Priming Fresh Drywall and Wall Repairs

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,008
    Professional Handyman Ken Collier demonstrates how to use primers to cover fresh drywall and drywall patches.

    Ken Collier: Primers are one of the most important tools in your toolbox for getting great results when you're painting inside your home. My name is Ken Collier and I'm the Editor-in-Chief of The Family Handyman magazine, the leading brand for do-it-yourselfers. In this video, I'm going to talk about using primers to cover fresh drywall and drywall patches. Now most do-it-yourselfers won't have to prime lots and lots of brand-new drywall very often. But if you do, you should know that there is a primer that's specifically made for going over brand-new drywall. It soaks into the surface of the paper, seals it up, and gives a perfect base for your final paint colors.

    But what most of us face is that we're going to repaint our walls and there are holes from where we've hung pictures or dents where maybe the kids got a little bit wild and we need to patch those holes and dents before we can repaint. So I'm here in our studio, and we have a fresh painted wall behind me. And so the first thing I'll do is to create some nail holes and dents. All right! These are some serious nail holes here. All right! And then maybe a couple dents for good measure. There!

    So our next task will be to patch these up. I've mixed up some setting type patching compound and we'll fill these dents. If you're just dealing with shallow dents and nail holes, you could use a plain spackling compound instead of the setting type compound. We'll let this set, let it get dry and we'll put on a second coat, feather it out, sand it, and we'll be ready to prime and paint.

    Okay, we've patched our walls. Now the problem with patches is that they really soak up the paint, and if you just painted over them with regular paint, you would have a problem called flashing. And when the light is a certain way, wow, it really is obvious that there's a patch underneath the paint. Primers will solve the flashing problem. They will soak into the patch, seal it up, and give you a nice foundation for the top coats. You have two choices. You can use a premium latex primer, and if your top coats are going to be fairly light-colored, you can use the primer just as is, or you can have it tinted to match your top coat. The other option is to use a premium primer-paint combination. When using this type of product, you want to put on one coat to spot-prime the patches. And if necessary, perhaps a second spot-prime, and then roll on your top coat and you'll be all done; the gloss will be perfectly uniform.

    So now I'll apply a little bit of primer and a little bit of paint-primer combination on our patches. First, the primer. I'm using a nylon polyester brush, feathering it out towards the edges to minimize the appearance of the patch, and now I'll put on a little bit of primer-paint combination. These patches we'll leave bare, so maybe we can see what the problem looks like when we're all done. Now we'll let these dry and we'll be ready to put on our top coats. So our primer is dry and we're ready to apply our top coat. Often it's a good idea to spot-paint over the primer, just to give it another coat and to feather that out. So we've painted our wall with one coat of top coat and a little spot-painting over the patches. It's drying nicely and it looks like the gloss is going to be perfectly even over this whole wall except for the spot where I didn't prime the patches. Using a primer on your patched wall or if you have a wall with new drywall, this is an important way to get a beautiful painted wall.