Primer is put on the walls before paint to make the paint adhere more smoothly and cover more evenly. Lowe's home store recommends priming new construction and patched or repaired areas to "seal the surface and helps the paint cover more evenly."
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Priming Is Not Always Necessary
If your walls are smooth, have no holes and are currently a colour that is lighter than the colour you will be using to paint, priming may be an unnecessary step. Priming when you don't need to can effectively double the cost and time involved in your painting trip.
Assess the condition of your walls. If they are uneven, oddly coloured or overly rough, a primer may be necessary. For most standard white walls, however, priming is an unnecessary step.
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