What happens if you paint over primer too soon? How long can primer sit: time and conditions

5 problems or what happens if you paint over primer too soon Paint Advice

As you know, for a durable coating of paint, the painting process includes the application of a primer. This is the base layer, which is designed to improve adhesion. You can read more about What happens if you paint over primer too soon? How long can primer sit: time and conditions, read in this article.

Is it possible to paint job without a primer?

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Before proceeding to the question, of what happens if you paint over the primer coat too soon, you need to decide on the need to use a primer. Many people wonder, can you paint without primer?

It is not recommended to abandon this step because the primer helps to improve the coverage of the paint, as well as extend its durability.

This eliminates problems with the adhesion of the surface and paint. The primer also helps to level the surface so that the appearance of the coating is much better.

At the same time, the primer helps to additionally protect the surface and prevent the formation of stains. However, there are cases where the use of a primer is not necessary.

Updating the coverage with the same color

The application of a primer is optional if you plan to renew an already-painted surface using an identical shade. Given the similarity of shades, it is not necessary to fix the neutral base with a primer.

The colors blend smoothly, so the old shade won’t bleed through to the surface, causing stains. However, this is achieved only with high-quality paint.

If the surface began to cover with cracks and chips, it must first be cleaned and primed, and then proceed to work on the painting.

Application for a new coating of dark pigments

If you decide to coat the painted furniture with a darker shade, it is not necessary to apply a primer. This is because it is more difficult for the old shade to appear through dark color, even if there is no grout.

When using self-priming paint


Quite often, users choose paints that already contain a primer. This greatly facilitates the staining process. These paints contain a higher concentration of solids compared to classic paints. Therefore, the coating is thicker, and uniform coloring can be achieved in one layer.

Paints that self-level does not appropriate for all projects.

  1. Painting porous surface. As you know, some materials have a porous structure. This category includes wood, drywall, and concrete. Such materials can absorb moisture and odors. If you do not cover them with a primer, the surface to be painted will be damaged.If drywall is not primed, it absorbs moisture. This negatively affects integrity. Over time, drywall begins to grow moldy. The tree is also able to absorb moisture, which is in the paint. Because of this, it swells and loses its shape. The paint starts to crack.
  2. Painting glossy surfaces. If you plan to work with glass and plastic coatings, as well as tiles, you must first coat the surface with a quality primer to improve adhesion. It attracts pigments to itself, so the shade is durable. To make the coating last longer, the surface must be additionally sanded.This slightly reduces the high gloss sheen appearance and achieves a rough surface. Due to this, the primer penetrates the deeper layers and improves the result of staining.
  3. Working with metal surfaces. As you know, it is the metal surfaces that are the most difficult to paint. That is why it is advisable to use a special primer. Choose compounds that prevent rust and paint peeling.
  4. Choose compounds designed for galvanized metal or rust converters. This avoids corrosion and greatly facilitates the painting process. Galvanized primers are the best solution if you plan the paint job with aluminum. It doesn’t hold paint very well.
  5. Combination of latex and oil paints. This paint is water-based. That is why it cannot be mixed with oil paints. If you ignore this recommendation and do not apply a primer, after a few days the paint begins to roll. After all, it could not properly fix it. Before applying latex paint over oil paint, a primer should be applied.

What happens if you paint over primer too soon


Quite often, people wonder, how long does primer take to dry? Some primer options may dry after a few hours. Some formulations dry out only after 24 hours.

If you wonder, how soon after primer I should paint, carefully read the information on the package.

The manufacturer always indicates the exact drying time of the primer.

  1. Latex primers. Latex primer is a great solution if you plan to work with wood, drywall, bricks, or plaster. Latex primers dry is observed within 30-60 min. However, it is possible to start staining after 3-4 hours. The latex primer is ideal for urgent work.
  2. Primers Shellac. It is recommended to use them when working with wood, plastic, plaster, or metal. The Shellac primer dries after 20 min. However, it is possible to paint the primed surface only after 1-2 hours. The Shellac primers have excellent adhesion and can be used both outside and indoors.Shellac works great with all types of paint and helps prevent stains. It should also be noted the possibility of blocking unpleasant odors that can penetrate the paint.
  3. Oil-based primers. Oil-based primer is recommended for working with wood or metal. Drying is observed after 8 hours. However, staining can be started only after a day. You can also leave the oil-based primer for up to 14 days, and it does not lose its properties. Oil-based primers can be combined with oil and latex paints.
  4. Epoxy primer. Such compositions are ideal for working with steel, fiberglass, plastic, and concrete surfaces. Drying is observed within an hour, after which you can immediately start staining. However, it is best to wait about 3 hours.Epoxy primers can be left uncoated for up to a month. Even if you work outside, the epoxy primer is resistant to precipitation and wind. Differ in the excellent quality of adhesion, and also resistance to chemicals.
  5. Urethane primer. If you plan to work on painted metal, wood, concrete, etc., you should look into a urethane primer. Tactile compositions dry in half an hour, after which you can apply paint. However, it is better to wait about a day to ensure the durability of the coating.
  6. Acrylic lacquer primer. Often, acrylic lacquer primers are used for painting cars. They dry to the touch in half an hour. But you can start painting the primer surface only after a day. Such compositions are distinguished by excellent adhesion, as well as a glossy sheen. They do not require special knowledge in work; therefore they are suitable for beginners.

If you apply the paint too soon?

If you start the painting process before the primer is completely dry, problems may arise. Fortunately, they are quickly corrected.

The primer may peel off during painting, which spoils the whole work. The finish will be uneven and peeling.

Also, pre-painting the primer causes it to mix with the paint. This leads to prolonged curing, as well as the formation of bubbles on the finish.

Always try to wait for the full drying time of the primer. Accurate information is always written on the packaging.

If the manufacturer assures you that you need to wait a day, you should not start staining after an hour. You can test the tacky primer a bit by pressing it with your finger. If a dent forms on the surface, you should wait a little longer. If no changes have occurred, feel free to proceed with painting.

Accelerating the drying of the primer: methods

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Read also: How long does primer take to dry on surfaces before painting?

The primer dries at different times, depending on the composition used. However, there are cases when the work needs to be completed quickly. In such cases, you can slightly speed up the drying process of the primer. Most often, painters use the direct heating method.

To do this, you can use hair dryers, heat guns, or radiators. Focus on what is at hand. Such methods can spoil the quality of the finish.

When the primer is heated, its upper part quickly hardens, while the lower layers remain wet. As soon as the bottom layer begins to dry, the final primer coat begins to shrink. Cracks may begin to form. It is safest to use the heating system at home.

You can increase the temperature in the room where you are working. However, it must comply with the temperature requirements of the manufacturer. If the room is already at the correct temperature, leave the primer to dry naturally.

As you know, several other methods help speed up the drying process of the primer. You can read more about them below.

Decreased indoor humidity levels

If the room has high humidity, install a special dehumidifier. It reduces moisture levels, which speeds up the drying process of the primer. If there is no dehumidifier at home, and you do not plan to spend money on it, start working in dry and clear weather.

Buying a primer that dries quickly

An equally practical solution would be to buy a primer that dries quickly. Often the corresponding mark is already on the packaging. This is the best option if you need to quickly complete the painting work.

If you have already purchased a regular primer, additionally choose a quick-drying primer. You can mix both compositions to speed up the drying of the tacky primer. However, first, you need to make sure that the primers are combined. Otherwise, the coating will be of poor quality, and you have to redo the work.

Increasing air circulation

If the air circulates in the room at an accelerated pace, the primer dries many times faster. To do this, you can install special fans in the room, or open windows. This pushes the heavy air out and fills the room with dry air.

Is it okay to paint primer twice?

If the primer evenly lays on top of the original shade, 1-2 coats are enough. It is not necessary to apply several layers of primer to get a beautiful shade. After all, it all depends on what paints you apply over the primer.

How long can primer sit before painting?

This question is also considered to be very common. Most of the base primer sit before painting and can last up to a month in this state. However, the exact timing is better to check with the manufacturer. All the necessary marks are on the package of primer.

In order not to have to guess, it is better to wait at least a day. Complications are also excluded if the primer sit before painting is left uncoated for a week.


As you can see, painting over an uncured primer is fraught with certain difficulties. In addition to the fact that the coating can roll, there is a high probability of difficult application of the paint itself. Wonder which are the best paint colors for rooms, read the article.

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My blog was created specifically to bring you the latest design trends. I graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York 10 years ago. I started drawing as a child. I was very fond of design and could even choose a style for my friends and relatives during the renovation.

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