Primer Impact on Shiny Paint Finish

Wren14August 31, 2010

After two long months of refinishing kitchen cabinets (used FPE and recommned this brand highly!), I'm getting ready to tackle the living room for the third time in a year.

I painted my living room this past winter with Valspar eggshell (matched for BM Mt. Rainey Gray). Two months before that, I painted a slightly darker blue BM Regal eggshell. Both times, the "eggshell" appears to have significantly more sheen than the other brands I've used in the past (Ralph Lauren). When the light hits the paint in the hallway, you can see every roller stroke. I hate it, so I'm planning to repaint with Farrow & Ball Pointing (Estate Emulsion).

I've got a couple of questions about using primer. I have a can of BIN (or is it 1-2-3?) that I decided not to use for the cabinets (used FPE primer instead). I've read before that once you have a sheen finish on the wall, it will always show throught even it you paint a matt finish paint over it. Is this trues?

Do I really need to prime over the blue/gray if I'm using a heavily pigmented paint like F&B. It's a much lighter creamy white color, so I really don't know. I painted a sample 1' X 2' board last night with this combination, and I really don't see the blue through the F&B Pointing, but I'm afraid it might be a different story once I get the entire wall covered! I've painted dozens of rooms over the years, but I've never primed a wall before.

Bottom line..... I'm exhausted from the cabinet work all summer! I believe in doing things the right way the first time, so I'll prime if I have to, but would like to skip this if it really isn't necessary. Maybe I already know the answer and just want the wonderful readers on the forum to convince me that it's not necessary. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.


Exhaused Wren14!

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It's really a misconception that primer helps with the coverage of lighter colors when painting over darker colors. Think of primer as a sealer because that is its main job. We use it when we want a good base for the topcoat, not when we are worried about covering up a color. In other words, primer covers terribly. I don't agree that the sheen of an eggshell should show through your matte finish either. As long as you are doing two coats, what is underneath it should become a non factor. I don't think you need to prime, but you should pole sand.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 2:03PM
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Thanks paintguy! I dug up a couple of posts this afternoon that said the same thing (I think you were one of the contributors to those as well). I've never sanded painted walls before. Any recommendations on the type of sandpaper I should use? 120 or 150 grit?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 2:21PM
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150 grit. I mainly just do it to knock down any previous globs of paint and whatever else left from the previous paintjob and to dull the sheen.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 6:49PM
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