Home Decorating Tips

A Buyer’s Guide on Primer Paint

buyer's guide on primer paint

Home Decorating Tips

A Buyer’s Guide on Primer Paint

Posted on September 21, 2015

Though it may be easier and consistently tempting to skip this step in painting, surface preparation complete with priming your substrate is important in any paint job. It can never be stressed enough why it’s necessary.

Walking down that paint section in your home store and browsing options for your primer can be overwhelming. So, it might help to know factors that make up a good primer paint, and what sort of primer paint suits your paint project.


By enumeration of purpose, a good primer should prepare surfaces while covering these functions:

  1. Hides dents, dips, chips, or any sort of surface imperfection
  2. Enhances adhesion and promotes a hassle-free application of top or finishing coat


Fact: There’s paint for each kind of substrate. The same holds true for primers. But for easier understanding, primers are divided into 3 types: oil, shellac, and latex or latex-based.

  • Though slow-drying, Oil Primers are good at filling in pores, covering imperfections and produce a smooth finish. Oil Primers the likes of Island Wood Primer & Sealer and Tex-a-Kote Primer are generally great for wood or walls with cracked or peeling paint.
  • Shellac Primers are fast-drying, good stain- and bleed-resistant, but prove to be difficult to use. Suited for areas that are prone to water, smoke, and rust stains.
  • Latex Primers such as anti-microbial water-based Island Life Primer are a more eco-friendly choice in that they produce low-to-no VOC or volatile organic compounds. It only follows that primers in this category have low odor, and offers superior durability with a flexible finish. Latex primers are good at evening out textures and surfaces, so this particular type of primer should be great on galvanized metal, unfinished drywall, masonry, and concrete.


Recent advancements in the industry led to the introduction of self-priming paints in the market. Though these products effectively cut time spent on surface preparation, it has been an ongoing argument that the standard features and benefits are somehow compromised.

Island Paints dedicates itself to serve and assist on whatever you need for your paint project with products such as Island Check Primer, metal primers Island Metal Primer Red Oxide and Island Metal Primer Red Lead, and specialty primers Industrial Epoxy Primers for marine environments and Chlo Rub Primer.

Looking for more information on our products? We can help!

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