Priming is the secret for a great paint job

Posted By: Vince Pierri | 05/17/2016

Story: Painting is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to change the look of your home. It’s also something that even the most inexperienced do-it-yourselfer can do with confidence. 

With hundreds of colors options, painting is the perfect way to express your unique style and personality at a fraction of the cost of other home improvement projects. Yet even experienced do-it-yourselfers sometimes neglect the first and most important step in achieving the perfect paint job: priming. 

Professional painters know the key to a beautiful paint job isn't buying the most expensive paint. They know that one coat of primer and one coat of paint will give them a better, longer-lasting paint job than if they applied two coats of paint. That's why they prime first, and then paint. 

"Paint is formulated with more pigment than resin to provide rich, beautiful color. Primers are resin-rich to provide the ideal foundation for paint," says Frank Glowacki, brand director at Rust-Oleum. "You can't expect paint or a paint-and-primer-in-one product to do the same job as a high quality stain-blocking primer. Having a sealed, stain-free surface is the key to getting the best paint job possible, and this is accomplished by using one coat of primer and one coat of paint." 

Here are just some of the benefits of priming before you paint: 

Priming saves you time and money. 

Primers are formulated to seal the surface - and when the surface is sealed, you use less paint. No more multiple coats of paint to get an even, consistent finish. If you tint a quality primer like Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3, one coat of primer and one coat of paint is usually all you need for a great-looking paint job. Just ask the paint desk to tint your primer to the color of your paint. Since a gallon of primer is less expensive than a gallon of paint, you'll save money too. 

Priming makes paint colors richer. 

Primers hide previous colors - even the darkest blues and deepest reds - and prevent them from showing through and changing the color of your paint. Your paint colors will be more vibrant and beautiful if you prime first. Or, if you plan to use a dark color as a topcoat, use a gray primer like Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Gray to improve hide and coverage while bringing out the rich topcoat color. 

Primers block stains. 

Most stains - water stains, crayon and marker, lipstick or nicotine - will bleed right through paint. This is where primers earn their reputation: they seal in stains and prevent them from ruining your paint job. New advanced technology synthethic shellac primers like Zinsser B-I-N Advanced will take the guesswork out of primer selection because it blocks all stains, so you will start your paint job with a clean canvas. 

You can paint anything if you prime first. 

If you've ever tried to paint a slick surface like vinyl or plastic with paint alone, chances are it just didn't stick. Zinsser Primers are formulated for tenacious paint adhesion to all surfaces, so you can paint anything - even ceramic tile and Formica cabinets - when you use a primer as your first coat. 

Primers make your paint job last longer. 

Primers prevent common paint problems like cracking, peeling and blistering and your paint will retain its original color longer, so you will have to paint less often.