Priming Walls is Just as Important as the Paint Job

If you’re painting a room in your home or office, then don’t forget that you first need to prime the walls. Many people think that priming walls is unnecessary, but that’s far from the truth. Priming walls is just as important as the paint job itself. At Spray Finishes, we’re experts in electrostatic spray painting and wanted to offer these tips on priming so you get long-lasting, gorgeous results the next time you paint your walls.

Step 1: Protect the Space

As with any painting project, start by protecting the area. Move pieces of furniture out of the away from walls and cover them with a drop cloth or tarp. Protect your floor with a drop cloth or spread out newspapers. Finally, apply painter’s tape to parts of the wall you don’t want to paint.

Step 2: Clean the Walls

Before you can start priming the walls, you need to make sure they are clean. Otherwise, the primer won’t adhere correctly to the walls and that’ll impact your entire paint job. To clean the walls, run a slightly damp cloth or sponge over the walls and along trim to remove dust, dirt, and debris. Next, look for any nails or screws in the wall and gently pull them out. Fill the holes with putty. Once the putty has completely dried, lightly sand the area, then wipe away any residue with a damp cloth.

Step 3: Choose Your Primer

You have a choice of oil-based primer or latex-based primer. Latex primer is easy to apply, and it resists peeling and cracking. Best of all, any drips or spills can be easily cleaned with soap and water. However, if you’re using a paint sprayer, then know that you may have to thin out the paint first.

Oil-based primer penetrates wood surfaces more deeply than latex primer so it’s perfect to use on unpainted wood or milled lumber. Oil-based paint is more durable than latex, but it takes longer to dry, has a strong odor, and cleanup requires turpentine or paint thinner.

Whichever option you choose, remember that if you use a latex primer, then you must use a latex-based paint over it. If you use an oil primer, then you can use either an oil-based paint or a latex-based paint over it.

Step 4: Apply the Primer

After opening the can of primer, stir it around to ensure it’s properly mixed. Then, pour some of the primer into a paint tray. Start by using a small brush to apply the primer around the edges of the wall. Brush away from the painter’s tape to avoid the possibility of the primer leaking beneath the tape. Once the paint primer is applied around the edges of the walls, you can switch to a paint roller or sprayer.

When priming walls, make sure that you cover the entire area without making the layers too thick. Also, make sure you allow ample time for the primer to dry so the wall is ready to accept the layer of paint. Latex primer should be dry in 1 to 3 hours. Oil primers can take up to 24 hours to dry completely. Drying times also vary based on the season you’re painting in, temperature, humidity, and even altitude. It’s best to err on the side of letting the primer dry “too long” rather than starting to paint too soon.

Always Prime Before Painting

Priming walls is essential if you want to ensure the best and most durable paint job possible. The good news is, that applying primer isn’t difficult. Follow the steps above and you’ll have your walls primed and ready to paint before you know it.

Spray Finishes, a division of Stone Services, has been in the electrostatic spray painting business since 1938. They specialize in on-site painting for both residential and commercial properties, and also have a 10,000 square foot shop for large off-site jobs. Spray Finishes’ friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to serve you at any of their five tristate area locations, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, and Westchester. Contact Spray Finishes today for an estimate on your next painting project.

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