Primer question....need answer ASAP. Thanks!

fiddledddNovember 14, 2010

My husband is painting primer over new drywall (an entire house remodel), and the Sherwin Williams product we're using is not covering very thoroughly. Is it necessary to put on a second coat before applying our actual paint?

I know you're always supposed to prime the walls, but I'm not sure the exact reason for doing so, so I don't know how important it is to have a good solid coat of primer.


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You can have a full coat of primer without it covering well. A primers job is not to cover. The reason you prime is to seal. Drywall is porous and especially at the joints where there is compound is very porous. The primer sinks into those areas so that when you paint over it, you are painting over a sealed surface instead of an uneven porous one. That said, some primers will cover better than others. Cheap PVA primers will not cover well. Also, the application technique and size of sleeve used can also be a factor.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 8:42AM
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I had a painter give me an estimate to paint living room and he said he does not need to put primer on wall because I will be using the same color which is off white. Problem is walls have not been painted in 15 years and I feel that the one coat he is proposing will just sink into wall. Any comments will be appreciated. Volvo

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 9:17AM
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paintguy.....thanks for the speedy reply. My husband is heading over to paint at our new house right now. Thanks for the explanation too. Just curious though....I don't know all of the acronyms you experienced people use.....what does PVA stand for? (Don't laugh!) :-)

volvo 85.....I would think your painter is correct when he says you don't need a primer. Even though the paint is old, if the walls have been painted before, I don't think you need a primer unless you've done a lot of patching and have new drywall mud. But the pros here will hopefully give you a better answer. You may, however, need 2 coats, depending on what paint you use and how it covers.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 9:49AM
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Poly-Vinyl-Acetate; the same stuff that Elmer's glue consists of, so it has ample adhesion qualities, and dries very hard and sandable very quickly. Sand with 150 grit to take off the drywall paper "whiskers". You could then re-prime with ordinary primer for coverage (primer's cheaper than paint) and use a single coat of finish paint, esp. if you have the "real" primer tinted.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 10:39AM
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Good idea to re-prime using a tinted primer. Then we'd only need 1 topcoat and save some money. Thanks for the definition of PVA. Don't know if our Sherwin Williams primer has that or not.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 11:31PM
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What exact primer are ya using??

Have your 15y/o walls been washed?? That's equally important, if not moreso sometimes, than priming!!!
I've got some some painting to do in our house, built in '96.
* Home was initially sprayed with a builder's-grade S/G...THANK G*D!!
* Still...I'm priming everything!!

Hate to "burst a bubble" here, but just because a primer may be tinted, doesn't magically save you a topcoat.
* On new work like yours, I'd be priming...AND doing two topcoats.
* You'll ALWAYS be able to tell the difference.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 12:29AM
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Don't have the exact name of the's over at the other house. But it's the SW $18.99 a gallon drywall primer. We're using that on all of the new drywall, except for the areas that have stains, for which we're using Cover Stain. The primer is not completely covering everything, but I think there is enough on there to at least seal the walls in prep for a topcoat.

Faron..... okay! :-) 2 topcoats it is!! Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 12:35AM
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