How Long Should I Wait to Paint After Using Primer

Thinking about painting? Whether you are considering a new splash of color for the interior or exterior of your home, you may need to take an extra step before you begin painting – and that involves adding a coat of primer. Taking the time to do this can leave you with an amazing finish product. 

How much time will it add to your project? And how long should you wait to paint after using primer? Let’s talk about it. 

What Is a Primer? 

Primer is used to give your painting job a long-lasting finish. It is applied to the surface you are going to paint before you apply the first layer. Once it dries and you begin to add your paint, it will glide on smoothly and will have a nice, clean finish. As its name sounds, primer gives you a prime painting space. It can be used for both interior and exterior walls of your home. 

When Should You Use a Primer?

If you are just adding a fresh coat of paint to walls that have already been painted with the same paint, then adding a layer of primer is not necessary. You may not even need it if the walls are clean and smooth already. What’s more, if you invest in paint that has a self-priming ability, priming is not really necessary either. 

So when should you use a primer? If you are not sure whether or not your paint job requires a coat of primer before painting, consider the following situations:

  • The surface is not even 
  • You are working with a porous surface 
  • You are replacing a dark wall with a lighter one
  • The current wall has a high gloss

In each of these instances, a primer will make a big difference in the outcome. 

The Time Between Primer and Paint

If you have a project that has required you to use primer, then there is a good chance that you’ve wondered when it was safe to paint. After all, painting too soon after primer can leave you with uneven color, streaks in the paint, and even peeling. Plus you will have to buy more paint and take the time to re-paint when all is said and done. 

So, how long should you wait to paint after using primer? 

Well, simply put, you want to wait until the primer is thoroughly dry before painting. Now, the type of primer you use and the environmental conditions of the space will impact the drying time. 

A water-based primer dries fairly quickly, with most being dry in about 3 to 5 hours. Oil-based primer, however, takes about a full 24 hours to fully dry. Keep in mind that the temperature and humidity of the space can prolong this time. Areas of high humidity – say, over 50% – will take longer to dry. And on a cold, dry day, the primer will dry pretty quickly. 

Regardless of time frames and temperatures, always make sure that you give your primer ample amount of time to dry before you begin painting. But don’t wait too long as most primers will lose their efficacy within a couple of weeks – and a new coat will have to be applied before you can paint. 

TRICO PAINTING Co. offers high-quality, premium painting services for the interior and exterior of your home. It is a family-run business with years of experience – and many satisfied customers throughout Roseville, CA, and the surrounding areas.