Why is Priming Before Painting Important?

ECOS 03/05/2024

Have you had less than stellar results from past painting projects? Did the finish not come out as vibrant as you hoped and have that beautiful, new glow you expected? If you skipped the important step of priming the surface first, that’s probably why. Priming before painting is very important and today we’re sharing why – as well as quick tips for how to do it with a zero-VOC* primer.

* Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 11, 12, & 14 days for classroom and office use). Learn more about VOCs and our commitment to healthier paints here.

If you have stains on the walls or if you’re painting bare metal it may seem obvious that priming is important, but it’s just as important when you’re painting new drywall or plaster. Likewise, an older piece of furniture is going to look much better if you take the time to prime before painting.

Primer serves three main purposes:

  • First, it blocks stains and wood resins from bleeding through.
  • Second, it gives you the best chance for one-coat coverage for the paint topcoat.
  • Third, and most importantly, it improves paint adhesion, which greatly extends the life of the topcoat. Priming also helps bring out the true color that you have spent so much time trying to decide on. Your best chance at achieving that wonderful new color is by not being too hasty and taking the time to do it right! You’ll be happy you did!

Luckily, adding primer into your painting project is not going to make it more difficult, it just takes a little bit more time. Here are some quick tips for how to use it:

  • After your surface is prepped – meaning clean, dry, and dust-free – you’re ready to apply your primer.
  • ECOS Wall Primer is the perfect product for drywall and plaster. Use a brush to “cut in” the area being painted by applying it about four inches from the edge all around the room.
  • Then use a roller in a “W” motion to spread the primer evenly out to the edges of where you cut in. You don’t need to wait for your “cut in” lines to dry before using your roller – they will dry together and you won’t be able to see the difference between the two.
  • Depending on the room conditions this will dry in between one and four hours. If you see areas that look significantly different than the rest of the surface you may want to do a second coat, but usually only one is necessary and then you’re ready to paint. This small investment of time is going to make your project look far better, which should make you happier – so it’s a win-win situation!

For surfaces that need a little more help (like rusted metal, rust staining, tannin staining from hardwoods such as oak and mahogany, water staining on plaster walls & ceilings, and many other "difficult to get rid of" stains), ECOS Universal Primer works wonders. For these situations, you definitely need to prime first or those stains will come through your top coat no matter how many coats you apply. You should also use this on older pieces of furniture that might have multiple coats of paint on them. The primer will help create a uniform base so that the topcoat doesn’t result in a dirty, dull finish.

When you are using the Universal Primer, similar steps should be followed when applying.

  • If metal is rusty, make sure you sand it first. Otherwise, make sure the surface is clean, dry, and dust free.
  • ECOS Universal Primer should be applied in a uniform, thin layer using a brush or roller.
  • Once it is dry (which usually takes an hour or two), check to see if it covered the stains sufficiently. If you see yellowing or discoloration around stains or knot holes in wood, you should do a second coat. If not, you’re ready to paint!

Have any questions about priming or ECOS Primers? Let us know in the comments – we’re happy to help!

CATEGORIES Tips & Tricks