Monday, September 19, 2011

Paint-Primer Hybrids-Do They Work?

The new paint/primer hybrids being marketed today are very popular with consumers who hope to reduce the work of painting, but do these products perform as advertised? The answer is perhaps they will in some situations, and definitely not in others. In spite of the marketing hype, these hybrids aren’t always the right choice, so it pays to get expert advice about your specific project.  

The primer you need depends on: 
  • What you’re priming (wood, drywall, plastic or metal)
  • Whether you’re working inside or outside
  • What you want to accomplish. 
The primer to use on a rusted metal railing outdoors is different from the primer to use on a water-stained ceiling.

The right primer will:
  • Improve adhesion, or the ability of the finish coat of paint to stick to the surface. 
  • Fill imperfections to create a smooth surface and make the finish coat more attractive and durable.
  • Marry two different types of paint, such when you want to use a latex paint over a surface previously painted in an oil base paint. 
  • Enable you to make a significant color change. (For maximum coverage, tint the primer to the color of the finish paint.) 
  • Reduce absorbtion of moisture to protect the item being painted, especially wood.
  • Retard the development of rust.
  • Block tannin, grease, wax crayon, water damage, rust or smoke stains, etc. from bleeding through the finish paint.
  • Retard odors from nicotine, fire damage, etc. 
  • Evenly seal the drywall paper and taped areas so that paints with a sheen will have a more uniform, attractive appearance.
Finish paints are designed to be:
  • Attractive
  • Durable
  • Cleanable to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the type of paint and the sheen
Paints aren’t formulated to do the same work as primers, and when you combine the two, it’s arguable that the resulting hybrid is a less effective version of both. In addition, because primers cost considerably less than finish paints, using the right primer followed by a good quality finish paint will reduce the overall cost of your project, and give you more attractive, long-lasting results. If all this has your head spinning, remember that one of the many benefits of hiring a professional is product knowledge. 

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