Priming New Drywall

Some people feel like drywall surfaces in new construction shouldn't need a layer of primer before it is painted. The fact is, however, paint will go on much more evenly and look better if you go to the trouble to apply a layer of primer to the wall first.

If you fail to do this step, the walls will soak up paint in different amounts depending on whether it is covering joint compound or sheet rock. For best results, prime the surface first.

Professional painters estimate that they spend more time preparing walls than they do painting them. In some cases they spend three hours preparing walls to every hour actually painting. So don't feel like priming is a waste of time.

In addition to primer, new walls need a light sanding before painting. This can be done with an electric sander and fine grained sandpaper. Or it can be done by hand.

Bargain Brand Primer vs. a Premium Brand

Is it worth the extra money to buy a premium brand of drywall primer, or is it adequate to use a bargain brand? After all, the bargain brands can cost half of what the name brands cost.

You can ask the painters you know how they feel about different primers. Chances are they would know if the bargain brands are adequate. It could be that it would take two coats of primer with a cheap brand to cover and prepare the surface as well as one coat of the more expensive primer.

Here is a good tip for getting the most mileage out of the drywall primer you choose. Have the store tint it to match the paint you plan to use. Using a darker hue?

Having some tint in the primer will help the paint cover the drywall in fewer coats. This way, your paint will cover better, and it may save you having to put on a second coat of paint. That could amount to a big savings in money and effort both.

What Kind of Primer Should I Choose?

One purpose of primer is to keep the drywall from soaking up too much of the paint. The right primer is essential for any job. Follow the recommendations of the drywall manufacturer, and see if the paint you intend to use includes any advice as well.

Chances are for new drywall, you will need a latex primer. Latex primers clean up easily with soap and water, and they only take about an hour to dry.

If you have stains or other abnormalities with your drywall, you might choose to use a stain-blocking water based primer. This might be advantageous if you are going to use the same can of primer to seal raw wood trim in the room.

Whichever type of primer product you choose, be aware that if you wait too long to prime and paint drywall, the wall can turn yellow and be even harder to make look nice. If this has happened, you will definitely want to use the stain-blocking variety of primer to prevent streaking or the stain bleeding through the final paint.

Again, choosing a good quality of primer will ensure the best surface possible for the paint you are going to use. The resins and and pigments in higher quality primers are of a better type and more appropriate amounts than those in cheaper primer.

See Also: Finishing Drywall Screws