How Many Coats of Primer on New Drywall & Wood

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Primer is a compulsory material when it comes to painting. You can’t think of a painted wall without having a coat of primer on it.

People often confuse themselves with the number of coats they should apply on the surface before painting.

In this article, we are answering some of the most asked questions about primer.

Stay with us.

What is the Primer?

Primer is a substance like paint which is applied on the bare surfaces like wood, drywall or masonry wall before painting. It ensures better protection of the surface you are painting. Primer also makes the topcoat of the paint durable.

The basic task of the primer is to make a smooth and ideal surface for the paint. In simple words, primer is the undercoat and the paint is the top coat of a painting job.

Types of Primer

  1. Oil-based primer
  2. Latex primer
  3. Shellac primer

1. Oil Based Primer

Oil-based primers are widely used and easy to find. This type of primer is convenient for wood painting. If you need a primer that is mostly stain resistant, this is the one that you will love.

There is one thing for which oil-based primers are not appreciated widely. You have to wait 24 hours for drying out a coat of oil-based primer.

2. Latex primer

This type is popularly known as water-based primer. You will see everyone using it for its ease of use and fast-drying capability.

It goes with any kind of surfaces and can prime very well. This is specifically recommended for unfinished drywall.

3. Shellac Primer

Shellac primer is also a significant name in the industry. This is extremely stain and water-resistant and can smoothen up the surface very well.

One drawback that prevents most people from using this primer is its fume. On top of that, you can’t use this type everywhere which is possible with a latex primer.

Why Do You Need To Use Primer Before Painting

If you are planning to paint on drywall or wood, you have to apply primer before painting. Primer is the primary coating that stabilizes the surface and protects it better.

The primer is also necessary for getting a perfect bonding with the paint. Paint does not stick to the surface well without the primer.

Since primer coating is comparatively thick, it smoothens up surface very well. For this, you get a perfectly smooth surface after the paint.

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How Many Coats of Primer on New Drywall

In most of the cases, a coat of primer is enough for new drywall. If you see scratches or nail holes in the drywall, you can use extra primer on that.

But on the whole, you should not use more than a coat on new drywall. Some people are not satisfied with a coat of primer on the drywall. If you are one of them, you can use the second coat on it, but we do not recommend it to do. Instead, for repair and patching works, you should go for the best joint compound.

When you have to prime on unsanded drywall, then you should use 2 coat of primer on it. This will allow the unsanded porous surfaces to smoothen up and to get a perfectly finished paint.

How Many Coats of Primer on Wood

Bare wood needs 2 coats of primer. For wood, you should use an oil-based primer for better bonding. If you use water-based primer on wood, that will need an extra coat of primer sometimes.

However, oil-based primer takes longer time than the water-based primer to dry out. So, when applying oil-based primer, prepare yourself to wait for 24 hours before applying another coat of primer or paint.

In addition to that, wood is one of the porous materials that need primer. In between two coats, a light sanding is recommended for wood.

Or you can use woodturning tools set for making the wood look better than before!

Can You Use Latex Paint Over Oil Based Primer

Yes, you can use latex paint over oil-based primer. But remember one thing! You can’t use oil-based paint over latex primer. It will not stick to the surface perfectly and eventually crack.

How Long to Let Primer to Dry Before Painting

The answer depends upon the type you are using. Latex primer needs 30 to 60 minutes to dry out. You can apply another coat after waiting two to three hours.

When it comes to oil-based primer, this will take 24 hours to fully dry out.

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Final Words

As you end up reading this, you already know how many coats of primer do you need to apply and how much time you need to wait between primer and paint.

Though primer and paint are two similar types of products, you can not use them interchangeably.

If you have any questions unanswered by this article, feel free to leave it for us via the comment box below. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

1 thought on “How Many Coats of Primer on New Drywall & Wood”

  1. I had to repair 4 drywall seams going across my ceiling after I already primed and painted the ceiling with eggshell paint. I put a skim coat of joint compound on the seams (about 12″ wide) going from wall to wall and then only re-primed the 4 repaired areas. Should I re-prime the whole ceiling again so it all blends in? Should I re-paint the whole ceiling again or only the repaired spots? I only want to do this one last time and wanna be sure everything blends in together without any repairs showing through, thanks….


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