New Life Painting, Inc.
New Life Painting, Inc.

When Is It Okay to Use Paint-and-Primer-in-One on Interior Walls?

Have you ever wondered if you really need to prime your walls prior to painting or maybe if one of those paint and primer in one products would be good enough? Priming is one of those steps a professional painter would never think to skip but homeowners often do. Wanting to bypass this step is understandable as it is extra work, extra mess, and isn’t nearly as exciting as painting on that great new color.

The truth is on some occasions you can get away with using a product with a built in primer, but the rest of the time you really should apply a primer first for an even, long-lasting finish.

The Roles of Paint and Primer

Primer and paint serve two, different functions and typically work best when kept as separate products. Paint adds color, sheen, and resistance to scrubbing or external elements. Primer on the other hand is meant to:

  • Seal your surface

  • Create an even surface

  • Provide adhesion

  • Block stains

In other words primer creates the ideal surface on your wall for your paint to look its absolute best.

When Can You Use a Paint and Primer In One?

When you’re painting a wall for the very first time the drywall is very porous and will absorb a good bit of paint. Applying paint directly to unprimed drywall will result in an uneven finish and require a lot more coats to achieve adequate coverage. Save yourself the wasted time and paint by always applying a separate, high-quality primer to brand new drywall.

If your drywall has been painted before, it is possible to get away with using a paint with a primer added to it. This will work best if you are keeping a similar paint sheen and color to what is already on the walls. If you’re making a big change in color though, play it safe by applying a separate primer. The last thing you want is to have to do extra coats when a darker base bleeds through your lighter paint color. Making a big change in paint sheen can also lead to application issues since a glossy base will be difficult to get new paint to adhere to.

Special stain-blocking primer should be used anytime you’re trying to seal out stains caused by water, crayons, markers, or smoke. Paint on its own or a paint and primer in one can’t guarantee that over time those stains won’t bleed through.

Hopefully, this helps you understand when you can get away with skipping the primer and when missing that step will set your next interior painting project up for trouble. Of course if you want to save time and get the job done right? Let our professional painter do the work for you! Call today to get your free estimate.