Does Primer Need To Be Even?

Doing your own paint job at home means that you should take certain steps in order to paint that project flawlessly. This requires priming your surface before painting it. If you are pretty new at DIY paint jobs, you might be wondering about some things like how much primer to use or does it have to be applied evenly. We've looked into this curiosity as well to get some answers for you!

Fortunately, applying primer on your surface is easy, and it doesn't have to be perfect. The only important part is that primer should cover all the parts you'd like to paint over evenly without leaving any bare spots to ensure that your paint will have a good base.

With this in mind, you might be wondering if there are other things that you should know about applying primer to your paint job. Fortunately, we've done the research on most of these questions. Keep reading to learn more about primers and applying them before painting. 

A woman painting wood panelled wall with white primer paint while standing on a ladder, Does Primer Need To Be Even?

Does Primer Need To Be Even?

For most paint jobs, applying a coat of primer is a necessity to ensure that your surface has good adhesion to your paint. It also covers up any stains that may be visible on the surface, and it will give your paint job the smoothest finish possible. Using a primer on surfaces to be painted on makes doing the job a whole lot easier.

Painting primer white on cement wall

So if a primer is necessary, does this mean you should apply it perfectly, just as the paint finish? Fortunately, the answer is no. Applying a layer of primer to your surface does not need to be perfect, but it is important that it evenly covers all the parts that you will be painting on. How you put on the primer will affect your paint finish.

When applying primer to your surface, make sure that it is even and uniform with no bare spots. Try to avoid streaks, drips, and uneven patches on the surface because this might show up when you put on your paint.

As we've said before, it's okay not to put the primer on perfectly. If you find that the color of your old paint slightly shows up even after putting on primer, don't worry about it because the primer will still do its job.

Do I Need 2 Coats Of Primer?

Typically, you only need about one coat of primer on your surface to prepare it for paint. However, if you are working on a surface that is really porous or the original color is very bold needing coverage, then you might need to apply more than one coat of primer on your project.

For situations such as these, you should be good to work on your surface after applying two coats of primer. When working with primer, the most important part is that you put it on evenly and uniformly over the old color. This will ensure that your new paint will adhere properly to the surface.

Painting primer white on wall

How Long Can Primer Go On Unpainted?

Sometimes, doing a paint job can be a little tiring. Sometimes, the area you are working on is too big, and you have used up the entire day just priming the walls before painting. If this is an issue that you are facing, you might be wondering how long your paint primer can go on unpainted.

One of the things you should know about primer is that it has to completely dry before you can work on it with a new paint layer. When working with primer, you have to remember the manufacturer's suggestion for drying times. Some primers can sit on a surface anywhere from a few hours to 30 days without paint.

Depending on the paint used, different primers will work on your surfaces. Some latex primers can last for up to 30 days before painting. Oil primers, on the other hand, can't go on unpainted for more than 14 days.

If you need more time, there are also extended-stay primers to give you more time before you completely cover it with your finishing paint.

Ideally, primers shouldn't sit out for too long without being painted. For one, manufacturers have a suggested allowable time for it to be unpainted. Certain factors like heat and humidity can affect your primer's quality, so do check the label before working on any project.

You will also have to work quickly to prevent dust and grime from sticking on your primed walls. Leaving this on your primed surface will result in your finishing paint having a terrible texture when it dries. Unpainted primer can also decay after some time, making it unable to grip your paint or make it look uneven and blotchy.

Tips for Working With Primer

Paint brush and rollers in paint cans

There are many different tips that can help you when working with primer. We've collated some of the most helpful ones and added some suggestions that can help you achieve a smooth finish.

1. Pick the right primer

There are many different primers to choose from. The best way to choose one is to pick which works best with your finishing paint.

If you are working with a porous surface or a stained surface, an oil-based primer is highly suggested. If you are going to cover up surfaces with a deep color, a tinted primer may be the best option for you. Make sure to have enough primer to cover your entire surface evenly.

Get this tinted primer on Amazon.

2. Prepare your surface

When priming any surface, remove everything that is connected to it. Remove shelving and all other hanging objects that are on the surface you are painting.

Repair all holes, dents, and imperfections to create a surface that will look good after being painted. Use 220-grit sandpaper to clean off and smoothen your surfaces, wipe it clean with a damp towel and allow to dry before working.

3. Protect your surroundings

Ensure that your surroundings are well ventilated and protect your floors and other pieces with a drop cloth. Use painter's tape to mask off moldings, trim, fixtures that you can't remove, as well as the ceiling.

4. Cut and spot priming

Cut and spot priming is important to do so that you don't leave out the often forgotten parts of your room. You should first apply primer to the corners and edges of your room before you work on the bigger area.

Spot prime areas where stains, wood, drywall, or plaster are exposed so that you don't forget to cover it evenly before working on the entire surface. You can do this by using a two or three-inch angled brush to help you work on corners and places that need extra attention.

Check out these angled paintbrushes on Amazon.

5. Roll it on

Painting primer white on cement wall

The best way to apply paint primer on big surfaces is to use a paint roller. The ideal size to work with is a nine-inch roller to help you apply a layer of primer on your walls quickly and seamlessly. Pour in a good amount of primer on your paint tray and roll off any excess primer to prevent it from streaking on the walls.

Get this paint roller and tray set from Amazon.

6. Sand it off

Sanding and repairing a wall

To help smoothen your surface for painting, use fine-grit sandpaper after your primer has dried. This will help your paint hold on to the primer better and adhere to it, giving off the best finish for your surface. You can do this by lightly sanding the primed surface in big broad strokes, giving it an evenly sanded texture.

Check out these assorted sandpaper on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Putting on a layer of primer on your surfaces is one of the most important parts you have to do when doing a paint job. Primers ensure that you have a good base for your paint to adhere to and also cover up the old paint and stains that may show up when you paint over them.

Fortunately, applying primer is easy and straightforward. All you need to do is apply it evenly and uniformly on your surface so that your paint will have a good base. Doing this will help you get the best paint job that will last for a very long time.

Are you looking for more information about primers and using them? We have a couple of articles that might be of help to you:

How Many Coats Of Primer And Paint For Bathroom Cabinets?

Does Benjamin Moore Paint Need Primer?


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