Priming Before Exterior Painting
Here's everything you'll need to get it right the first time.
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) or substitute
  • Paint brushes and rollers
  • Edge pads
  • Foam pad
  • Drop cloths
  • Trim brushes
  • Edge rollers


Seal the Surface

After you've cleaned, sanded, and masked, don't forget the important step of priming exterior surfaces. Bare wood needs a primer to seal the surface. You'll use less top coat and the color will lay rich on the top layer. If the surface is new construction or a recent repair, or if you have sanded down to bare surface, apply a high quality primer before painting. Note: Duramax® Exterior Paint does not require a primer over bare surfaces.

Learn more about Exterior House & Trim Primers.


Match the Primer to the Substrate

Certain bare substrates require a specific primer to seal the surface and prepare for the most successful paint top coat. On hardboard siding, use Valspar®Prep-Step® Exterior Oil Primer. Over concrete siding or masonry, the best choice is Valspar Exterior Latex Primer.

Exposed Nail Heads
Exposed nail heads can rust, and rust can stain your beautiful paint work. Spot prime all exposed nail heads in wood boards with a rust-inhibitive primer.
Learn more about Exterior House and Trim Primers.
Priming Over Stained Surfaces

Even after you have cleaned the surface, you may see stains that need to be covered before you paint. Some stains will come through the top coat no matter how many coats you apply. Select a stain blocking primer best for the type of stain, either an oil based or latex based product. Be sure the stain blocking primer is for exterior surfaces.

Learn more about Exterior House and Trim Primers..

Spot Priming
Spot priming means you apply a primer only to those spots that need it. If you've sanded down to the bare surface, you'll need to prime those spots. For some stains, spot priming is the best way to save time and prevent the stain from migrating to the top coat. Don't forget to feather sand so the top coat applies evenly.
Prime Glossy Surfaces

Prime glossy surfaces to promote adhesion of the top coat.
There are three ways to prime a glossy surface:
1. Use a latex or oil-based primer formulated for glossy surface adhesion.
2. Use a liquid deglosser such as Prepaint, following all label instructions.
3. Go over the surface with 200 grit sandpaper. The scuffing will help the new paint adhere. Wash the surface with TSP, rinse with water and let dry.

Learn more about Exterior House and Trim Primers.

If you aren't sure if you need a primer or which primer to use, contact Customer Service..

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