Paint and Primer in One: Do or Don’t?

Everyone loves the results of a new paint job – the fresh sheen of a new color on walls is something that can easily change the entire atmosphere of a room. It does take work to achieve a new look with fresh paint, and most people don’t love the work that is required to get to those final results. With the time it takes to prime the walls, let them dry, then to paint them (then repeat if the walls currently are a bold or deep color), there is a lot of frustration and impatience that can surface during these makeovers.

It is for this very reason that many people consider using a paint and primer in one – also known as self-priming paint. The idea here is that the painter will only have to paint once (or at least with fewer coats), but still be able to take advantage of the benefits of both the primer and the paint. But how does the battle wage between paint and primer vs primer? Is it really the better way to go to use an all-in-one? Does being patient and using separate products still win as far as overall benefit and quality of work?

When to Use Traditional (and Separate) Primer

We must look at the main reason for the existence of primer: it is designed to prepare a surface for a new coat (or coats) of paint. First, if a surface has never been painted at any time in the past, such as in the case with new sheet rock, using a traditional primer is going to be essential. Another instance in which you would want to use separate primer and paint products would be if you are painting a glossy or slick surface with paint that is less glossy – when going from semi-gloss to flat, for example. The primer will help cover up any glare of the undercoating. If you’ll be painting over oil-based paint with latex or acrylic, you’ll want to first use a primer as well.

Ideal Situations for the Self-Priming Paint

If you’ll be painting a wall that already has paint on it, and it is not an extreme change in gloss or color, a paint-and-primer-in-one would work to your advantage. As for exteriors, exterior trim and facing that is already painted does very well with all-in-one products. Just remember that combining like finishes and like colors usually do well with self-priming paint. If you’re taking on more complex paint work, such as with industrial metal painting and auto detailing, you are not going to want to take this route but instead, you should opt for the standalone primer followed by paint.

If you’re not sure how to balance between paint and primer vs primer, be sure to give Freeland Painting a call! We can not only help you decide which path would be most suitable for your project, but we can also do the painting for you quickly, professionally, and beautifully – the right way, every time.

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