Should you use a self-priming paint?

Should you use a self-priming paint?

Self-priming paints (primer and paint in one product) sounds like a tempting product. They are supposed to reduce the need to use both a paint and a primer as separate products, supposedly saving you time. But is self-priming paint a good option? 
For the DIYer repainting a wall or two in the same color, it might (note we say might) be an option. However, it’s not likely you’ll find a reputable professional painter using a self-priming paint on a project for several good reasons. 
The role of primer and paint:
Paint and primer serve two distinct and different functions. They work best as separate products and provide the best results. 
      • Primer prepares and seals the substrate, creates adhesion between the substrate and the paint, and blocks any stains such as grease or water on the substrate. Some can even seal odors. There are different kinds of primers, and you should select the best one for your needs. For example, wood or metal require an oil-based primer. 
      • Paint renders color, protects the substrate to which it’s applied, and can add sheen. 
The truth about self-priming paint:
There is no primer in self-priming paint. Instead, it is a thicker paint. That thicker consistency is meant to serve as a substitute for the multiple tasks of a primer. But thicker paint isn’t as versatile or perform as well as a primer. Also, many self-priming paints are latex. They don’t seal or disguise surface stains as well as an actual primer.
When not to use a self-priming paint:
There are instances when you should definitely not use a self-priming paint. They include:
      • old oil-painted woodwork
      • ferrous metals, like steel
      • hard gloss painted surfaces, kitchen cabinets
      • bare wood where tannin bleed is an issue, like knotty pine, cedar, #2 pine, and exotic hardwoods.
To ensure a professional finish, we recommend using both a primer and paint rather than a self-priming paint. If you would like help with your next painting project, call our offices for a free estimate. 

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