It seems that the waiting time between primer and paint is something that experts just can’t agree on. So, if you’re looking for a universal answer on how long to wait between primer and paint, don’t expect to find one. But, don’t panic! I can help you figure out the best waiting time for your primer.

What Is a Paint Primer?

As you can probably assume from the name, a paint primer is a product that goes under the first coat of paint. It can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces, and its main function is to prepare the wall for paint.

A high-quality primer will make the wall smoother so that the paint glides on the surface easily. What’s more, this product will extend the life of the paint and provide additional protection to the wall.

It all sounds great, but do you actually need a paint primer? Is spending more money and time on the additional product really worth it? Well, it depends on your particular situation.

In case your walls are in good shape and clean, you don’t have to use a primer. Same goes if you’re just refreshing the existing color on your walls.

In addition, there are paints that have self-priming abilities, which will reduce the need for a primer. However, you’ll still need a primer if your walls aren’t in the best condition. That way, you’ll make sure that the paint goes on smoothly.

Situations When Paint Primer Is a Must

If you notice similarities between your wall and the situations I’m about to mention, then the paint primer is a must for you!

The surface isn’t even

In case the wall that you want to paint is uneven and porous, prepping it with a primer is a must. Furthermore, if you’re planning to paint wood, bricks or even new drywall, you should definitely consider buying a paint primer to even out the surface.

Primers are important in these cases because the paint can get into the pores and you’ll need much more time for the whole process. What’s more, there’s a huge chance that the paint won’t look good even after you spend hours trying to make it perfect.

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Changing a dark wall color to a lighter one

Covering a darker color is not the easiest thing to do. That is why you’ll need a primer that will make the process as quick as possible.

A lot of brands make amazing, white primers that will cover a dark color in just one or two layers. If you need help with figuring out which one to choose, I have an article about the best primers and paint to cover dark walls that might interest you.

The wall has a glossy base

In case the wall has a glossy base coat, there’s a huge chance that the paint won’t stick to it. That is why a primer is a must in these situations.

Rust-Oleum, Flat Gray Primer 1980502 Painters Touch Quart Latex
  • Use for a variety of indoor and outdoor project...
  • Water-based acrylic formula is low odor, resist chips...
  • Covers up to 120 sq ft and dries to touch in 30 minutes...
  • Flat finish minimizes surface imperfections, goes on...

How Long to Wait Between Primer and Paint

The drying time of a primer depends on various factors. The first one is the level of humidity in the house. In case it’s higher than recommended, your primer will probably need a bit more time to dry out. So, you should make sure that you have the air conditioning on before you start with the whole process.

In addition, it’s always best to read the instructions that the primer came with. There are primers that will dry out in an hour or two, while others need up to 24 hours. Thus, you should check out the instructions before you apply the primer.

In most cases, latex primers don’t take more than an hour to dry out. However, you should wait three to four hours before applying a layer of paint.

On the other hand, an oil-based primer will need a longer time to dry out. You should give it 24 hours to make sure that it’s completely ready for another coat.

If you have time, I advise you to always give a primer at least 12 hours to cure, no matter which type it is. You’ll spend a bit more time on the whole painting process, but you’ll ensure that your new wall color is perfect and long-lasting.

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