Today’s House Painting Primer Tips

Primer Tips Painting Homes Today


Painting homes today require applying primer is many cases. Having suggestions at your disposal, as a reference, helping jobs go much easier, lasting the longest. We will be discussing both interior as well as exterior primer tips & ideas.

First, understanding what primer actually does, everything else will make better sense reading rest of article. Having different primers for specific applications.

Paint primers have extreme bonding agents, sealing substrates, also allowing recommended finish coats adhering to primer undercoat.

Primers have much stronger sealing characteristics, than typical finish coats w/o primers built in formulation. Knowing when to use a primer on your home is key, helping your job go much smoother, without additional coats.

Many paints today have primers built into formulation, as we will discuss further in article.

When To Use House Painting Primers

Interior Primers

Interior bonding primers assists several areas inside the home. Ideally giving a perfect canvas to apply finish coats. Anytime where paint is not covering properly, is a good idea where a paint primer is needed.

Poly Vinyl Acetate (PVA)


For interiors, any raw drywall texture if first on our list. Applying a Poly-Vinyl-Acetate (PVA) latex based, flat primer seals pours of drywall compounds for a even uniform appearance. Made with similar compounds as Elmer's Glue®. Lessens any roller or spray marks. Always good if affordable, applying PVA before drywall texture, giving drywall compound something to grab, helping overall texture, if troweled, having a knock-down texture.

If you can prime drywall before texture, all the much better, however most importantly using PVA afterwards, before finish coats.

PVA primers also good when you have bare interior wood, looking to have it painted. Applying one coat, spray or brush, once dried, you'll want to sand with a 120 grit sanding block, making perfectly smooth before final paint coat. This is apparent with new construction, with bare pine baseboards, finishing them painting with two coats of semi-gloss paint.

For other surfaces such as painting over lacquered finishes such as cabinets, handrails, or mantels which are stained with a clear coat, an XIM oil based white primer is recommended, however comes in waterborne acrylic.



KILZ® is probably the most common primer thought of today. Probably being the first coming out in aerosol cans, making it the easiest to apply. Millions of cans sold I'm sure.

Probably many of those from water marks up in the ceilings from water leaks, to spraying entire interiors sealing wall smells from years of cigarette smoking inside the home. I know we've bought untold gallons just for these reasons. Also sealing floors when either carpet being replaced, painting sub-floor plywood decking. Either way, KILZ® is your mainstay sealer just for this.

Now owned and distributed by BEHR™, sold in all Home Depot™ stores across the country.

XIM Advanced Technology UMA®Brand White


UMA’s advanced technology has both primer and adhesive-like properties. A quick drying, white bonding primer / sealer that provides excellent adhesion. Can be tinted. for tough-to-paint surfaces: glass, tile, Formica, metals, many plastics, wood and other construction materials including Kynar® and silicone polyester pre-coated siding.


If you want your final latex coat not lifting up weeks or months later over a varnished or lacquered finish, you'd better use this primer first! We paint several kitchen cabinets each year in Denver, since 2010, and have not had one homeowner call back, saying paint is scratching off.

Apply the Correct Primer for the Particular Substrate

  1. For latex paints, use a stain blocking gripping primer for walls, exterior trim, windows, and doors.
  2. For painting bare drywall, and drywall textures, a high quality flat PVA drywall primer is recommended.
  3. Using alkyd oil based primers for alkyd oil based paints.
  4. You can use alkyd primers with latex finish coats, but not the other way around with latex primers and alkyd oil based finish coats. Oils are much hotter, and could melt a dry coat of latex primer, making it useless.
  5. Apply primers at a rather high spread rate, spreading over a 400-450 square foot area per gallon.

Nature of Paint and it's ColorNature_of_Paint_Color

  1. Generally speaking, all else being the same, flat house paint primers will tend to hide better than those having higher sheen or gloss.
  2. Tinting the primer close to the color will be helpful when applying finish coats.  You do not want to exceed manufacture's recommendations adding colorant to the primers used.
  3. For dark Red, Blue, Brown finish coats, tinting primer making light gray using a few drops of Black colorant will allow finish coats to be applied more uniformly.
  4. Color change, generally from dark to light, especially using brighter organic colors in Yellows and Greens, two coats of paint is recommended if primer is not used. Primers should have 50% of finish coat colorant in primer base, or 4-6 finish coats could be required attaining desired results.
  5. Yellows and Purples are the hardest to cover, as they come in a neutral base, having to add so much colorant to attain color per gallon, and colorant does not cover, the base does.
    Some bright Yellows require pouring off some of the base to add enough colorant, which is like "Watering down" the paint. If you have to pour off the base, adding colorant, you had better prime using primer as close to finish color as possible or you will be forever painting.
  6. Best quality paints tend to cover better than less expensive ones, as they allow a much thicker coat to "Hang", having a higher viscosity than the less expensive ones, also having more paint pigments.

Putting a lighter color over a much darker color, a primer is recommended. One trick is adding 50% of colorant used in final coat, your finish coat will cover like it's suppose to.

One new paint base with Sherwin-Williams™ is yellow! Having a yellow base paint is great news in the painting industry, knowing yellows toughest to cover in the past. If this yellow base not available, using a gray tinted primer suggested. Gray primer will allow most dark colors covering properly.

Exterior Primers

Primers for exterior surfaces are very important if you wish that expensive paint coating you are about to apply. As long as previous coating is bonding properly, no primer needed. However, any cracks with original paint, or bare wood needs a primer first.

Some exterior paints now have primers built into formulation, saving a step. Most of these new paints have a longer warranty up to life-time paint warranty. But if you want the full boat, knowing it's properly primed, use an exterior primer before final coat, as you can never beat that!

Extreme Bonding Primer®


One of the best exterior gripping primer on the market today. Having just used it today, after scraping all loose, aged dried paint away. We had to wait a few days allowing the wood siding underneath to dry back out. Applying Extreme Bonding Primer over dried bare wood, will allow the life-time Super Paint (having it's own primer built in) to last the duration.

Exterior primers are formulated to withstand elements outside, understanding exterior finish coats bonds to primers much better than bare wood, especially outside. Putting on an exterior primer, then painting, you'll be able to sleep good at night, knowing everything was done properly.

Generally, entire exterior surfaces on your home does not need a primer, unless complete, or larger area of exterior siding is peeling, bubbly, cracking, chipping, or failing.

In closing with today's house painting primer tips, last suggestion I need to allow is with top photo. Showing gloves being worn while priming is not a bad idea whatsoever. Knowing the bonding characteristics these primers have, getting on your hands is tougher washing off than the paint you intend using, so use a pair of work gloves you are comfortable wearing. I particularly like thin, disposable latex gloves, getting in quantities, a dime to a dozen.

Thank you reading, and hope this helps you with your next painting project, knowing what is going on with primers for your home today.

If in Denver Colorado area, needing a professional painting contractor providing top notched painters fulfilling painting tasks, look no further than Eco Paint for all of your interior, as well as exterior painting needs. Contact Us Today!

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11 years ago

do follow blog, in bound links 2 U~

11 years ago

Lifetime warranty paints have primers built into mixture, no need to Prime then Paint.

11 years ago

Lifetime warranty paints have primers built into mixture, no need to Prime then Paint.

Painting Contractor
11 years ago

Lifetime warranty paints have primers built into mixture, no need to Prime then Paint.


[…] sure, ask child what his / her favorite color might be. You can always go 2 shades lighter, and prime the walls first having 50% paint colorant to allow the final paint coat to cover properly. If this is not […]


[…] topic is you do not want paint coming off in sheets, or peeling up less than a year later. Interior bonding primers assists several areas inside the […]