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crayola110 03-31-2014 12:02 AM

When to Prime, when not to prime? Exterior or Interior Applications
A neighbor of mine had their plastic garage door painted, as well as fascia trim where there is , and the front door (which is wooden but was in bad shape before)

The supposed "professional" painter didn't prime the plastic garage door, the weathered front door, or any of the trim and did the whold thing in 2 days.

I would assume the garage door would need to be primed since it was plastic, as well as the front door (which was only stained previously and was very old) and the fascia (especially where the patch work was.)

So when exactly do you prime? I almost always prime exterior when it's new wood OR if the exterior is in bad condition and needs lots of sanding/ patch prep work. Also, I would assume you would need to prime an old stained door, and the plastic garage door.

How bout for stucco that has been tinted would you need to prime that first or just pressure wash and paint?

Or for exterior wood that has been previously painted would you normally have to prime?

Jmayspaint 03-31-2014 05:37 AM

What your referring to as a 'plastic garage door is probably vinyl. Vinyl can be painted directly with acrylic paint. On a typical garage door, the only areas that are actually plastic like material are the trim around the small windows (if it has any) and the trim strip that goes around the jamb and holds the weatherstripping. These areas, I prime with a bonding primer for adhesion.

Weathered/peeling ext wood almost always gets primed. Some newer paints, like Aura, are claiming to have eliminated the need to prime in this situation, but most painters I know don't trust that idea yet.

Hard to imagine a scenario where an old stained entrance door would not get primed. Generally, transitioning from ext stain or sealers to paint always requires a primer. But without knowing the specifics, its hard to say for sure.

Gymschu 03-31-2014 06:36 AM

You prime whenever you have a "problem" or if you have any doubts about the integrity of the surface you will be painting. Primers are problem solvers. For homeowners priming can be confusing because there is a primer for every problem.

As Jamays said, you don't usually need a primer for vinyl, however, more importantly, how much prep was done before painting? Vinyl oxidizes and leaves a chalky residue on the surface. Hopefully this was properly cleaned.

A weathered front door would also need cleaned, lightly sanded, and possibly primed depending on the type of paint currently on the door and if you are changing from say a glossy oil base paint to a satin latex or something of that nature.

If stucco has paint on it now, you likely will NOT need to prime unless there are repairs, etc. Same for exterior wood. So, I don't think the "professional" painter was off base, but without seeing it before, there's no way for us to fathom a guess on his "correctness."

jeffnc 03-31-2014 09:46 AM


Originally Posted by Gymschu (Post 1330591)
For homeowners priming can be confusing because there is a primer for every problem.

Including problems that don't exist, or problems that can be fixed by other prep work. I watch people buy primers to repaint a previously painted room, without even much color change.

I prime almost everything that's bare outdoors, although I haven't painted a vinyl garage door before. Of course if anything is dirty or "chalky" or slick, then cleaning or sanding might be better prep than priming.

crayola110 03-31-2014 11:45 AM

3 Attachment(s)

This stuff is a lot more complicated and detailed than it seems, and there's no one answer to every situation it seems.

So for wood or stucco in general if there's already "in tact" paint then you would generally just prep (clean, light sand etc) then paint. But if it's been repaired or new stucco/wood then you would primer. Is this correct?

So for instance if you had an old all wood craftsman house and you have to do a lot of scrapping, wood patch, wood replacement etc would it make sense to prime the whole thing?

The front door was only stained, I'm not sure if he just sanded it or not. Either way it looks good with the new glossy paint on it...but I'm just looking out for my friend for long term.

I attached some pics of the front door. It looks great much better than before, but before it was painted it was dry, faded and just stained wood. It didn't have paint on it. And he didn't prime it.

He also did all the fascia and didn't prime, he just painted. I also don't know maybe he used paint/primer in one. He did the door, garage, all the fascia around the house for just $800 for a 3 br 2 bth house according to my neighbor.

The reason I called him a "professional" in quotes is because he's the local gardener... but who's to say he's a good painter or not? Supposedly he has painted "many houses for many years" according to my neighbor

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