Renovations and the finishing stage of house construction is a time when we want to finish the work as soon as possible and move on to more pleasant stages, such as painting or decorating rooms.

Sometimes we are tempted to skip some recommended activities. One of them is priming walls before painting. Do we have to do it? What can happen if we skip this step?

Why do we need to prime the walls?

Priming makes our work easier in the later stages, and helps to protect the surface of the walls, level them, prepare them to better absorb paint, which looks better after it dries. Priming helps to create a waterproof barrier that protects, especially when dealing with high humidity in the room.

Interestingly, using a primer can make painting much less expensive, as walls “drink” less paint, and a really satisfactory covering effect can be achieved with a good paint already at the first coat. It also helps to avoid discolorations, streaks and damp patches that we won’t be able to eliminate without primer

When is wall priming necessary and how to check it?

Priming is a must for every new wall, also the ones made of cardboard-plaster. Unpainted surfaces with uneven surfaces as well as those covered with cement mortar should be primed. It is also recommended to use primer in case of work in a new apartment from developer state, where it is highly probable that poor quality paint will be used, which in future may cause unpleasant surprises in form of discolorations or damp patches.

How to check if priming of already painted wall is necessary? Just rub the surface with your palm, preferably in several places. If it leaves dust and light tarnish, you have to repeat the priming procedure. Remember to apply the primer not only on the walls but also on the ceiling.

The choice of the preparation itself can become problematic. Different primers are designed for different types of paint, and it is depending on the choice of emulsion and whether it is latex, acrylic or other, that you choose a primer. It is safest to opt for products from the same company

What to avoid?

When priming, you must be careful not to overdo it. Too much of the primer may make the wall “glassy” and you will not be able to do any more work on it, which will involve lapping and laying new plaster. Any haste in painting is also unacceptable. We have to follow the instructions on the package, especially as far as the drying time is concerned.

If we do not wait until the wall dries properly and we apply paint on it, there will surely be discolorations that are difficult to paint over even with subsequent coats. On the net we can find an idea of mixing primer with paint and covering walls with such prepared mixture. Unfortunately, this will not allow the agent to work properly, which will still lead to unsightly streaks and additional costs that we will be forced to incur to repair the damage.

Main Photo: Karl Solano/

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Angelina Schultz

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