What Is Paint Primer?


Using paint primer on a wall or other surface is a great way to ensure long-lasting, professional-looking results.


While paint contains more pigment, primer contains more resin. A resin-based primer helps prepare a surface for paint in a number of ways. Here’s a look at what primer does and why you should consider applying it before you paint.


Paint Primer Covers Dark Colors


Priming is an important first step when you plan to paint a wall a lighter color. Paint primer hides previous colors  even the darkest blues and deepest reds  and prevents them from showing through your new paint color.


If you plan to use a dark wall paint color, first apply a darker paint primer like Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 in Gray to better hide the old paint color and improve coverage by your new coat of paint.


Paint Primer Blocks Stains


Most stains, such as water stains, crayon and marker, lipstick or nicotine, will bleed right through paint. A coat of wall primer seals in these types of stains and prevents them from reappearing through your next coat of paint. Advanced technology paint primers like Zinsser B-I-N Advanced Synthetic Shellac Primer block all types of stains, so you can start your paint job with a clean canvas.


Primer Requires Less Paint


Primers are formulated to seal the surface, which means you’ll need to use less paint. If you tint a quality wall 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 staff to tint your primer to the color of your paint. Since a gallon of paint primer is generally less expensive than a gallon of paint, you may save money by needing less paint, too.


Primer Lets Paint Adhere to a Variety of Surfaces


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 to let paint adhere to all surfaces, so you can paint anything  even ceramic tile and laminate cabinets.


Primer Helps Your Paint Job Last Longer


A coat of primer helps prevent paint from cracking, peeling and blistering. Plus, paint that’s applied over primer retains its original color longer, so you will have to paint less often.


What Does Spray Paint Primer Do?


Spray paint primer delivers similar benefits as wall primer. It helps prevent the original color from showing through your new paint.


Products like Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover Spray Primer also help your top coat of spray paint go on more smoothly and last longer. This spray primer can be used on almost any surface, including wood, plastic and metal, making it ideal for smaller DIY projects.


Another option for metal surfaces is Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Clean Metal Primer, which creates a corrosion-resistant barrier for greater rust prevention.


Blocking stains, covering dark colors and preventing paint from peeling are just a few of the ways a coat of primer can lead to a professional-looking paint job. Then, after you’ve painted, you can enjoy your updated surroundings with the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done the job right.

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