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The Importance of Primer on a Commercial Building

A building’s interior doesn’t have to deal with the temperature extremes or harsh outdoor weather that the exterior does.  So it’s easy to assume you don’t have to take the same care and attention when repainting inside a commercial building as you do with the outside and to speed up the process by skipping the primer coat!

It’s important to note that interior paint coatings are designed to reach their full potential only when used on top of a primer. Though while it isn’t always necessary to use primer from the same brand as your top coat, a base coat is a good idea for longevity and create a more ‘polished’ finish.

Why Primer is Important

During the curing process, which lasts anywhere from a few hours to 2-3 days, the chemicals in the primer and topcoat interact in carefully calibrated ways. This strengthens the performance quality of the topcoat and often improves appearance as well. Importantly, it ensures the treated substrate gets maximum protection.

The other reasons why it’s best not to skip using a primer on a commercial coating project are as follows:

  • A primer creates the ideal conditions for paint to work on a surface, enabling more uniform distribution and better adherence. This is especially useful for porous surfaces which might otherwise fail to take paint correctly. A primer should always be used for new drywall painting and repainting after drywall repairs. Uneven surfaces and those that have not been painted before will also benefit from a coat of primer.
  • Superior adherence means the coating is more effective when dealing with environmental pressures such as moisture, which can affect the interior of any building. The primer’s chemical composition reacts to create a firm binding layer, typically through binder-rich resin ingredients. Even hard, glossy surfaces that typically reject paint will be much easier to work with primer, helping to prevent blistering and peeling.
  • Existing stains can easily bleed through many kinds of paint, even when several coats are applied. Some ground-in odours, like cigarette smoke, have the same capabilities. Primer is the ideal solution in tough cases like these as it blocks stains and other contamination in the lower layers of the substrate and prevents them from reaching the surface in the future. Ongoing maintenance to stop future stains becomes much easier, too.
  • A coat of primer can also defend against moisture which is a perennial problem that can cause serious performance degradation. It is most troublesome in bathrooms and kitchens, where humidity tends to be high for prolonged times throughout the day. Humidity can even activate stains and make them appear more prominent. Primer guards against these effects and can also reduce the development of mould and mildew that flourish in warmth and wet.
  • Primers ensure the best longevity and durability for your topcoat. Because paint goes on more smoothly and spreads better, project and maintenance costs can be reduced. Primer is also an effective way to ready the surface for a colour change, particularly when you are going from a dark colour to a lighter one. Primer can even be tinted, making it more compatible with your target colour and potentially reducing the amount of paint you need.

In short, a primer gives you the results of two coatings in one, demonstrating performance qualities that you might associate with a premium waterproofing, rustproofing, or antimicrobial product.  So far from saving time and money, if you skip your primer you risk spending more in the long run due to the need to re-coat your surfaces more regularly. Plus the finished job will never look as good without a coat of primer for the reasons mentioned above.

Industrial and Commerical Coatings from IPS

At IPS Paint Supplies we offer a huge range of paints and coatings for internal and external applications, including primers and top coats from leading brands.  We have also recently appointed an Industrial Paints Development Manager to promote this range of products.  Find out more about this service here.