Skip to Content


For lasting, beautiful paint jobs

Knowing when to use primer on walls is critical if you want your painting job to look its best for as long as possible. Find out how to decide whether you need primer or not and how to find the right product for the job with Henkel Polybit’s guide.

A wall painted in a very bright color

Using grey wall primer helps the human eye diffuse extreme colors, making it a popular choice for such colors.


Primer seals the surface of your wall and creates a clean, uniform absorbency area your paint can adhere to. Furthermore, primer lets you complete your job with fewer paint coats. In some situations, you always need primer to paint walls:

  1. Absorbent surfaces. Surfaces like new drywall will absorb paint if you do not use wall primer first.
  2. Glossy surfaces. Paint does not adhere to these surfaces well. Lightly sand or scuff glossy surfaces before primer application to improve its adhesion.
  3. Painting latex-based paint over oil-based paint.
  4. Using wallpaper. Use wall primer before putting up wallpaper and before painting after wallpaper removal.
  5. Stained surfaces. Using wall primer keeps stains from leaking or showing through the paint.
  6. The new color is radically different. If you paint light colors over very strong ones, using wall primer prevents the stronger color from showing through. If you switch between two highly saturated colors, using wall primer helps monitor the new color cover.
  7. You have filled holes/patches. Primer covers imperfections
  8. The surface has an odor. Primer seals smells, like smoke in the wall.
  9. Weak surfaces. Use deep penetrating primer to strengthen the surface.

The use of wall primer helps you to stay on the safe side. However, if you employ a high-quality paint or a paint-primer, you can forego wall primer use in other situations.

Person using wall primer

Using wall primer has many advantages like covering imperfections and strengthening surfaces.


When choosing wall primer, you need to consider several factors.

  • Color: Primer color can be critical during painting jobs: tinted primers cover existing colors better than white ones, preventing dark colors from showing through.
  • Adhesion: Your primer must adhere to your substrate(s) and withstand ambient environmental conditions like moisture or heat; consult the technical specifications for this information.
  • Application area: Check whether your primer is suitable for indoor or outdoor use—or both—and whether your product strengthens surfaces or can serve as a primer for other materials in your project.

Polybond AC primer is an excellent choice for absorbent substrates indoors and outdoors. You can also use it to prime surfaces for other materials besides paint, such as putty.

Looking for the right Products for your next Construction Job?

Check out Henkel Polybit’s range of high quality solutions for every project.

  • Products

You may be interested in ...

  • Porcelain Tile Adhesive

    Selecting the best product for the job 

  • PU Waterproofing

    Easy and effective 

  • Waterproofing Concrete

    With a spray gun or brush 

  • Concrete Adhesives

    For construction and repair projects 

  • Epoxy Sealers

    Heavy-duty protection 

  • How to fix Cracks in Walls

    Get cracking! 

  • Acrylic Waterproofing or Silicone-Rubber

    Weighing your options 

  • Outdoor Tile Adhesive

    Choose the right one for durability 

  • Epoxy Tile Grout

    Expert Recommendations 

  • Basement Waterproofing

    Primed and sealed right with bitumen systems 

  • Mosaic Tile Adhesive

    Tips on application and products