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Honey Do List: Paint primer?

One of the most unusual products that I have seen hit the market in the last several years is paint with primer in it. I have always thought this was a marketing scheme started by a certain national chain store, and everyone else followed. Here’s why.

Even though primer may be “in the paint”, most jobs still need a base coat of primer. Actually, there is only one situation in which I wouldn’t use it. I’ll get to that in a minute.

So, why primer?

Primer does three things. It makes the paint stick to the surface better; it makes the paint more durable; and it protects the surface being painted better than paint alone. In addition, primer/sealer can block stains, or darker colors, from coming through the finish coat of paint.

If there are stains (for example, water, smoke, discoloration), use primer. If you are making a drastic color change, especially covering a darker color, use primer. If the existing paint leaves “dust” when you wipe over it, clean it and then use primer. If you are painting new, never painted drywall, use primer.

The only time a base coat of primer is not needed is when you are repainting, the old paint is in good shape, and you are using a color similar to the existing paint.

A good quality top coat of paint with a good primer base will yield a truer color, be easier to clean and maintain, and should last for years.

Remember, any surface that is to be painted should be clean and dry. The perspiration is in the preparation. Help is just around the corner at your local hardware store.

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