primer or paint

Old 03-17-07, 06:15 PM
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primer or paint

i just bought a new house it was to be painted , the walls are all white it appears to me and others that all the builder did was put on a coat of primer . how can i tell
Old 03-18-07, 04:23 AM
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Unless you find empty cans there isn't much that can indicate exactly what was used. A lab could analyze the paint and tell you, but the cost would be out of line with any benefit you might derive from knowing.

Personally, I'd treat it as a wash coat of primer and reprime with a good water based primer such as Zinsser's Bullseye (not the 1-2-3 which is an interior /exterior primer or the B-I-N which is a pigmented shellac - both would be overkill).

Then you can finish it with whatever you please.

What is it that makes you suspect they used simply a primer?

Generally, when a builder wants to cut costs, he uses a cheap latex finish coat and applies one heavy coat as both primer and finish. Even cheap primers cost more than cheap finish coats.

The result is usually a blotchy appearance that shows overalaps, tape seams and has an uneven sheen. If this is what you're seeing, then I'd suspect a single coat of cheap finish was applied directly to the bare dywall - then "back rolled" to produce some sort of hide. "Back rolling" and/or "double rolling" is a trick many use to get away with putting only a single coat on.
What you do is roll on or spray (airless) on a fairly heavy coat, then before it dries, but slightly after it sets up, you go back and roll it all in one direction - known as "dressing the finish".

You may want to as the builder also. Many builders will "shoot" (use an airless sprayer) a coat of fair quality white material on the walls simply to seal them, figuring the owner is going to finish them off in a different color anyhow so why go the any unnecessary labor/material expense?
There are some fair to decent quality "one coat" high build products on the market.
Old 03-18-07, 04:37 AM
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Ask the builder what/how the walls were painted!

In some locales it is common for the drywall sub contractor to spray a coat of texture on the wall and then the painter applies 1 coat of paint - may look ok but that doesn't make it right. If washed/scrubbed it will often loosen/remove the texture.

As Rich stated, if the walls weren't primed, they should be before continuing with any more painting. Quality coatings always preform better than the cheap line most builders use.

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