Goto Paint Home Page
Your Guide To Home Painting
Tools Matls
Paint A Room
Common Projects
Our Services

indicates video on page


We want to STRESS that Priming is only required for certain situations and generally is NOT required for most Painting!

Please see our section on Paints & Finishes for more information on Primers!!!

Do NOT be fooled into buying products that claim to do priming and finish coating in one application! These products are just GIMMICKS to steal your money... priming must always be done in a separate step using a high grade product... then follow up with your finish coat!

When Is Priming Required?
  • Prime when a surface has not previously been Painted!

    NOTE: For new Drywall, use a Latex Drywall Primer. For Plaster we recommend a Pigmented Shellac Primer. For Brick or Block use a Masonry Primer. For Wood we recommend a Pigmented Shellac Primer for Interior Wood and an Exterior Oil Wood Primer for Exterior Wood... For Interior Metal or Plastic use Pigmented Shellac... for Exterior Metal, use an Exterior Oil-Base Primer... for Rusted surfaces use Rustoleum's Rusty Metal Primer...

  • Prime when changing color from a very dark color to a very light color!

    NOTE: You can use the Finish Coat Paint for this, and just apply a Primer "Wash Coat" which is simply applying the Finish Coat Paint quickly without giving any attention to covering the darker Color completely... the "Wash Coat" will DRY quickly and allow the final Finish Coat to cover in one coat!

  • Prime when the surface is Stained with Nicotine, Smoke or other Stains such as Crayon, Ink or Scuff Marks or when you are Top Coating with any Sheen Finish over a Spackled Repair!

    NOTE: Always use a Pigmented Shellac Stain Sealer Primer for these applications...

When Can You "Spot Prime"?
  • "Spot Priming" is simply applying Primer locally to an area rather than to the whole surface! NOTE: Spot Prime when only a local area needs Priming, such as a "bare wood" spot on a Window Casing, or a Crayon Mark on a Wall etc.
  • Another example of Spot Priming is when you have Spackled several areas on a Wall, and you plan to Top Coat with a Sheen Finish such as Satin or Semi Gloss... in this case you MUST Spot Prime the local Spackled areas (with Pigmented Shellac) to prevent the Lime in the Spackle from "Dulling" the Finish Coat locally! If you Top Coat with a Flat Finish, you do not need to Spot these (you can if desired Spot them with the Finish Coat Flat Paint)!
Priming With Pigmented Shellac
  • Pigmented ShellacPigmented Shellac is a very common and useful Interior Primer material... we use it everywhere! However it does not Clean-Up easily, and Alcohol is required for this! So we keep a special Paint Can with a snap-on plastic lid with a notch at the edge to allow keeping a brush in the can, in the material all the time, to avoid continuous clean-up!
  • We also recommend using old slightly worn roller covers with Pigmented Shellac, and throw them away when the job is done, to avoid clean-up!
  • Most importantly, STIR the material thoroughly to bring the Shellac up from the bottom, and apply the material SLOWLY and CAUTIOUSLY because it is as thin as water and splatters and drips easily... use Alcohol for clean-up!
  • The advantage it offers is excellent Stain Killing, and QUICK Drying (so be advised that you cannot re-brush over an area after a few minutes without "upsetting" the fast drying material)!
  • Pigmented Shellac Primer should not be used for Exterior Applications... use an Exterior Wood Oil Base Primer, or if Stains are present, use an Oil Base Stain Sealer, like Bin's Cover Stain...
  • When all else fails, read the product labels!


Paint Home

tip Most walls and ceilings DO NOT need Priming before a Finish Coat... Priming is RARELY need except under certain situations! [read all the tips]

Copyright © 1998-2019 Paintahouse.Com®All Rights Reserved

site map

indicates video on page

Paint A Room
work plan
prep & paint
brushing & cutting
roll ceilings
brush walls
roll walls
Common Projects
family rooms
bath tubs sinks etc
paints & finishes
spray painting