Definition

Preparatory coat applied to materials (drywall, wood, metal, etc.) before painting to ensure paint adhesion, extend paint durability, and help seal and protect the surface to be painted.

Things you need to know

If the material to be painted is not water resistant/will be exposed to weather, primer is a necessity. Drywall, used in new construction, is routinely treated with primer not only because of the latter's adhesive and sealing properties, but also because it helps prevent mold. Primer is also used when a lighter color is being applied over a preexisting darker paint.

Also known as

Undercoat

Cost Considerations

Depending on the brand used, a gallon of primer runs between $9 and $25. On average, a five gallon bucket of high quality primer costs between $70 to $110.

Costs vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.