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Tinted Primer OK?

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Old 08-10-2017, 02:30 PM   #1
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Tinted Primer OK?

Excuse me for my ignorance as I don't do much painting..in fact I try to avoid it as much as possible. I dislike it altogether. The stuff gives me wicked headaches.

I see lots of guys using tinted primers which are mixed up to be close match to the final color coat. Is this fairly the standard across the board? Any downsides to it ? And is this OK on bare drywall as well ?
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:02 PM   #2
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Re: Tinted Primer OK?

Not always is matching the top coat color the best option.

I prefer gray primer under reds and taupe primer under yellows.



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Old 08-10-2017, 06:38 PM   #3
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Re: Tinted Primer OK?

exactly what he said. Deep finish colors get gray primer.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:05 PM   #4
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Re: Tinted Primer OK?

It is also nice to have the primer show up as not having been fully painted over so you don't miss a spot with the top coat(s). Meaning grey primer will stand out under a blue paint if you don't get good coverage.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:07 PM   #5
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Re: Tinted Primer OK?

We tint the primer to 105 to 110% This is a very close match to the wall colours. Provided its not red or a rich colour. But standard colours it works really well. Our painters love it because the can cover easier, and faster. We prime and then do our lamping, then sand and touch prime the areas. So there is little to no touch ups for the painters. H/O and GC love this as it speeds up the process for them. Saving them money, and we look like heros.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: Tinted Primer OK?

I agree with the grey under reds and other difficult colors having a specific tinted primer.
Otherwise I have never been a fan of tinting primer, not for any particular reason, just habit. One reason i have is efficiency. Generally speaking i buy primers and ceiling white in 5 gallon buckets, I then bill for what i use and then use the remaining primer on the next job, so tinting it eliminates that ability. Another issue is if rooms are different colors then the left over primer from each color can add up.

I also find that some painters will tint the primer so they can get away with only two coats of paint. When we prime it gets two finish coats over it and i haven't had too many issues with coverage to need to tint the primer.

Last edited by Ohio painter; 09-15-2017 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:44 PM   #7
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Re: Tinted Primer OK?

I don't match primer on exterior paints. I really want to see if I have full coverage or not.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:48 PM   #8
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Re: Tinted Primer OK?

There's a lot of variables, the idea of tinted primer is for coverage but not always tinted close to the topcoat. I prefer my tinted primers a touch lighter than my topcoat. I usually only use tinted primers under difficult colors.

Unless a primer is required such as bare drywall often times you're better off just skipping the tinted primer. On bare drywall I'm probably doing 2 topcoats over primer, skip the tinted primer depending on the color.

Each time I use a tinted primer there's not much chance of being able to use it on another job, so it becomes a waste and I leave it on the jobsite there's more of chance it being used there.


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