The benefits of using a primer

The benefits of using a primer

Using a primer before your final coats of paint has many benefits. The most important benefit of using a primer is to ensure proper adhesion of the paint to the substrate. Primers also improve the final aesthetics of your finish, providing it with a more consistent colour and sheen level, and they ensure a longer lasting finish.

The use of a primer tinted to the same colour as your top coats provides an extra layer of the final colour, strengthening the hiding power of the paint over the substrate. The primer also assists to ensure a more consistent finish as it provides a smooth, consistent surface for the final layers of paint. Therefore, the final sheen level and overall look are more consistent when a primer is used.

A primer will also increase the practicality and longevity of your finish as it ensures proper adhesion of the paint to the substrate/surface. Some primers are even specifically made to ensure adhesion of paint on specified substrates, such as ROCKCOTE MgO Board Primer.

Primers also reduce the suction of the top paint coats into the substrate. If a primer is not used, part of the top coat of paint soaks into the substrate/surface, which therefore reduces the total thickness or final film build of paint visible. The higher the total film build (up to the recommended maximum thickness) of the paint on a substrate, the more aesthetically pleasing the finish is. A higher film build also has higher crack bridging ability, reducing the likelihood of minor cracks appearing in the final surface over time.

The use of primers on large broad wall areas reduces the possible inconsistencies in the finish that can be particularly noticeable on large surface areas in certain lighting conditions.

ROCKCOTE Primers are designed to be more cost effective than top coats. Over time, the aesthetics of the final finish also look better for longer, strengthening the quality of the painters’ work and word of mouth for their business.

ROCKCOTE acrylic primers also dry quickly, ensuring an efficient application process.

Choosing a Primer

There are a couple of key points you need to keep in mind when choosing a primer:

  • What are you painting (what is your substrate)?
  • What product are you using over the primer?

The project substrate will have the greatest impact on which primer is required to provide optimum adhesion and longevity. If you are starting from a bare substrate, you will need to use a primer that provides the best adhesion of the final coats to that substrate (refer to the ROCKCOTE Systems Guide for a primer suitable for your application). If you are painting over another product, such as a previously painted substrate or render, you will also need to choose the primer that provides the correct adhesion over these surfaces.

The product that you are using over the primer will also have an impact on which primer is suitable. For example, if you are intending to render over the primer (i.e. with a Coloured Render), the primer needs to have grit, such as ROCKCOTE Texprime, to enable the render to ‘grab’ onto the primer and not slip. However, if you are intending to paint over the primer, you will need a non-textured primer, such as ROCKCOTE Masonry Primer, to ensure a smooth, consistent paint finish.

To find out more about the ROCKCOTE primer range, head to our Primers page.

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