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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Advice from the Pros:

Primerless Paints

'Can I REALLY skip the priming?'. . . that's a question a lot of homeowners have about so-called 'paint + primer' products. There are several interior and exterior waterborne paints that have self priming properties on the market--including Benjamin Moore's low-VOC Aura and Regal Select paint--promising one to two coat coverage, over most surfaces when used without a primer. Using products like these, you can expect to cut painting time in half on some projects. As a general rule, these paint + primer products are a good choice when you're repainting work in good condition.

Primerless paint

Paint and primer play very different roles, of course: resins in primers are designed to adhere to the substrate and seal it; paints have more solids and go on thicker creating a protective 'skin.' These roles can be combined over some substrates, but others need a separate primer, so the substrate and current conditions should drive your decision on whether a primer is needed or not.

Bleeding woods like redwood or cedar, for example, have tannins that will react with water-based paints, so they should always be prepped with a primer designed specifically for tannin-blocking. Water-stained surfaces are also tricky, and need sealing with an appropriate stain-blocking primer. Glue residue from wall-coverings can interfere with adhesion, so walls that have had wallpaper removed from them should always be primed. If you're painting over bare ferrous metal, moisture in the paint can react to iron in the metal and cause flash rusting, so these surfaces should always be coated with an oil-based primer designed for metal. Even galvanized metals perform best when protected with a corrosion-resistant primer such as Benjamin Moore's P04 Acrylic Metal Primer.

As you can see, there are plenty of exceptions to the 'no-primer' promise, so check labels and technical data sheets (usually available on the manufacturer’s website) carefully to find out the limitations of the product that you're using. Self-priming paints can be a real time saver when re-painting a room a new color, painting wood trim (non bleeding woods), and even on new sheetrock or repair work.  Every project has its own recommendation, so before deciding to prime or not, read the label instructions to assess if your job fits into a self-priming category. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer for their professional recommendation.


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Primer is primer and paint is paint, primer has a speciffic job, to promote better adhearance of your top coat, to promote uniform color of your top coat, and to block out any stains from bleeding through your top coat, creating a base coat for your top coat.

We have taken wallpaper off a laundry room wall. This was the second paper on the wall. There are imperfections in the wall even though the wall has been cleaned, primed, spackled some and sanded.
We are still hoping to be able to paint the walls.
Is there a particulas paint that would be best to use for cover? If a plain paint is not as good as we would like, is there s texture paint that would be good to use?
Although this is a laundry room it has a toilet and shower in it and is used by many guests.

A primer is not required as long as the surface is properly prepared. Surfaces to be painted must be clean, dry and free of dirt, mildew, oil, or grease. Lightly sand, for better adhesion any glossy or shiny surfaces.

Benjamin Moore at one time had a primer SPS. Speedy Primer Sealer which was the best I have ever used to cover water stains. Is it still available? if not which is best for covering these stains?

Can Aura be used over oil based paint without priming? We are painting a mural at a school that has used oil based paints previously and were wondering if we can skip the primer.

Your best option in using a latex primer (which will have lower VOC's than an oil) would be Benjamin Moore Fresh Start® 100% Acrylic Superior Primer (046)
A premium-quality, 100% acrylic interior and exterior high-performance primer that combines many of the qualities desired in a primer: high hiding, excellent adhesion (more forgiving over difficult substrates), blister resistance, quick drying, spatter proof, minimal odor, and excellent flow and leveling. Additionally, this product is effective in sealing and suppressing most bleeding-type stains, including crayon, graffiti, grease marks, water stains, cedar and redwood bleed, asphalt, creosote, rust, and smoke. In cases of severe bleeding, a solvent-based primer should be used to prevent stains from reappearing. Not recommended for sealing knots or over pine sap.

Can you recommend anything that would be low or zero VOC to prime the cabinets and paneling?

You are correct. For these substrates an oil-based primer would be recommended. This would be seal the surfaces and block and staining that could potentially bleed through a waterborne paint.

Would primerless paint be a good choice for kitchen cabinets and old (non solid board) wood paneling? Everything I've researched implies these surfaces need oil based primer.

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