How to Paint Over a Zinsser Primer


Priming surfaces before painting them assures that the final coat of paint adheres better. Zinsser primer is an alcohol-based primer appropriate for many kinds of surfaces, including wood, glass, laminate surfaces, PVC, ceramic tile and metal. The primer covers stains and seals surfaces that have absorbed odors from smoking or fires. Oil and water-based paints are easy to apply over the primer once it has dried. Since the primer covers many kinds of surfaces, techniques vary based on the object being painted.

Things You'll Need

  • Finish paint
  • Stirring stick
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller and tray (optional)
  • Leave all the tarps and masking tape that you used to paint with the primer in place.

  • Verify that the primer is dry enough to paint with the final coat. The paint can specifies the amount of time you should allow between coats, however, drying time varies depending on the temperature and humidity levels. Under warm, dry conditions, the paint dries faster than when it is cool and humid.

  • Stir the finish paint with a paint stick to mix up the solids that may have settled to the bottom of the can. If you are using a spray paint, shake the can to distribute the solids. The cans carry specific instructions for how long to shake the paint.

  • Pour some of the paint into a smaller can if you are using a one-gallon can to avoid having to carry the can with you as you cut in the edges or outline the object you are painting. If the object is small enough to paint with a brush, continue with the brush until you finish painting the entire object.

  • Use a paint roller and pan if you are painting a large, flat surface, like a floor or a wall. Fill the roller tray by pouring just enough paint inside to fill the reservoir. Roll the roller in the tray to saturate the roller, removing the excess by running the roller over the ribbed areas of the paint tray. Apply the paint in a "W" shape by starting at the top of the surface and moving the roller to create the shape.

Tips & Warnings

  • Painting when the windows can be open reduces the amount of fumes that are exposed to.

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