Which Type of Drywall Primer is Best?

You’ve got the gypsum board up, and now the time has come to choose a drywall primer. Specifically formulated, primers are types of paint utilized to smooth surfaces and ready them for painting. It’s important to buy a good primer for drywall that will seal and fill small holes and pores to make a smooth surface for painting. But how would you know which type of drywall primer that’s best for your needs?

Because of the need to fill in tiny depressions, holes, pores in the gypsum board, and other imperfections of a soon-to-be-painted surface, primers are used. Their high filling capability – due to a high solid (pigment) content -makes primers a must-have before painting. They also have low resin content, making the primers film surface course, which is a very good surface for the paint to adhere to.

Different types of drywall primer

There are many different kinds of drywall primers, and not all of them are good for every job.

Not Sealer

Some people confuse drywall primers with sealers. It’s important to differentiate between the two. Sealers do just the opposite of what primers do. With a high resin content and low pigment content, sealers create a barrier resistant to paint.

Choosing the right kind of drywall primer is important, as well. The decision lies in where the drywall is and how much moisture there is to be dealt with. Although latex primers are known to have enhanced “breathing” characteristics and to dry much faster, oil/alkyd primers penetrate the gypsum board easier and stick to it better than primers with a latex additive.

Fight Moisture Problems

Oil or alkyd drywall primers far exceed latex primers in their ability to prevent trapped moisture from occurring between them and the drywall, a leading cause of paint peeling, cracking, and blistering. Oil or alkyd primers do take longer to dry, so it’s important to ensure plenty of time between the application of this type of primer and the actual paint.

Some experts claim it takes up to two weeks for oil-based primer and/or paint to adequately “cure.” If you decide to use an oil or alkyd primer, you can also use either an oil-based paint or a latex paint. The reverse, however, is not true. Do not use an oil-based paint over a latex-based primer.

Priming gypsum board drywall must be done; there’s no getting around it. So, in a nutshell, buy the highest quality primer you can afford – either latex or oil/alkyd – and apply it to your drywall well before painting. Not only will it look better, but you’ll also have lower long-term maintenance costs by not having to repaint sooner than if you bit the bullet and primed.

Preventing Yellowing

Speaking of painting drywall, here’s something you might want to keep in mind. You shouldn’t let drywall sit too long unpainted after it’s been taped and sanded, particularly if its surface will have any direct sunlight falling on it for any time.

Drywall-facing paper can fade or yellow, and it may cause a slight bleeding-through and show a noticeable streaking effect. If the facing paper has yellowed at all, you should seal the drywall with top-quality latex stain-resistant paint prior to putting on the primer coat.

Final Thought

Some people are sure that you need to use a primer on walls before painting them every time, while others think that a primer isn’t necessary. A drywall primer makes the surface of the wall smooth and even so that the paint can go on top of it.

Using a wall primer helps the paint stick better to the wall and makes the paint coat stronger and last longer. Knowing the different types of drywall primers is a good start, but you need to know more to choose the best drywall primer.

Author Aaron Walker

Written by: Aaron Walker

I have extensive construction knowledge and I always stay up to date on current events and new technologies and hope to share my knowledge and expertise here. I am focused on green technologies and home improvements that include green living ideas.

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