Can You Leave Primer Unpainted – 3 Quick Reasons To Know More About Primers!

People use paint for different reasons. From art to design, you can use paint of your own free will, even without rules. Some people find a passion for painting because it makes them visually express their thoughts and skills. There are no specific steps to painting, but there are many various ways to do it.

Keep in mind that painting is done in different forms of art. It can be through small portions like canvases or huge ones like renovating rooms, spaces, and interior walls. For the latter, a specific type of surface and paint is used to reach the ideal goal of your design. Moreover, these materials are just easily seen by taking a quick trip to the hardware store and roaming around the paint aisle. In terms of doing home innovation, one question still remains, can you leave primer unpainted?

When you renovate your spaces, especially your kitchen, the finishing touches are always essential to focus on. There are quite a few steps on how to properly create a smooth finish product when painting. A magic ingredient for a good finish is to use a primer before painting. But what will happen if you leave the primer unpainted? Would it be best to leave it that way? Read this article further so you can find out!

Why do we need to prime?

Primers are a God-sent ingredient, especially for painters and decorators. If you aim for a smooth and hassle-free process, you should use this preparatory coating to ensure the best results. Priming the surface before painting helps in a lot of ways possible. Thus, it is undoubtedly a step that no painter and decorator would want to miss! Here are some importance of primers:

#1 Creates a stable base for painting.

Surfaces in the house, especially walls, are often porous, which leads the paint to seep in. Most of the time, these pores will be evident once the painting process is over. No matter what wall you have – may it be a drywall, metal wall, plaster, and the like – primers can do their job to make the paint stick to it. 

Primers provide a particular texture to the wall where the paint can adhere well. Frequently, painters and decorators become too lazy to prime before painting. With that said, the paint does not give off its best quality. Thus, if you aim to protect your wall and your paint, using a primer will be your best option.

#2 Covers the wall stains.

Some people cover stains with paint, an effortless way to do it. However, if you do not go through the right processes, the stain will just seep through again and again. When that happens, and you cover the surface with paint again, it will be a never-ending cycle for painters and decorators. In addition, repeatedly covering an area with paint will just pile up the paint into a generation of changes. Thus, the layering of dry paint.

Primers are an easy way to prepare the surface before painting it, and they can cover anything that needs to be covered, like stains! This process will work well with light stains, but specific primers can also solve darker stains. By applying a base coat of primer before painting, you do not have to worry about the stains bleeding through your walls every single time!

#3 Supports your dark to light change of heart!

Do you ever feel the need to just switch up the color? Going from a dark-colored surface to a light-colored one can be a headache to deal with. Most of the time, you will not get the color you want because the dark overpowers the light. Also, dark-colored paint can definitely seep through your light layer.

While it may be hard to switch, you can use primers to give you a helping hand. Instead of layering the surface with a hundred coats of your light paint, you can try using about two or more coats of white primer. This way, it will be more feasible for you to layer your surface with your goal light-colored paint. Two layers of white primer plus a couple of layers of your light paint is truly a perfect combination to get that dream color!

Can you leave primer unpainted?

Now back to the main question, is it possible to leave the primer unpainted? A quick answer is no! You cannot leave a primer unpainted for several reasons. It is indeed better when you paint after priming to get that fantastic finish look. Moreover, here are a couple of reasons why leaving a primer unpainted is more damaging than beneficial. 

#1: Primer can be too sticky.

You would not want to live with a sticky wall! When you leave primers unattended, the tendency is to have a whole adhesive surface. Primers have a thicker and stickier consistency than paints; thus, the primer itself does not seal a particular surface. 

Moreover, there could be a lot of particles that could stick to that unpainted wall. First and foremost, dust particles. You cannot relatively see dust, but once it is collected, you can be surprised by its abundance in your home. The second ones are fur and fallen hair. If you have a friendly furry friend in your home, you also have a lot of fuzz to deal with. Also, if you are prone to hair fall, you can anticipate seeing these on the wall. Hence, a sticky wall can collect all these particles and make your space look dirtier and unhygienic!

#2: It can leave an imbalance on your wall.

Some people want their walls to have textured and strokes as designs, but others prefer the plain, flat type. Priming the wall and leaving it unpainted for days can change the color of your base. With that process, you can see your wall with lighter and paler tones than the rest of the surface. 

Some parts may appear paler than the other parts for two reasons. First, while the primer has a sticky consistency, therefore it cannot create an even layer. Some layers can be thicker than others, especially if you use a stiff brush. Secondly, as before said, primers are very sticky. With that mentioned, dust particles can leave a darker and grayish tone on your wall. The color difference will be very evident once you leave the primer unpainted.

#3: Unattended primers can create hazards.

Using a primer is very beneficial for painting. With that said, if you do not paint over your primer, then you are creating severe danger and disorder. You can name a lot of things that are hazardous in a household. Once you leave your primer as is, you are enabling risk to fast-track in your home.

One good example is fire. Paints and primers cause explosions and flames whenever a source touches them. Therefore, you risk your whole safety when you leave your primer unpainted. Another example that could damage your wall is the water. Primer is not waterproof, so if you leave your primer on a wall prone to spills, it can damage the wall itself. With that said, you can top it off with paint since the paint is water-resistant.


Primer is the essence of a well-painted wall. Some people may find it tiresome to prime, but the results can assure you that it is worth trying! When you prime, it will leave you with a firm and strong paint coating that could last for a very long period. It can also lessen the effort of cleaning the wall before painting as it already solves the problem by creating a protective coat.

Whether you are a professional painter or a do-it-yourself person, you can create a good finish when you prime. But remember, it is essential not to leave your primer unattended and unpainted, for it can cause hazards and more difficulties that could cause more effort. With all these processed thoughts, you can now go prime and paint as you wish!

Watch This Video


What are the types of primers? 

There are two types of primers, the water-based primer, and the oil-based primer. Along with that, there are specific primers for wood, drywall, masonry, stains, and more!

What will primer look like if left unattended?

After some time, you can notice that the primer weakens and turn into chalk. This occurrence is caused by too much dryness of the primer after being on standby for an extended period.

How can I paint over a primer that has been unpainted for a long time?

If you left the primer unattended for more than 24 hours, which is the ideal time to let the primer dry, you could re-prime it by sanding the wall first and then applying the coat of primer.

Leave a Comment