Does Paint-And-Primer Truly Eliminate The Need To Prime Your Walls?

Many homeowners find interior painting to be a tedious task. You have to tape off the room, sand down the wall, prime it, and then paint it using multiple coats. While the process isn't incredibly difficult, it does take quite a bit of time.

Manufacturers have started selling paint-and-primer products that promise to take at least one step out of the process. Do these products truly eliminate the need to prime the wall before you paint it? To find out, read on to learn more about primer and what these products can successfully be used to do.

What Is Primer?

Primer is a resin that's turned into a liquid form by the addition of a solvent. Once you've applied it to the wall, the solvents evaporate, and the resins cure into rigid polymers. This creates a nonporous, plastic-like surface that paint can adhere to very easily.

You need to use primer whenever you're painting an unpainted porous surface like wood or drywall in order to make the surface non-porous. You also need to use it when you're painting over oil-based paint with a latex paint—latex paint won't adhere to oil-based paint.

What Is Paint-and-Primer?

Paint-and-primer doesn't actually contain any primer. It's simply a marketing term that manufacturers use. However, it's premium latex paint. It contains a high acrylic solids content, which means that it forms a very thick layer of paint when it cures. The thick layer helps the new coat of paint cover up the old one.

What Can Paint-and-Primer Be Used For?

In general, paint-and-primer is very convenient when your new paint is a similar color to the old one. There's no need to prime the wall beforehand since the thick layer of paint-and-primer will easily cover up the old color.

You can also use paint-and-primer when the old paint is a very different color. Switching from navy blue to white is a good example. However, this isn't very cost-effective. You may need to use three or four coats of paint before the old color stops bleeding through. Paint-and-primer is quite expensive due to its high acrylic solids content, so it will be less expensive to prime the wall first and then paint over it with two coats.

Unfortunately, you can't use paint-and-primer on unpainted surfaces or to paint over an old coat of oil-based paint. No matter how high its solids content is, paint-and-primer is unsuitable for these jobs. You need to use primer in order to create an intermediate layer for your paint to adhere to.

You also can't use paint-and-primer to cover up water stains. They'll simply bleed right through once your paint starts to dry. The same applies to grease, crayon, and ink stains. You'll need to use primer on these jobs as well in order to cover up the stains.

Overall, paint-and-primer is a high-quality product despite its limitations. For homeowners who need to touch up their interior paint on walls that aren't stained, it works very well. However, it's definitely not a primer replacement for every painting task.

If you're trying to avoid using primer because you're dreading the task of painting, call an interior home painting service to do the job for you—sanding, priming and painting will ensure that your paint job is durable and your colors are vibrant. 

For more information, contact an interior home painting service.