Can You Mix Primer with Paint – Expert Opinion?

Priming the wall, waiting for the primer to dry, and then painting over it can consume a considerable amount of time. So, why not mix primer with the paint to get the work done in half the time. Let’s explore if it is a good idea or not.

Can you mix primer with paint?

No, you should never mix primer with the paint. Primers and paints are chemically very different from one another. The purpose of a primer is to act as a binding agent between paint and the surface to get painted. Mixing primer with the paint will render it useless.

Mixing primer with paint can undoubtedly save time, but the primer’s purpose is not achievable this way. It is better to skip primer than mixing primer and paint and wasting your money on the primer. Not all surfaces require priming, but most of them do.

If you don’t like the way a white primer looks, use a tinted one. You can also tint the primer yourself by adding a small amount of color similar to your desired result.

Should you use a 2-in-1 primer and paint product?

These 2-in-1 products can work in certain situations, e.g. repainting surfaces, but they won’t work for all paint jobs. Primers and paints have two very distinct roles, and it is better to use both separately.

Primers and paints have a different consistency and combining them both will not work as well as using them separately. If you are painting over a surface that has already been painted and you just want to restore the color, using a 2-in-1 primer and paint can be a good idea.

Primer is employed to prepare a surface, and a painted surface is already prepared, so you can easily use this 2-in-1 product on this surface and get great results.

In any other case, professionals recommend using a good-quality primer before painting. Using a 2-in-1 product for porous surfaces can be a waste of money. For porous surfaces like drywall, it is necessary to apply a coat of primer to prevent the paint from getting soaked in the porous wall.

Slippery surfaces such as tiles require a sticky primer to prevent the paint from slipping. Primer and 2-in-1 paint will not work for such materials.

If you wish to use a 2-in-1 primer and paint, get a professional opinion before starting the painting job.

Your choice of tools can also affect the results of your paint job. I have been using Stanley’s paint kit, which has enough tools for both beginners and professionals.

Why priming before painting is essential?

Primers provide an even consistent base for paint coats. Primer prevents the paint from moving, and thus you can achieve good coverage with minimum paint coats. Before the paint, applying one coat of primer is recommended almost for all surfaces.

These surfaces include wood, metal, brick, drywall, or any other surface of your choosing. Primer is a sticky paint that is designed in a way to adhere firmly to any surface.

If you skip primer, you’ll have to add more coats of paint for an even and high coverage.

Many people consider priming time-consuming and unnecessary, but there is a reason why professional painters never skip this step. Before painting, priming any surface will make the paint last longer. Proper priming can also help the paint in looking smooth and even.

A primer acts as a barrier between the surface and the topcoat, and it prevents the paint from soaking into the surface, which means that the original surface will remain paint-free.

Typical uses of a primer

  • We use primers for covering imperfections such as patched walls.
  • Primers also cover up any stains. So, they are not visible through the paint coat.
  • White primer is for neutralizing the color of surfaces before being painted.
  • Primers create an even and smooth base for a paint topcoat.
  • Primers act as a barrier between paint and the surface and prevent the surface from soaking in the paint.

Types of primers

There are three main types of primers:

  • Oil primer
  • Latex primer
  • Shellac primers

Oil primers

Oil-based primers can work with both oil and water-based paints. You can apply these primers to a wide range of materials such as metals and wood. You can also apply oil-based primers on surfaces that are already painted.

These primers are very good at blocking stains. Applying them to a stained wall will prevent the stains from being shown through the paint. They work well with wood because the wood has a porous surface and these primers seal the pores.

Oil-primers dry very slowly, and they release chemicals when drying. We recommended using oil-based primers in well-ventilated areas only.

Latex primers

Latex primers have a water base. These primers are mainly for drywall. These primers even out the rough surface of the drywall.

Latex primers dry very quickly, and they rarely peel or crack. Professionals use these primers for softwood and bricks. 

These primers should be used on walls that have been patched up because they help in binding these materials. They can also cover minor stains or cracks in the wall. If your wall is covered with stains, you should go for an oil-based primer.

 Latex primers are easy to clean because they are water-based. You can use these primers anywhere because they do not release toxic chemicals.

Shellac primers

Shellac primers are perfect for interior paint jobs. These primers are highly effective in blocking out stains. Shellac primers can also seal in odors. They work well with almost any material.

Shellac primers dry quickly and provide excellent adhesion. They work well with both water and oil-based paints. The only drawback of using them is that they release toxic fumes.

Bottom line

Priming and painting are two very different processes, and mixing primer with the paint can render a primer useless. Priming is a critical step, especially if you want a smooth finish. Most home-based painters skip this step, and that is the reason why they don’t achieve the best results.

Priming the walls can take a lot of time, but in the end, all this effort will be worth it. If you find this whole process very time-consuming, you should get it done professionally.

Here’s a pro tip: Don’t buy separate paint rollers for priming and painting. Just use separate foams and save money. I use Foampro 176 because they are very high-quality and pocket-friendly. You can buy them from any brand of your choice.