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Old 09-15-2008, 04:28 PM   #1
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help me pick a primer


My wife and I are in the process of painting all our interior walls. Our initial attempts met with failure due to improper prep of previous surfaces (at least that's what I think). I used a Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Alkyd primer in a closet and it seems to have done so much better than the latex Kilz or paint-over-paint approach we started with.

At this point it seems prudent to prime all the surfaces. I'd rather bear the expense of buying primer and applying it than just painting and watching it bubble up and take the old paint off the walls with it.

Should I stick with the Benjamin Moore primer? If so how long do I need to let it cure before we paint over it? Do I need two coats of primer or only one? Do I need to do anything to the primed surface before applying latex paint (sand or rough)? Do I need to paint within a certain number of days of applying the primer?

Is there's another primer out there, preferably latex, that will do just as good a job as the alkyd? Our house has both plaster and drywall surfaces. There is semi-gloss paint in two of the bedrooms but flat paint in a bathroom. I'm not sure if any of the paint is currently or has ever been oil-based. Ideally I would like to have one primer that I can use everywhere. If that's a foolish idea then let me know. I'm willing to pay to buy the right material but I don't want to purchase a $30/gallon primer when a $20/gallon primer will work.

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Old 09-15-2008, 05:50 PM   #2
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Ben Moore Fresh Start 100% acrylic for almost everything, 1 coat ,drys in about an hour.You should always lightly sand glossy surfaces. Forget the oil.

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Old 09-15-2008, 10:33 PM   #3
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You really don't need to be priming painted walls before repainting them.

Normally, you only prime bare substrates, like bare wood, bare metal, bare plaster and bare drywall. You paint over paint.

What you should be doing in order to ensure good success is:

a) degloss your semi-gloss latex paints. You can do this by sanding them or cleaning them with a green 3M Scotchbrite pad (like they sell in grocery stores for scouring pots).

b) use a paint meant specifically for bathrooms in your bathroom. Such paints will use Plexiglas as the binder, which doesn't soften up or lose it's adhesion under wet conditions, and will also have a mildewcide in it to prevent mildew from growing on the paint.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:39 AM   #4
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help me pick a primer


The reason I'm priming is because I've had problems with paint bubbling and peeling. Initially I started with a latex paint (albeit cheap latex paint but it was a closet) and it peeled. I switched to Kilz latex at the recommendation of a couple of people and it peeled. I then used the Alkyd and it went on like a champ.

Our main floor was remodeled is all drywall and the previous owner believes it's latex but the paint seems very fragile. Painter's tape stuck to the wall is likely to remove paint when it comes off. My guess is the drywall either wasn't properly prepped or they used a poor quality paint. I believe the paint was either Behr or Ralph Lauren but I can see if I can find it. My thought was a good primer might somehow bind through this paint. Is that a bad assumption?

Our second floor is plaster, except for the remodeled bathroom, and I'm guessing there's oil paint somewhere under all those layers.

I want to do whatever it takes, within reason, to end up with with good walls. At the same time I would rather spend less money and not take unnecessary steps. If you think I don't need to prime but just paint then that's what I'll do.

As a point of reference, the Benjamin Moore contractor that gave us an estimate was going to sand all the walls, prime, skim coat, prime, and finally apply paint. I don't know if that's what absolutely needs to be done or if that's just a foolproof approach. The guy came highly recommended by several people.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:12 PM   #5
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help me pick a primer


1) You definitely have issues with you substrate (substrate is basically "the surface you are painting)
2) Though there could be debate about whether an acrylic will be OK, or whether another type of penetrating sealer (such as Zinsser's Gardz) would be a better choice, there really should be no debate that BM's Fresh Start Alkyd, though possibly over-kill for some areas, would be a good choice

If I were hired for the job, depending upon what I found by actually looking and testing, there's a good chance that's what I'd be using

I'm sure all the walls don't need it, but I don't care for surprises after I've started the project

Alkyd primers aren't a cure-all, and proper prep is still needed
But yes, they are a bit more penetrating than acrylics
Just as important, they use solvents as a base...so they won't "activate" any water-based coatings or leftover previous wallpaper adhesive or textures or anything
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:52 PM   #6
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Alkyd, though possibly over-kill for some areas, would be a good choice

If I were hired for the job, depending upon what I found by actually looking and testing, there's a good chance that's what I'd be using

I'm sure all the walls don't need it, but I don't care for surprises after I've started the project
I think that pretty much hits the nail on the head. I'd rather go overkill than have to fix problems. Does the Guardz run at the same price point as the Ben Moore?
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:42 PM   #7
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If your walls are going to bubble by applying paint, then they are more than likely gonna do it with the primer too. The bubbling is caused by the original paint not holding well and lifting off the wall when the top coat starts to shrink while it dries.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:23 AM   #8
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If your walls are going to bubble by applying paint, then they are more than likely gonna do it with the primer too. The bubbling is caused by the original paint not holding well and lifting off the wall when the top coat starts to shrink while it dries.
I understand that and I have resigned myself to doing spot fixes. What I don't want to do is sand every wall in my house, prime, skim, and prime again. My hope is that a good, soaking primer will result in less problem spots than just applying latex paint. If that's not really the case then I'll just paint and then repair the problems as they pop up.
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:57 PM   #9
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help me pick a primer


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Does the Guardz run at the same price point as the Ben Moore?
I'd say in a case like this, a few dollars a gallon are much less important than getting the proper product for the fix

But I can't answer your question, really
BM stores are independent dealers, and can charge whatever they want for product
Your local store could be $10 more than mine
The Gardz is typically only found at Paint Stores and Contractor Supply places (even though some Big Boxes carry Zinsser, they rarely carry Gardz) and those can vary hugely

Probably your local BM dealer will have both
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:58 PM   #10
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If your walls are going to bubble by applying paint, then they are more than likely gonna do it with the primer too...
That's one of the reasons for using an alkyd or Gardz in this case
To keep the walls from bubbling
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:10 PM   #11
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How long do I let the alkyd cure? Can I paint over in 24 hours or does it need more time? My understanding was that these primers take longer to dry than the normal latex primer.
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:34 AM   #12
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24 hours should be plenty of time. It will tell you on the can.
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:06 PM   #13
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help me pick a primer


Glidden Interior/Exterior GRIPPER. I heard that it is the best. Haven't used it yet, but the people at Home Depot told me it is one of the best ones out there Who Knew????
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:14 PM   #14
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Glidden Interior/Exterior GRIPPER. I heard that it is the best. Haven't used it yet, but the people at Home Depot told me it is one of the best ones out there Who Knew????
You lost me the moment you said "Home Depot"...
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:27 PM   #15
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Seriously, stay away from BigBoxCo for paint advice. BigBox is a nice place to get my brushes and roller sleeves, but I wouldn't touch their advice with a 10-foot pole.

Although, in all fairness, Gripper is a not-awful primer, and certainly about a million times better than the worse-than-useless Kilz2.

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