8 questions about the need for primer over paint 

These are questions about primer over paint that we get asked over and over again:

Q – How can I tell if my existing paint is water base or oil base paint

A – It’s not easy to tell when considering using primer over paint whether your base paint coat is oil base or water based paint. (click here for a special product that will tell you if you have oil base or water base paint)

Ceiling paint peelingQ – Do I absolutely HAVE to use a primer over paint if it over an oil base paint?

A – Water based paints do not adhere to oil based paints. It may seem like it is working but within a few short days or weeks you will see the paint begin to peel away from the surface. So when you’re considering whether to use primer over paint err on the side of caution and use primer over paint.
When painting over oil based paint it’s very important to sand the surfaces and prime with an oil based or shellac primer. These types of speciality primers are what will assure a good bond. 
Quality paint primers are designed to stabilize the surface, harden and bond the surface. This allows the top coat to protect the surface as long as possible. 

Q – How many coats of primer do you need to use? 

A – One coat works fine but two coats are recommended for areas that need a heavier build. See the information below for information about extreme wear and tear. Primer over paint is your best bet for great results!

Q – Is primer cheaper than regular paint?

A – Some primers are less expensive but the better primers are about the same price as paint. Keep in mind that primer is what makes a good paint last

Q – Do I have to use a primer on bare wood?

A – All bare wood needs to be sealed. Oil based or shellac primers are best. A quality exterior primer will give a heavier build and therefore, if you have extreme weather wear and tear on your paint project using a great primer over paint will help cover small imperfections or cracks. The main reason to put a primer coat of paint on weather beaten areas is to assure an excellent bond to the surface and top coat. I always recommend a quality primer be applied to all wood on the homes I paint. 

primer over paintQ – What if I’m painting with water base over water base, do I still need a primer over paint?

A – A water based top coat sticks to a water based top coat so there is no need for a primer unless you are painting a light color over a dark color.

Q – What about using primer over paint when trying to hide stains, or hide wood knots? 

A –  New drywall, wood stains, and tannin bleed through paint but can be sealed with a good primer. Skipping this step can result in your top coat having unsightly staining bleeding through and even failure. PVA primers are designed to lock in new drywall and give a base that will not allow stains to bleed through to your beautifully finished paint project.

Q – How can I make my paint job last?

A – Simple! Good prep materials with good finish coats will extend the life of your paint job. Surface failure will be almost instant because of a poor prep materials or lack of prep. Materials tend to be 15-20% of the total job. Skimping on good material really will only take 2-5% off your material cost so don’t go cheap! Primer over paint every time when it is called for!
Call me today if you have questions or just want to hire a local
San Diego painting contractor to give you the paint job you deserve!
Chad Flood
Local San Diego Painting