Recommended Exterior Paint Primers

Using specialized exterior primers can add years to the life of any paint job. A paint primers main purpose is to seal and prepare the surface to allow the greatest adhesion of the finish paint.

Typically two types of exterior primers are marketed to the average consumer, alkyd and acrylic.

Alkyd primer, also called oil base paint primer, is reduced with mineral spirits. Usually used on wood trim and siding, treated lumber, Masonite siding and trim plus many metal surfaces. These primers can have stain blocking capabilities and dry times ranging from 1-hour to overnight. They produce a tenacious bond allowing any type of finish paint to be applied. Apply with a natural bristle brush, roller or airless sprayer and clean up with mineral spirits or strong solvents only.

Acrylic primer, also called latex paint primer, is reduced with water. Can be applied to many materials including wood trim and siding, plywood, T-111 siding, galvanized metal, fiber cement board and masonry surfaces.

Modern exterior acrylic paint primer have evolved into very versatile and tuff primer providing an excellent foundation for the application of any type of finish paint.

Many have stain blocking capabilities and the added advantage of quick dry times, typically 1-4 hours. Apply with a synthetic bristle brush, roller or airless paint sprayer and clean up with mild soap and warm water.

The Number of Possible Surfaces Needing a Exterior Primer is Extensive

Below is a list of surfaces and recommended exterior paint primers. This is a list of general recommendations only; always consult with your local paint store about possible alternatives that can be used.

  • Aluminum – Acrylic Galvanized Iron Primer, 100% Acrylic Primer/Sealer
  • Galvanized Metal – Acrylic Galvanized Iron Primer, 100% Acrylic Primer/Sealer
  • Iron/Steel/Wrought Iron – Alkyd Rust Inhibitive Primer, 100% Acrylic Metal Primer
  • Brick – Acrylic Masonry Primer
  • Concrete & Stucco – Acrylic Masonry Primer, Acrylic Masonry & Stucco Sealer
  • Concrete Block (Cinder Block) – Acrylic Block Fill
  • Chalky Stucco or Concrete – Acrylic Masonry & Stucco Sealer
  • Fiber Cement Board – Acrylic Masonry & Stucco Sealer
  • Plywood – 100% Acrylic Primer/Sealer, Acrylic Stain Resistant Primer
  • OSB Siding – Acrylic Stain Resistant Primer
  • Masonite Siding or Trim – Acrylic Stain Resistant Primer, Alkyd Quick Drying Primer
  • Chalky Wood Siding – 100% Acrylic Primer/Sealer, Alkyd Wood Primer
  • Cedar or Redwood Siding & Trim – Alkyd Stain Resistant Primer, Acrylic Stain Resistant Primer
  • Pine – Alkyd Wood Primer, Acrylic Wood Primer
  • T-111 Siding – Acrylic Stain Resistant Primer, Alkyd Quick Drying Primer
  • Treated Lumber – Alkyd Stain Resistant Primer, Acrylic Stain Resistant Primer
  • Rusty Nail Heads – Alkyd Stain Resistant Primer, Alkyd Quick Drying Primer
  • Asphalt or Tar – Acrylic Stain Resistant Primer, 100% Acrylic Primer/Sealer




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