TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
Several products on the market described as self-priming paint tantalizingly suggest you can skip the priming stage and cut straight to the painting. Who doesn’t want to save time, energy and money? It does sound a little too good to be true.
PAINT AND PRIMER ARE DIFFERENT
The first thing to remember is that paint and primer do two different jobs.Primer seals a surface and provides a stable uniform surface for paint to adhere to. Paint adds color and sheen.
Self-priming paints tend to be thicker, providing good coverage, and they use quality resins to help adhesion. So what’s the problem? Well, they are not miracle workers. Self-priming paints seem to do a good job when painting over an already painted surface. In other words a situation where it is questionable whether you actually need a primer at all. A good quality paint could probably do the same job just as well.
There are several situations where I feel a primer is essential:
- Painting on new, raw surfaces such as wood, metal, plaster, new drywall
- Covering up stains such as water damage, rust, crayon, grease, mildew
- Changing from oil to acrylic paint
- Blocking odors such as smoke
- Drastically changing color from dark to light
My advice – don’t be tempted to cut corners. You want your new paint to look good and last for a long time. Primer + paint has a good pedigree.