How Many Coats of Primer Do You Need? Painters, You Need to Know This!

For me, painting the walls of my home is the best way to change its look instantly. That is why I decided to repaint my walls a few months ago. I thought painting is easy but what I did not realize is that there is a science behind it.

You see, I decided to paint my own walls, thinking that it would be a lot cheaper. Since I were merely repainting my walls, I felt that a single coat of primer would do. Well, it wasn’t enough, and I ended up with patchy, discolored walls.

So how many coats of primer did I need to paint my walls? How many coats of primer do you need to paint yours? Put on your white uniform and discover these simple tricks I have learned the hard way.

What is a Primer and Why Should You Use It?

Many people are not aware of the fact that applying primer before painting is essential. Why? Well, here are some reasons:

Primer improves the adhesion of paint to the wall’s surface.

This paint product is designed to improve the adhesion of paint to all types of surfaces—even on tiles and vinyl surfaces.

Primer extends the life of your paint job.

By applying a coat or two of primer before painting, you can prevent common paint issues like peeling, blistering, and cracking. As a result, the quality and color of your paint will last longer.

Primer helps make paint colors look a lot richer.

Applying a primer conceals its previous color (even the dark ones), letting the new paint colors shine through.

Primer conceals all types of stains.

If your walls already have stains (water, nicotine, crayons, and the likes), a primer can help conceal them. There are now advanced technology water-based paint primers that have been formulated to block out all stains so you can start with a clean canvass for painting.

How Many Coats of Primer is Recommended?

Honestly, I already knew the benefits of using a primer. I assumed that I only need one coat of primer. But based on my discolored walls, that is not the case. So how many coats of primer do you need to achieve the benefits mentioned above?

In general, you would need only one to two coats of primer for your walls, however, to determine the exact number, you would need to consider a few factors—the type of primer that you will use, wall material, and paint color.

When to Use One Coat of Primer

Here are some of the instances when you would need only one coat of primer:

When you are painting over white walls.

Since you have no dark colors to conceal, you would need only one coat of primer for this purpose. If the white walls have stains, make sure to opt for a water-based primer.

When you are using a tinted primer.

These days, you can now use a primer that is already imbued with various shades. If you wish to change the color of your walls, simply buy and use a primer that has a tone similar to the color of paint that you plan on using.

If you use this type of primer and even plan on making dramatic changes to the colors of your wall, you would need only one coat.

You may also try asking the paint company associate to bring the shade of your primer up to 50% of your new paint color. With this simple color adjustment, you will need one coat of paint.

When to Use Two Coats of Primer

Here are some of the situations that would require the use of two coats of primer:

When you plan on painting a lighter hue over a darker shade.

This kind of dramatic transition would require the use of two coats of primer. If you use only one layer of primer, there is a tendency that the darker shade will peek through.

The best type of primer to use in this situation is the high-hide primer. It is formulated to conceal the original dark shade of the walls.

When you are painting on unfinished plaster or drywall.

If the walls that you plan on painting on has never been primed, it will be a lot more porous than the other types of walls. Painting on porous walls will lead to blotches because different parts of the walls will absorb paint at different rates.

It is best to use two coats of primer for these types of walls. The first coat of primer will be soaked up by the wall instantly. To replenish the primer that was soaked up by the wall, you would need a second coat.

If you are painting on drywall, use a high-build drywall primer-sealer. For plaster walls, an oil-based stain-concealing primer to prevent the bleeding of paint.

When you are painting on wooden walls.

This type of walls is a lot more porous than drywall or plaster walls and would also require two coats of primer.

When choosing a primer, opt for an oil-based one. This is because this type of primer contains higher amounts of solids which can fill the pores. As a result, you will have a level surface, flawless walls and evenly distributed color once the paint dries.

To know how to properly apply wall primer, please check out this video:

Conclusion

There is no denying the fact that applying primer before painting is a must. But how many coats of primer do you need? The answer is one to two.

You can use only one coat of primer when you are painting over white walls or when you are using a tinted primer. But if you work on unfinished drywall, plaster or wood walls and if you plan on turning a darker wall into a lighter one, you will need to apply two coats of paint.

Do you have any other suggestions on how many coats of primer to use? If you do, please leave a comment below!

This website was created and is supported by a person who has been in the business of working with power tools, dedicated to home improvement projects both professionally and for the do it yourself type of person.

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