a dark wall can result in paint bleeding.

The color of the previous coat bleeds over your new coat of paint, which can be significantly prevented by applying a coat of primer first.

When To Not Use

1. If Your Walls Are Extremely Clean

If you keep your walls in tip-top shape and treat it to general cleaning every now and then, you might not need to use primer in repainting your walls.

Just to be sure that your wall will be squeaky clean and ideal for skipping primer, mix tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) and water and use that mixture to wipe down your walls using a soft cloth.

However, if that seems fussy for you, you can opt for your old reliable brush and attach it to a long stick so you can clean the upper corners of your walls for cobwebs and dust.

2. If You’re Painting With a Similar Color

If you’re planning to repaint your walls with the same color or a similar shade just to give it a fresh revamp, then you might not need to use primer.

Primer essentially functions to make your paint look as accurately colored and tinted as possible, so if you’re only painting with the same color or a similar shade, then you might not need to use primer at all.

However, this is still entirely up to professional judgment, so it would be ideal to consult with a paint professional first with this plan before doing it just to be sure.

3. If You’re Using Self Priming Paint

Pretty self-explanatory, but if you have the extra budget to afford self-priming paint, you might not need to buy a seperate can of primer anymore.

Self-priming paint is paint thicker than regular paint, and it builds higher and leaves a thicker finish.

While it is preferable to use a separate primer and paint, if you’re walls are in tip-top shape and in good condition, then you can skip primer and opt for the convenient self-priming paint.


If you need professional help with your interior/exterior painting project, PAINT Philadelphia can help.

Our home interior/exterior painting services are available in Newton, Holland, and Richboro, PA.

Call us today at (267)682-8377 for a FREE painting estimate.

Related: 7 Myths About Interior Painting That You Should Not Believe in Newtown, PA

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