Textbook Painting Blog

A Primer on Exterior Primers

Posted by Michael Murray on May 4, 2011 3:48:00 PM

Most homeowners know that a quality, long-lasting paint job requires the surface to be clean, dry and dull. A paint job may even look good at first, but if the proper primer coat is not applied, the color may be uneven, stains and other imperfections in the surface may show through or the paint may peel off. If you're going to tackle your own exterior painting project, be sure you understand what a primer does so you can choose the best one for your substrate.

Textbook Painting Exterior Painting Primer

Primers accomplish three things (in varying degrees depending upon the primer chosen):

  • bonding
  • hiding
  • leveling qualities

A good primer will combat tough exterior problems such as tannin bleed, water damage discoloration, graffiti or efflorescence. If you are painting a surface that is down to the bare substrate, such as a metal front door, bare wood trim, or masonry foundation, a bonding primer is a must.

From Sherwin Williams, "It might cost you $1,000 extra at the start to use a good primer, but in the long run, you'll be glad you did. Think of it this way: It's not about the cost of primer, it's about the future labor and materials cost. Primers are good preventive medicine."

Here are some primers we commonly use:

Wood:

Sherwin William's Exterior Oil-Based Wood PrimerSherwin Williams Latex Wood Primer

Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer: Especially useful in blocking water discoloration and other stains. Most used on hardboard, rough-sawn siding and trim. Especially for use on redwood and cedar and wood with knots.

Exterior Latex Wood Primer: Provides a bonding coat but is not designed to block stains such as those caused by wood knots.Best used on fir, plywood and other softwoods.

 

Masonry:

Sherwin Williams Loxon Concrete & Masonry PrimerSherwin Williams PrepRite Block Filler

Loxon Concrete & Masonry Primer: Seals and adheres to concrete, brick, masonry and fiber cement siding. Fills pinholes and surface imperfections will giving the top coat and surface to bond to.

PrepRite Block Filler: For use on masonry, concrete and cement. Fills small cracks and holes to promote a more uniform finish. Espeially useful on cinder block.

 

Metal:

Sherwin Williams All Surface Primer

•All Surface Enamel Primer (Oil & Latex): Provides a durable bonding coat to many surfaces such as aluminum and steel. Works great on metal front doors or metal railings.

 

Specialty Primer:

XIM Peel Bond

•XIM Peel-Bond: Self-leveling primer that is applied very thick to achieve a level and uniform appearance after the latex top-coat. This primer is especially useful on older homes with a lot of old, cracked, peeling paint. Everyone knows the uneven appearance that can occur on an older home after peeling off failing paint– Peel-Bond is the solution.

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