3 Problems Paint Primer Can Solve

Most home DIY-ers know that if you want to turn your ivory walls red, you’d be best served priming the walls first. Paint primer has other uses in your home, too — things you should consider the next time you get an itch to change up the colors in your home.

1. Mildew

It’s true. The very paint on your walls can help you reduce bacteria and the chances of mildew and mold in bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture, steam and evaporation are common. Because paint is porous, moisture can seep through to the walls beneath and not only cause the paint to peel and bubble, which is unattractive, it can lead to mold and mildew.

Vapor-barrier primers are formulated specifically to minimize moisture seeping through the paint to the walls — and to prevent mold and mildew before it grows with a combination of mildewcide and anti-microbial additives.

Bonus hint: if mold and mildew are already a concern, make sure you eliminate it at its source before painting over it.

2. Stains

If you’ve ever had a leak, you’ve seen that cloudy rust-colored ring that water damage can leave on your walls. Stain-blocking primers will not only cover the stain, they will seal it and prevent it from bleeding through to your brand new paint. Smoke and grease can also create stains that may ghost themselves through your new paint job if not properly sealed.

3. Shiny Surfaces

Special primers called “bonding primers” mean that you can paint just about anything, even surfaces on which, in the past, paint was unlikely to stick or stay. Glass, formica and tile are just some of the surfaces you can paint if you first use bonding primer. Generally speaking, bonding primer is not well suited for exterior surfaces, as they are particularly vulnerable to the elements.

Keep your eye out for “self-priming” paints, which have come a long way since their introduction. Dutch Boy, Ace’s Royal, Benjamin Moore’s Aura and PPG’s Pure Performance have all received good reviews for coverage and quality — as well as being low VOC paints. For reviews on more paint brands, check out Interior Paints That Perform from Good Housekeeping.

For more on priming and painting, check out these resources:

Reviews and Product Guides

Tips and Tricks

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