When Do You Use a Paint Primer? 

Paint primers, sealers, and undercoats are the foundation for any interior and exterior painting project for residential and commercial work.

A primer is a coat preparatory coating put on different materials before the topcoat of paint.

Priming ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface and increases paint durability as well as bleed-through of different problems such as water damage or discolored surfaces for various reasons that latex will not cover. 

Different raw surfaces require different types of primers.



Wood is very porous so a layer of primer will prevent the underlying wood from prematurely absorbing the solvents in the finishing paint.

Primers can reduce the number of paint coats needed for good coverage and even color.



Some metals, such as untreated aluminum, require a primer; others may not. 

A primer designed for metal is still highly recommended if a part is to be exposed to moisture.

Once water seeps through to the bare metal, oxidation will begin (plain steel will simply rust)

Two primers made by Dunn-Edwards Paints. Ultra-Grip on the left, multi-surface primer and  Ultrashield on the right, for galvanized metal.


Using a primer on surfaces made of plastic is only necessary when making a drastic change of color (going from dark brown to white, for example) because most household plastics are not very porous and are not easily damaged by moisture; or when a long-lasting coat of paint is desired. 

A primer will reduce the number of layers of paint necessary to completely cover the previous color and will help the paint make a thorough bond with the surface being painted.


Ultra-Grip Premium

Dunn-Edwards paint company makes a very versatile primer that bonds to any surface called Ultra-Grip.

It is an acrylic multi-purpose primer designed for a wide range of interior and exterior applications. 

  • Excellent adhesion to properly prepared drywall, wood, and masonry, as well as hard-to-stick surfaces, such as aged alkyd, aluminum, galvanized metal, vinyl, fiberglass, and select plastics.
  • Outstanding stain-blocking.
  • Strong tannin resistance.
  • Great hide and excellent enamel holdout.
  • Ultra-low VOC content



For some metals that rust, you will need to use Ultrashield interior/exterior rust preventative primer by Dunn-Edwards.

Professional Painting is in Our Blood

Flashing or galvanized aluminum on the roof of a house that needs be primed first before top coat of latex paint.


Another great specialized primer is called Kilz.

We use Kilz to cover a multitude of smells like cigarette smoke as well as fire damage smells and then paint with a high-grade latex over the top. 

In our view, latex Kilz does not seem to work as well as oil-based Kilz when it comes to covering smells. Even though it’s an oil base it dries very quickly unlike most oil-base paints and then you can apply latex over it.

Kilz is also, a great high hiding primer that will cover many things so they will not bleed through when you use latex paint on top.

Kilz can be used on the interior as well as exterior surfaces.



Primers can be…

…rolled, brushed, or sprayed depending on different surfaces, and drying time depends on the surface and weather conditions, but generally, they dry fairly quickly so you can put a top coat of latex on in short order. 

So, you can see, you need to use different primers for different raw surfaces as well as previously painted paint, so read the directions carefully before using. 


We have written many articles on painting that you might find helpful here AZ SRB Painting Blogs



When Do You Use a Paint Primer?

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Originally posted 2020-11-15 00:32:44.

When Do You Use a Paint Primer?
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When Do You Use a Paint Primer?
Paint primers, sealers, and undercoats are the foundation for any interior and exterior painting project for residential and commercial work.
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AZ SRB Painting
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