This post is one in a series on remodeling small bathrooms as well as one within the sub-series on your options for bathroom remodeling materials. To access either of the lead posts, please select either of the links in the prior sentence.
Primer is not “just” the layer you apply before you paint.
Primer serves specific beneficial purposes.
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Most specifically, primer is the barrier and adhesion layer between the surface being painted and the paint.
I’ll use wood as an example. If you apply paint directly to wood it sucks it up like a sponge. A layer of primer applied first seals the wood and creates a surface that is paint ready.
This is why you can apply primer to a dark color, then paint a light color over it, and no longer see any evidence of the dark color. This also applies to the covering of various forms of stains that might bleed thru the paint layer.
This is not the same as the barrier function, but they are related. Paint does not adhere well to various surfaces, including wood and drywall. Primer does. Primer is also formulated in such a way that paint adheres well to it.
Is there a best primer?
The best primers vary per the type of surface you are painting. Metal primers and wood primers are different. When talking about bathrooms, we are painting either drywall or wood.
For these surfaces I do have a preferred primer and it’s the one in the image. The Zinzer 123 Bullseye. I’ve had great success that specific brand of primer.
Does paint/primer in one work?
I’ve been told it does, but it hasn’t for me. To be fair I have not tried it again for the past 4 years or so and maybe they’ve gotten better.
Painting takes so much time that I personally would rather know what I’m doing is going to work, and I did not have that experience with the only two times I tried the primer/paint combo products.
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