General Question

sarahsugs's avatar

Do I need primer before I paint a patch of my wall?

Asked by sarahsugs (2893points) January 25th, 2009

An electrician did some work at my house and she needed to cut a couple holes in the wall. The holes are repaired with two coats of “mud” (that’s what she called it) and have been sanded smooth. Now they just need to be painted to match the wall color. Do I need to use primer first, or can I just put the color right over the patch? The area in question is about 4 inches by 8 inches.

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7 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Paint should be fine. Just be prepared for multiple coats.

AstroChuck's avatar

If you are using a flat enamel then I would use a primer.

bythebay's avatar

I don’t know the painting answer but I think it’s really cool that you had a female electrician!

augustlan's avatar

I would use a primer on any virgin (unpainted) drywall or mud.

sarahsugs's avatar

Thanks for the advice. What does primer do?

augustlan's avatar

It has many uses, but in this particular case it would act as a sealer. Virgin drywall or mud is porous, and will suck up paint like a sponge. Once primed, your paint will sit on the surface rather than being soaked in. Even walls painted with ‘builder grade’ paint should really be primed before painting with good paint. From many years of experience, I’d also advise you to use good paint (I like Sherwin Williams). It’s more expensive up front, but you’ll appreciate how smoothly it goes on, and you may require fewer coats.

steelmarket's avatar

Since you are just painting over some small patches, you should be OK just using the same paint that you already have on the wall. Now, if the wall color is very dark, you may need to use several coats of paint to match the existing color. Be sure to let each coat dry completely before painting the next coat. If those spots on the wall receive both natural and artificial light, be sure to view the painted patches under both lighting conditions when you are color matching.

Always use a primer when painting larger areas.

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