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What You Should Know About Primer

Have you ever looked at a project and wondered “do I really need to prime that?”   I have done this more times than I can count. Primer is really helpful and even though in most cases you can’t go wrong with applying it, you may be adding extra work if it’s not needed. Here are some tips to consider for what you should know about primer the next time you decide to start a painting project.



DIY How to Prime a Piece of Furniture

Step 1: Sand down your piece of furniture. Now it is time to prime!

Step 2: Mix your primer. I like to mix in Floetrol, as it helps to eliminate brush marks and helps the primer to go on smooth.

Step 3: Use long, even strokes back and forth with the grain of the wood.

Step 4: I have found it is easiest to split my priming in pieces. For this piece I painted the face of my drawers first, followed by the top and then sides. Once those areas are done, I like to pull out the drawers and paint the tops of the drawers followed by the sides. When that is complete I go back and prime the decorative molding and trim.

Allow at least 4 hours for your primer to dry before adding paint!


When to Use Primer

  1. Primer will help seal raw wood.  Not only will priming your raw wood make it so less paint is needed, it will also help to ensure your paint is even.
  2. It can seal in any old stains/odors on walls, furniture, and floors. This makes it a great buffer before painting and can eliminate unnecessary sanding.
  3. It can help paint stick to a surface like metal, plastic, and previously glossy finishes. This is a great help for updating items like kitchen appliances or light fixtures.
  4. If you are dealing with old furniture priming with an oil or lacquer based primer will stop the old wood from bleeding through your paint.


When Priming is Not Necessary

  1. If you have a wall or piece that has been previously painted and you are wanting a new color, color covers color better! There is no need to prime as paint sticks to paint. (With an exception if you are painting latex over oil if you need to prime your oil base paint)
  2. If you are wanting a piece of furniture to look “chippy” not priming can help your paint flake naturally.

Other Tips

  • My go to primer is Kilz Latex.
  • Kilz is very cost effective but it seems to do the job as good as other brands I have tried. I also really like their spray primer and I use this for small items that can be a pain to paint, like a brass chandelier or something very oddly shaped. It definitely makes it so much easier!
  • Use a straight primer instead of a primer and paint blend in one. This works much better. 
How to prime furniture
Happy Priming!





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