Can you Leave Primer Unpainted: Full Explanation? Here are the Facts!

Painting can be a tough job. Especially when you have to apply layers after layers to get that perfect finishing. So, the first step in this process is applying a primer. It sets the base for the painting. However, just like paint it’s also white in color and doesn’t look much different than the normal white paint that goes on most walls.

So, can you leave primer unpainted since it already makes the walls look like it’s painted over?

No, you can’t leave primer unpainted. They create the base, increase paint’s lifespan, and reduce the number of paint coats needed. However, they cannot replace the paint. So, if it’s left unpainted it causes a lack of uniformity, sticky bases, and some serious wall damage.

Still not clear about what we meant? Then let’s look at the matters in detail to have a clear understanding.

We will come back to this further down the article but here’s a link if you want to see more about the special paint for metal porch railings.

Can you Leave Primer Unpainted

Why should you prime?

To know why you can’t leave primer unpainted you must first understand the main purpose of a primer. Then and only then you’ll have a clear understanding of this issue.

So, let’s take a look at why primer is a lifesaver.

Creates a base surface

The main reason behind every painter falling in love with primer is its ability to create an amazing base for the surface. The primer can create an evenly textured surface.

That’s what every painter wants. A smooth surface to glide their brushes over to create a perfect piece of art that everyone will admire.

Hence professional painters choose to start with the primer. Then they move on to layering it up with paint.

Increases the paint’s life duration

Another reason behind the primer being so famous is that it can increase the lifespan of the paint. So, if you’re looking for a way out of the painting job, then put on the primer first.

Even if years will go by your paint will still give off the new glaze. So, that’s why you should not skip priming the walls.

Reduces the number of paint coats needed

The very best reason for priming is that you won’t have to apply a lot of layers of paint afterward. In fact, 2 to 3 layers of paint will be more than enough.

But if you choose to ignore primer then you’ll have to apply at least 5 to 6 layers. Otherwise, your paint will not give off the color you want it to show.

Moreover, paint without primer will be prone to damage. So, primer won’t only save your time it’ll also be a good investment for your walls and cabinets.

Oil Based Primer Recommendations-
Latex BasedPrimer Recommendations-

Can you leave primer unpainted for days?

You might get tired after priming the wall. Well, we agree that it’s quite hard to achieve. However, we do recommend you to not leave the primer unpainted.

Leaving the primer unpainted is a bad idea. It’s crucial that you don’t leave it that way.

And here is the reason behind it: 

Lack in the sector of uniformity

In case you choose not to prime then you’ll witness that your paint is uneven at places. You see, the primer is a bit sticky so it’ll absorb a lot more than you think.

Thus it’ll reduce the amount of pigment ratio and some parts of your walls will look pale. And the other parts will look too lively. One way to stop this is by painting over the primer.

Sticky bases

The primer is known to be a bit more sticky than paints. So, if you decide to leave the primer unpainted then you’ll see that it has made a lot of dusty friends.

Then your walls and cabinets will look old even if you only got them primed a few weeks ago.

Wall damage

Another reason for not leaving primer alone is because it causes the walls to get damaged. Although priming is good but leaving the primer alone without the supervision of paint can cause it to become more prone to damage.

Like the water will be dangerous for walls in that state. The smoke will be more alarming for the walls. The pet’s body odor will be more attached to the walls. So, all together it’ll cook a recipe for disaster.

You can read more here about how long can primer sit.

Question: How long can you leave primer unpainted?

Answer: You can leave your primer unpainted for a maximum time period of 30 days. However, you won’t be able to apply direct paint on it after so long. You’ll have to re-prime it. But if you don’t feel like doing that you can always sand the wall to make it look even.

Question: Is primer usually white paint?

Answer: Yes, primer is usually white in color. However, there are some new primers in the market that have a nude color. They help bring out the natural color of the paint that you’re using. So, if you can get your hands on them it’s better to use them than the white ones.

Question: How many hours should you wait between priming and painting?

Answer: If you’re using latex paint then one hour is all it takes for the primer to dry up. However, for most paints, you have to wait for 3 to 4 hours. But if you’re using oil-based paint then it’ll take longer hours to dry up. In fact, it’ll take a day. So, you have to wait.

Question: Can I put primer over paint?

Answer: It’s not a complete necessity to prime over paint. You can skip it if you want. However, if you’re planning on switching from oil-based paint to latex paints it’s a good idea to use a primer first.

Question: what happens if you don’t paint over primer?


To sum up

We hope you got your answer to the question: can you leave primer unpainted? But if there’s anything more you want to know just leave a comment below.

We’ll try to help you out as much as possible. With that being said we’ll end our article here. Hope you have a good day. Take care. Bye-bye!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *