What is paint primer and when to use it?

Primer might look like regular white paint, but it’s thicker and contains more pigment. Think of it as a base coat, providing a foundation that ensures a flawless finish.

Primer isn’t always required, but you may need it when:

  • Your surfaces are porous and textured. Without being primed properly, too much paint will be absorbed, and you’ll need more than two layers to get a desired result.
  • You are about to make a radical change in colour. Whether you want to go from dark to light walls, or the other way around – use primer.
  • Your surface is matte, and you want to go glossy. Or you’re done with super shiny and want to tone it down. Either way, primer is key.
  • You made several repairs using filler and sandpaper, and your surfaces are now “spotted” and imperfect. You need to cover up stains and colour variations before applying paint. Use primer.
  • Your walls are new and have not yet been painted. They could be drywall, skim coated drywall or plastered walls. A base layer of primer will help you save paint in the end.

Primer costs less than regular paint, so it’s generally a good idea to saturate and prep surfaces with primer before finishing with paint.