Do You Have to Prime after Texturing Wall?

Curious if you need to prime after texturing a wall? You’re in the right place. I’ve done some research on this, and I’ll share it will you below. While primer can seem simple, you don’t want to mess it up. 

You should prime over textured walls before painting. Primer prepares your textured wall to take a fresh coat of paint

Painting and priming a textured wall can be a pain. However, if you do your research, you can avoid a lot of trouble. What’s one of the biggest mistakes homeowners and professionals make? Rushing a project. 

Cutting corners may seem to work at first, but it always creates problems and more work in the long run.  

Benefits of Applying Primer After You Texture a Wall  

If you’re texturing a wall, you’ll probably need to paint it relatively soon. However, if you’re texturing a ceiling, you may be tempted to hold off on using primer. While this is understandable, applying a primer is a good idea. 

Sometimes, when you’re in the midst of a project, you should keep it going. If you stop, it’s hard to get started again! I’d advise you to keep the ball rolling and get the whole project done. 

The amount of time you need to wait after texturing depends on the type of texture compound you’re using. However, it’s good practice to wait at least 24 hours. Some factors, like humidity and moisture content in the texture, could alter the dry time. 

Let’s talk about how to apply primer to different textured walls.  

How to Prime Different Textured Walls 

Textured walls come in many different types. Orange peel, popcorn, swirl – and these different textures will affect how we prime the walls. 

With that said, priming each type of texture follows a similar pattern, so there are no major differences. 

Here are several things to keep in mind for each texture: 

  • Orange peel. Looks very similar to an orange peel (no surprise). This texture is more common for walls. If you’re texturing a wall, you’ll want to prime it before painting. 
  • Popcorn. Looks small and bumpy. This texture is common for ceilings, especially in slightly older homes. If you’re priming a popcorn texture, you’ll need a thick brush and lots of primers. 
  • Swirl. Swirling texture is common on ceilings. Like popcorn, you should plan on buying extra primer. Since the surface isn’t perfectly smooth, it takes more primer to get a good cover. 

Take a second to look closely at your textured surface before priming. Also, if you can, test some brushes and different primers to see which one gives you the best coverage. 

Alright, now let’s discuss the steps in priming a freshly textured wall. 

Oil-based vs. Latex primer for Textured Walls 

Whether you just textured a wall or you’re priming an old textured wall, this guide will get you started on the right track. Using the wrong primer can create big problems. 

Before you prime a textured wall, consider the type of paint you’ll place over the wall. Why is this important? Well, similar to paint, primer comes in several forms: oil-based and latex paint. Both types of primer work; however, you shouldn’t place oil-based paint over latex primer. 

With that said, you can place latex paint over oil-based primer. If you know you’ll be using only latex paints, then you don’t need to worry. However, if there’s a chance you’ll use oil-based paint, you may want to go with an oil-based primer. 

Are you wondering what happens if you do use oil-based paint over a water-based primer? 

The oil-based paint has different binding properties than the water-based primer. After a while, the oil-based paint could begin to crack and peel. Not a great thing, as you’ll have to go back and repaint the whole surface (especially bad for a textured surface!)

Alright, now let’s talk about how to apply primer over a textured wall. 

How to Apply Primer After Texturing Walls 

Priming your textured walls is similar to priming a regular wall – it just requires more time and patience. If you’ve ever painted a wall, you can prime a wall too! 

Steps to priming a texturing a wall: 

  1. Select the right primer 
  2. Clean the walls    
  3. Tape and Safety 
  4. Select the right brushes and tools 
  5. Roll on the primer 
  6. Allow it to dry 

Alright, let’s look at these steps in a bit more depth. 

Select the Right Primer for Textured Walls 

It’s important to consider the color of paint you’ll use when priming your textured surface. Why? Well, textured surfaces are already difficult to cover, so if you can use a primer that’s tinted toward the color of your paint, it will reduce work in the long run. 

Multi-purpose primer should do the job; however, be sure to buy quality! Primer isn’t an area to skimp.

Now, you need to select a good brush. 

Clean the Walls 

Don’t just slop the primer onto the wall. You still need to allow the primer to form a good surface. On old textured walls, you’ll want to use a vacuum first to clear the wall of any webs and dust. Then, you can use a soft rag to ensure there’s no grime left behind. 

Also, if you have an old textured wall, now would be a great time to fill any dents or defects. Some people believe that paint will solve all their problems. However, paint and primer won’t fix little defects. You’ll be glad you took some time to prepare the wall before priming and painting. 

Tape Everything Off and Take Safety Measures

Just like painting, primer can stain the floor, adjacent walls, or ceiling. So, it’s a good idea to use masking tape around the edges of your wall. This is one good reason to prime and paint a room all at once. 

Along with taping, don’t forget to lay drop cloths and to have some water (for latex primer) and mineral spirits for oil-based primer. 

Finally, remember that primer, especially oil-based primer, will release VOCs or volatile organic compounds. You want to mitigate your exposure to VOCs as much as possible. So, always allow good ventilation into the room you’re painting. If you can, wearing a mask wouldn’t hurt. 

If you’re painting a family room, you might elect to use a latex primer and latex paint, as water-based primers and paints won’t release the same amount of VOCs into the air. 

Choose the Best Brush for Priming Your Textured Wall 

If you’re trying to drive a vehicle over rough terrain, you need big, bulky tires – the same is true when priming over a textured wall. To help work the primer into the textures, you need a larger roller. 

If you choose the wrong brush, you could be in for a painful priming experience. 

When you’re shopping for a primer roller, look at the packaging – you should see the description: smooth, rough, extra rough. Go with a roller rated for a rough surface. 

Roll the Primer on the Wall 

Working from the top of the wall to the bottom, roll the primer onto the wall. Many people suggest using an “M” and “W” pattern. Start by applying the primer in a W pattern across the wall, then apply the primer in an M pattern going the other way. 

If needed, use a little water to thin your primer. You don’t want the primer going on in blotches. Also, there’s nothing wrong with practicing with different consistencies and applying them in an inconspicuous area. 

Allow the Primer to Dry

Allow the primer to dry before assessing if you need another coat fully. For perfectly flat surfaces, one coat of primer is usually enough. However, textures surfaces might need up to two coats. 

With that said, everybody’s wall will be slightly different, so take some time to inspect the areas of your wall. You might need to touch up the area without a complete re-priming. 

Alright, now, let’s answer some common questions about priming your textured wall. 

How Soon Can You Paint Textured Walls? 

Allow the texture compound to dry before you paint. This usually takes about 24 hours. There might be some instances where you can paint over textured walls sooner; however, these are isolated cases. 

Keep in mind; you should probably use a primer before painting. Some textures will soak up some of the paint, leaving blotchy spots. To avoid this, apply a good coat of primer and some quality paint. 

Final Words on Priming a Textured Wall 

It’s a good idea to apply primer after texturing a wall. This way, the wall is ready for a fresh coat of paint. However, you don’t want to rush the priming process. Be sure to take your time and properly prepare the wall. 

Some people choose to skip priming their textured walls. If you aren’t worried about the area, you might be able to get away with this (like a garage ceiling). However, if you’re planning on painting someday, priming is a great idea.