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Do You Need to Prime New Drywall?

Are you planning to put wallpaper or paint your new drywall but wondering if you should apply a primer on it or not? Good news! We have done comprehensive research that surely will help you with your priming concern.

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Priming your new drywall can help save you time and money. Applying a primer first is an essential step to do for two main reasons:

  • The new drywall surface is porous and chalky; an undercoat layer is necessary to even out the surface.
  • Primer ensures good adhesion when applying paint or placing wallpaper.

We know you already have the information you need but wait, there's more to that! Let us discuss further the importance of priming new drywall, the drawbacks of not using a primer, and more crucial details. Please, continue reading below.

Priming Smooths Porous, Chalky Drywall Surfaces

New drywall is characterized as spongy because it has tiny pores making its surface a little rough. This is one of the reasons why adding primer is necessary, as it blocks the pores and conceals the texture, leaving drywall with an even surface.

Priming also prevents new drywall from completely taking in the color of the paint. It increases the durability of the wall as well.

Priming Drywall Enhances Paint Adhesion

The goal when painting or affixing wallpaper is to achieve an aesthetically pleasing interior. Primer is the secret to it. When the surface of the drywall is free from imperfections, it'll be a lot easier for any finishing materials to adhere.

When you directly apply paint or wallpaper to an uneven surface, expect that it'll not last for as long a period because the rough surface makes the paint and wallpaper fall off eventually.

Empty apartment in a raw state during recent finishes, renovations, floor secured with cardboard, ladder, paint trays and rollers with white paint, moving, painting walls

Disadvantages Of Skipping Primer Before Painting

If you want to spare yourself from wasting money and finish the work immediately, do not skip primers!

You're probably thinking about how it is possible to save money when you have to spend extra purchasing a primer. But here's the thing: Painting on plain drywall will only lead to an inconsistent paint texture and color appearance.

As drywall is a sponge-like material, you'll need to exert more effort in reapplying the paint countless times, which is very inconvenient and time-consuming.

Ideally, you will need to wait for at least 3 to 6 hours for the paint to dry. Without a primer, the drying time will consume more than 24 hours as the paint will not set right away since the drywall will keep on absorbing it.

With the absence of primer, there's also a huge probability that the paint you applied on the drywall would crack up or become puffy due to a lack of surface adherence.

The process of beautifying the interior of your home doesn't end in priming. Let's answer some of the other related questions you may have about preparing drywall for paint.

What happens if you don't sand after priming?

Hand smoothing out wall with sandpaper.

The purpose of sanding is not merely to thin out the undercoat but to eradicate the bumps existing on the surface. Sanding enables the topcoat to stick totally on the surface as it will stand as a tooth that provides a stronghold to the paint.

On the other hand, avoiding sanding makes the paint peel off in no time. Commonly, 120-grit to 150-grit sandpaper is used to produce a good outcome. There are also sanding techniques that will give you an idea of how to sand the wall properly.

Do I need to skim-coat drywall before priming?

A handyman, building contractor is skim coating, finishing, plastering the drywall making the wall smooth with a broad, large skimming blade, knock-down knife during house renovation., Do I need to skim-coat drywall before priming?

A skim coat is applied as a preparatory substance before further painting. The mud-like texture of the skim coat gives off a smooth finish to the surface. It is used to fill in huge seams and holes when the drywall is not perfectly installed.

The skim coat is the foundation and first step towards realizing your ultimate interior goal. If you're confused between skim-coat and drywall, don't be. The primary function of skim-coat is for patching or leveling, while the primer is used to add surface enhancement and paint adhesion.

For a smooth, like butter drywall surface, do not forget to incorporate skimming in the entire process.

Generally, to attain the desired smoothness of the wall, 2 to 4 coats of skim coat are needed. It is also highly significant that you know how to apply a skim coat on your drywall efficiently and effectively. 

Is it better to use a primer or paint with primer?

Construction work, plastering and wall priming. Builder's hand with paint roller.

Painting is not just a single-step procedure, as it demands so much time to accomplish the task. At some point, you might be tempted to think of ways to cut the long process short, such as using a 2-in-1 product. However, paint with primer is only applicable under certain conditions like the following:

  • If the wall has no stubborn stains or flaws.
  • If the surface has been formerly sealed and only needs repainting.

For the best results, professionals prefer using primer and paint separately. In the case of new drywall, paint with primer is highly discouraged as it will not give the full coverage intended for it. Most of the time, separate products do the job more appropriately than combining them.

Go for that eye-catching interior while having fun!

Primed with a roller with a primer putty wall before painting or gluing wallpaper

If you're working on DIY home improvement, do it right from the very first step. Applying primer to new drywall will provide you a smooth, sealed surface to apply paint. This initial step will prevent your paint from cracking and peeling and leaves you with a long-lasting, brilliantly colored finish.

Looking for more "prime" tips for your painting projects? Check out our related posts: 

How Long To Let Primer Dry [Inc. Before Paint, Before Sanding, Before Wallpaper, Or Between Coats]

Can You Use Water-Based Paint Over Oil-Based Primer?