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Should Paint Primer Be Tinted?

Priming is a crucial step before painting your home's interior or exterior. However, you might sometimes wonder whether tinting paint primers is necessary or even possible. What benefits or drawbacks would it offer you? We did the leg work, and after much research, here's what we've found out.

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Although it is optional to tint your paint primer, doing so can benefit you and your pocket. Tinting paint primers with colors that match your preference can reduce the number of coats needed, thus saving you on paint and labor costs. They are also beneficial when changing paint colors from dark to light and vice versa.

Continue reading to learn more about why and when you should tint your paint primer, how to do it, and the proper colors. In this post, we will also answer some frequently asked questions. Let's get right into it!

Should Paint Primer Be Tinted

Painting your home can be an overwhelming chore. However, careful planning and preparations can be done to achieve the desired outcome. When painting your home, priming is a very important step. This will ensure that the topcoat will have a long-lasting and stronger adhesion since primers create a strong base surface.

Rolling thick white paint on a grey wall

You can apply paint primer as it originally is; however, tinting your primers can be useful in many ways. One benefit is that the number of paint coats you need to apply will be reduced. Also, it will ensure full coverage of colors when you want to turn your dark-colored room into a lighter one and vice-versa.

Does Primer Color Affect Paint Color?

When painting a new wall or repainting old ones, color is critical thing. Color adds light and beautifies the surface, which can be pleasing to the eye. If you apply paint, you should also consider the primer's color.

Applying dark grey tint on white tiles

Primers usually come in white, grey, or other neutral colors. It can affect the color of the finish coat, so be wise when matching the color of the primer and the paint. For example, if you paint the area with light colors like yellow, white primer is best. If you use darker colors of primer, there will be a tendency that it will show underneath the top coat. Likewise, dark-colored primers are good to use when you are applying a dark color paint. It can help in ensuring full coverage of colors.

How To Tint Paint Primer Yourself?

If you're on a tight budget and looking to save money on painting your wall, tinting your primer is one good choice. Although many paint centers sell tinted primers, tinting primers yourself can help you achieve the wall color you want. All you need to do is to follow these steps:

  1. Prepare your paint primer and paint with the color you prefer.
  2. Make sure that the paint and the primer are compatible.
  3. Putting the primer on a separate bucket is optional, but if you do, ensure that the bucket is dry and clean.
  4. Add some paint colors to your primer.
  5. Stir and mix well. Add more paint color until you achieve your desired color.

Can You Use Tinted Primer As The Finish Coat Of Paint?

Since you already know that paint primers can be tinted, you might also wonder if you can use a tinted primer as paint.

Tinted primers give the vibe of a finished coat of paint, which is why many homeowners start to think of not putting finish coats anymore since primers already look good. But, even though paint and tinted primer seem similar, they still have different purposes.

The general use of a primer is to create a bond between the wall and the top coat. It also serves to conceal irregularities in most surfaces. Paint, on the other hand, provides colors and beauty to the surface. It also makes the surface durable to fight some elements that may damage the surface.

Painter applying tint on the white paint

Primers are not created to withstand those kinds of elements. Although tinted primers already look good on the surface, it is still important to put paint as a finish coat to prevent a chalk-like surface.

How Many Coats Of Primer Do You Need?

A primer before painting is important to ensure good bonding between the wall and the paint. That is why knowing the proper number of coats of primer to be used is important. The number of coats depends on the type of wall you need to paint. 

Using a roller paint to apply white paint on the wall, Should Paint Primer Be Tinted?

If you paint on bare drywall, which will be painted for the first time, you need to use two coats of primer. This is because the wall will absorb the first coat. The second coat will be the one to create a bond on the paint.

Moreover, if you paint on a previously painted wall, two to three coats of primer should be used. The first coat will cover the previous color of the wall, especially when they are dark or brightly colored, while the second and third coats will create the bond between the wall and the paint.

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Can You Apply Paint Without A Primer?

Most homeowners are looking for a way to beautify their space without spending too much money. They wonder if they can apply paint without a primer to avoid another cost for the primer.

Applying paint without a primer depends on the area you will paint, the area's previous color, and the paint color you want to use.

When To Use Primer

Since paint primer's primary use is to prepare the area, here are some surfaces that need a primer:

Porous Surfaces

Applying a primer is a game changer if you're trying to cover a surface with many holes. It will hide and conceal the holes that can damage the top coat. This will also ensure a more clean look when finished with paint.

Unpainted Surfaces

Applying primer is a must if you're trying to paint a surface area for the first time. This will ensure that the top coat will bond effectively with the wall. This will also make sure that the paint color is well blended.

Skim-Coated Surfaces

As time passes, skim-coated surfaces tend to have a chalk-like feel even with paint on. To prevent this from happening, you need to apply primer so that the bond between the two will be secured.

Glossy Surfaces

If the wall's previous paint is glossy, there will be a tendency that the new paint will not to stick to it. Using a primer will create a new surface on the area that will help the new paint color to adhere.

Man painting the roofing with a red colored paint

When You May Not Use Primer

Some areas may not need a primer and can be applied with paint only, but it still looks good and durable. Here are some:

Clear Walls

Clear walls mean that the wall is smooth and has no holes that will make the area looks unclean. Since the area is smooth, the painting process will be easier, even without using a primer.

Similar Paint Colored Areas

It will be okay to apply paint even without primers on surfaces where you'll be painting colors almost similar to the previous color. Always remember that by changing colors from dark to light or light to dark, you'll need to apply a primer.

Paint With Primers

There are available paints that have primers in them are available in the market. When you use this kind of paint, you won't have to use another can of separate primers since the primer on the paint will already serve its purpose.

Final Thoughts

Using a roller paint to apply white paint on the wall

Whether it may be a new wall, furniture, or just a space you want to look new by repainting, following the correct procedure is important. Applying primer before painting will ensure a tight bond between the surface and the top coat. Aside from that, it can also add to the durability of the area you will be painting.

Tinting a paint primer makes a big difference in achieving full coverage of colors and helping you save more money. Just remember that you need to see that the paint and the primer you're mixing are compatible, or you can buy a tinted primer on the market.

Painting has never been this easy with tinted primers, so grab your materials and enjoy!

If you find this article helpful, be sure to check out these other posts that may interest you:

How Many Coats Of Primer And Paint For Bathroom Cabinets?

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

Why Is Your Paint Not Sticking To Wood? [& What To Do About It?]