Primers stick to hard to paint surfaces
Primers stick to hard to paint surfaces

Looking for an easy, affordable way to change the look of your home?  Painting is one of the least expensive ways to transform the look and feel of any room.  It’s also a project that even the most inexperienced do-it-yourselfer can do with confidence – and with thousands of colors from which to choose, it’s the perfect way to express your unique style and personality at a fraction of the cost of other home improvement projects.  Yet even experienced do-it-yourselfers sometimes neglect the first and most important step in achieving the perfect paint job.

Professional painters know that the key to a beautiful paint job isn’t buying the most expensive paint.  They know that one coat of primer and one coat of paint will give them a better, longer-lasting paint job than two coats of paint or paint and primer in one.  That’s why they prime first, and then paint. Here are some of the benefits of priming:

Priming saves you time and money. Primers are formulated to seal the surface – and when the surface is sealed, you use less paint.  No more multiple coats of paint to get an even, consistent finish.  If you tint a quality primer like Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3®, one coat of primer and one coat of paint is usually all you need for a beautiful paint job.  Just ask the paint desk to tint your primer toward the color of your paint.  It’s that simple! And, since a gallon of primer is less expensive than a gallon of paint, you’ll save money too.

Primers seal the surface
Primers seal the surface

Priming makes paint colors richer. Primers hide previous colors – even the darkest blues and deepest reds – and prevent them from showing through and changing the color of your paint.  Your paint colors will be more vibrant and beautiful if you prime first.

Primers block stains

Primers block stains. Most stains – water stains, crayon and marker, lipstick or nicotine – will bleed right through paint or paint and primer in one.  This is where primers earn their reputation: they seal in stains and prevent them from ruining your paint job.  New advanced technology water-base primers like Bulls Eye 1-2-3® PLUS take the guesswork out of primer selection because they seal all stains – even water stains – so you start your paint job with a clean canvas.

You can paint anything if you prime first. If you’ve ever tried to paint a slick surface like vinyl or plastic with paint alone, chances are it just didn’t stick.  Primers are formulated to have tenacious adhesion to all surfaces, so you can paint anything – even ceramic tile and fiberglass – when you use a primer as your first coat.

Primers hide dark colors
Primers hide dark colors

Primers make your paint job last longer. Primers prevent common paint problems like cracking, peeling and blistering and your paint will retain its original color longer, so you’ll have to paint less often.

For more helpful tips for a professional quality paint job – or for home improvement project ideas – visit

Editorial Contributors

Thomas Boni

Thomas Boni is Today’s Homeowner Media's Digital Content Director. He is an award-winning multimedia journalist, having served as editor-in-chief of various Alabama and Florida newspapers from 2006-2018. Thomas earned more than 30 regional, state and national journalism awards and accolades during his news career. He has a passion for engaging, fact-based content and a keen eye for detail. He joined Today's Homeowner Media in 2018 and received recognition on the Marquis Who's Who list in 2023. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at Spring Hill College in 2005.

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