Benjamin Moore Primer - what type of primer should I use for my home - San Antonio local paint store

What kind of primer should i use?

What is the best type of primer to use on my home in San Antonio?

Benjamin Moore Primer - what type of primer should I use for my home - San Antonio local paint store

There are 3 basic types of primers: oil-based, latex and pigmented shellac primer. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and works best on certain surfaces and in certain parts of your painting project in San Antonio, Texas.

Oil-based primers and paints have been an industry standard for decades. These primers work with both oil paints and latex paints, making them very versatile and applicable to a wide variety of surfaces. Wood (painted or unpainted), steel and other metals, and surfaces with existing paint, such as interior and exterior walls are ideal surfaces for oil-based primers.

Many oil-based primers are good “stain killers” and prevent stains from showing through your new coats of paint. They are good for blocking stains on your walls from ink, nicotine and water.  Kilz is a very popular item and has brand recognition.

Oil-based primers are ideal for interior and exterior unfinished or bare wood because they seal the porous surface of wood, enabling the coat of paint to better cover the surface. They stop tannins, released from woods, such as cedar or redwood, from bleeding through the surface of the paint. They also prevent or slow down paint peeling, cracking and blistering.

A drawback of oil-based primers (as with oil-based paints), they are often slow-drying and release high amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful to people in high concentrations and with prolonged exposure. They also require that you use harsh thinners and solvents to clean brushes and applicators, and have to be disposed of carefully and properly. Oil-based primers should not be used on masonry.

Latex primers are water-based and ideal for prepping unfinished drywall for painting. They are more flexible and fast drying, and are less brittle than oil-based primers, making them less susceptible to peeling and cracking. They are also good for priming soft wood (such as pine), brick and concrete and galvanized metals.

Latex primers are good for drywall because they even out the surface of the wallboard and any joint compound applied to it, and any areas that have been patched or repaired. They also can cover and seal in previous minor stains from smoke, lipstick, crayon, etc., but are not as effective at covering stains as oil- and shellac-based primers.

These primers are water-soluble and so are easy to clean. They also come in low- or no-VOC formulas, making them a healthier alternative to oil-based and shellac primers.

Shellac Primer
Shellac has been used for centuries to seal wood and other surfaces. Good for interior paint jobs, shellac-based primers are possibly the best stain-blocking primers, working well on severe water and smoke damage to walls and surfaces — they even seal in smells from smoke damage. They also are excellent at preventing normal water, rust and smoke stains, as well as wood tannins from bleeding through new paint. They work well on wood, metal, plaster, and even plastic, and are fast drying and highly adhesive. They also can be used with both oil-based and latex paints.

The drawback to using shellac-based primers is that they are not as versatile as latex or oil and they give off more fumes. They require that you use denatured alcohol to thin them and clean applicators.


What is primer?

Primer is a paint product that allows finishing paint to adhere much better than if it were used alone. It is designed to adhere to surfaces and to form a binding layer that is better prepared to receive the paint. Compared to paint, a primer is not intended to be used as the outermost durable finish and can instead be engineered to have improved filling and binding properties with the material underneath

Primer helps prep, seal, and protect the wall you’re about to paint, leading to better-looking exterior and interior walls.  Primer also helps reduce the amount of paint you will have use since it goes on before you paint.  New drywall musts be primed before you  paint or you will use much more paint (and money) than necessary.

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