Do You Need To Use Exterior Paint Primer?

A number of times when homeowners consider painting the exterior of their houses, they pay a lot attention of the type of paint to use and the color that should be used to make the house look nice and shiny from the outside, but they often forget one of the most crucial things that will make their paint more durable and long lasting – exterior paint primer. The fact of the matter is that exterior paint primer is as important as the actual paint to ensure high quality of the paint. Choosing the right type of primer is very important for the exterior paint of your house and this article will tell more about the importance of choosing the right exterior paint primer.

Primer is always applied on the walls before the actual paint and it functions as a sealant on surfaces which include the siding and also provides the base for the paint. Since primer actually covers the walls before the paint, it blurs all the imperfections by covering up the stains that may be present on the walls and also helps the paint to appear on the walls and bonds with them more strongly. If you are planning to apply a lighter shade of paint on the exterior walls of your house, applying a primer before coating the walls with paint is highly recommended.

Types of Primers and their Uses

There are three types of primer which can be used on the exterior walls and have been designed especially for the outside walls of any building. These are latex primer, alkyd primer and a special primer which is called stain killing primer sealers.

Latex Primers

Out of the three types of primers which are used for exterior walls latex primers are best for the surfaces which are hard for instance plaster drywall and concrete. The best thing about these primers is that they dry out very quickly and owing to their water soluble capabilities they can easily be cleaned with a mixture of soap and water.

Alkyd Primers or Oil Based Primers

Unlike latex primers which are water based, alkyd primers are oil based and take a lot of time to dry out. These primers are ideal for wooden surfaces as they tend to penetrate and ensure great protection for the wooden surfaces. Owing to their oil based composition these primers require a little effort when it comes to cleaning them. In case of alkyd primers you will require mineral spirits or paint thinners and cleaning brushes to clean the surfaces.

Stain Killing Exterior Paint Primers

Stain killing exterior paint primers are used over wooden surfaces which have natural imperfections such as knots and other imperfections which appear on bare wood. These primers are also used on water stains which sometimes appear after bleeding through ordinary primers and make unsightly marks to appear on the surfaces which have a fresh paint job done. While they are more expensive than other primers they still provide the best solutions for surfaces which often have issues with damage and stains.

Saving Money and Time with Exterior Paint Primers

Exterior paint primers are helpful to provide protection to surfaces against environmental factors. If you have any type of wooden surfaces in the exterior of your walls than it is recommended that you choose to coat your walls with a primer before using the actual paint coat over it. Primers are recommended for all types wooden surfaces be it a vertical siding (like board and batten) or a lapped siding. With a protective coat of primer, your walls will be left exposed to environmental factors such as mold, mildew and rot and you may have a number of problems which arise with paint failure.
Wooden surfaces have a tendency to absorb liquids which is also true for paints, so if you just coat a wooden surface with paint you may not be able to achieve an equal finish as a lot of your paint will be absorbed by the wood. Owing to this absorbing tendency of wood, you will be left with a chipped layer of paint and there will also be a lot of visible grain which means that the final look will not be nice and smooth. Naturally, you will be inclined to coating that surface with more paint to give it an even finish which will require a lot more paint and will be more expensive; a coat of primer is a more affordable option.

So, if you are looking for a cost effective solution to your paint problems, a coat of primer will save you a lot more cost than many layers of paint. Primers are not only cheaper than paints; they also cover damages, stains and imperfections on various surfaces in a much better manner than paint. They are also suitable for a number of types of textures and you are sure to find something which is best for the type of surface that you are dealing with. If you are planning to re-paint the exterior walls of your house, put some thought into getting a good quality primer and aim for a durable finish.

Priming the exterior walls of your house

The standard procedure for painting the exterior walls of your house is to coat them with a layer of primer before applying a coat or two of paint. This procedure is mainly used for walls which require a lot work and have considerable damage caused to their surfaces; if you are considering a re-paint only because the wall seems to be duller than it was a couple years ago than your best option is to simply get it coated with a single layer of acrylic paint over a base coat of primer. This will provide enough protection to walls which are not damaged and only require paint to enhance their appearance. In case of walls which have some areas with more damage and others with seem in a better condition, you will only be required to prime on the damaged areas instead of coating the entire wall with primer. In case the walls you are planning to re-paint have stains which cannot be removed (these stains may include rust stains), you can use a stain blocking primer which will cover unsightly stains and knots which are sometimes present on wooden surfaces.

Before you begin priming your walls for re-painting them, make sure that you choose the right primer which is according to the texture of your walls otherwise you will be wasting a lot the product on a surface for which it is not suitable. The primer that you are using and the topcoat that you have chosen should also be compatible with each other. You need to discuss about the right options with your supplier who will be able to guide you about the products that you should use; focus on quality and affordability. Also read the labels of the products carefully so you can make the right choice.

Earlier in this article we have discussed the types of primers that are available and the surfaces on which they should be used for best results. However, using primers on every wall and surface is not necessary; there are some newer products which can be used instead of a exterior wall paint primer.

Multi Purpose Primers

With multipurpose primers you will not have to worry excessively about the type of surface that you are using the primer on. These primers are designed in a way that they are compatible to a number of types of surfaces. However you need to be careful when option for one these products as the manufacturers and sellers sometimes try to oversell these products and while they are good most surface, it is not necessary that they will be equally good on the types of surfaces. So o word of caution is to make sure that you read the label of the product that you are buying so you are sure that it is suitable for the purpose that you intend to use it for.

Paint and Primer in One

These are relatively newer products and have taken the market by storm as they make the job of painting walls a lot easier than people think. While a number of people are going crazy over these products, they are yet to be tested by time. A rule of thumb when it comes to going for one of these products is to choose only ones manufactured by the most popular and trustworthy paint manufacturers. Also make sure to read the label to be sure that you are buying the right product for your intended use.

Summing up, exterior wall paint primers are recommended to be used on a number of surfaces especially the ones which have the tendency to be absorbed by the surface like wood. If this is your first time to do something of this sort on your won, it is advisable that you stick to professional advice instead of experiment with an over whelming range of products that are available in the market.


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