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Should Drywall Be Primed Before Texturing?   

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Texturing your drywall can add a really unique kind of look and aesthetic, bit of Mediterranean flare to your home that’s tough to pull off with other finishes. And while texturing your drywall is a relatively simple and straightforward process, it is a process – and you’ll want to make sure you nail down all the individual steps.

Priming your drywall before you texture is a big piece of the puzzle. Priming allows you to get a more uniform finish, it guarantees better adhesion with the texturing material you’re using, and it ends up producing a longer-lasting finish as well.

Below we run through (almost) everything you need to know about priming your drywall before you add your texturing materials.

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

man looking at the primed drywall

Should Drywall Be Primed Before Texturing?

There are certainly some folks in the texturing world that say you can get away with texturing your drywall without any primer at all, but they are certainly in the minority.

Truth be told, almost all professional drywall installers and finishers are going to tell you that a quick coat of primer makes a world of difference – especially if you want your texture to hold for years and years to come.

To ensure the best result, drywall should be primed before texturing.

You don’t have to go crazy with priming. You don’t even have to put multiple coats on the wall.

But you do want to make sure that the surface has been properly prepared before you jump right in, locking in your primer (giving it plenty of time to try and “cure”), so that you can get the kind of adhesion you need to texture your wall properly.

More on that in just a little bit, though!

Benefits of Priming Before Texture

If you still aren’t sold on priming your walls before you apply any texture, here are a couple of the big benefits that you’ll enjoy when you knock this out.

Let’s run through them right now!

House hall interior with drywall completely installed and primed

Great Adhesion

The biggest reason you want to apply a quality primer to your drywall before you do any texturing is so that you get much better adhesion.

Texture material is pretty “sticky” all on your own, but the drywall that you’ve put up doesn’t have any stickiness or tackiness whatsoever.

In fact, a lot of commercial drywall materials – the paper barrier on the outside of the drywall, anyway – is downright slick.

That’s not going to help you achieve the kind of results you’re looking for.

Some folks choose to rough up their drywall, using a sanding block to sort of scuff up the drywall paper itself. That’s one way to get (slightly) better adhesion for sure. But it’s also a fast way to damage your drywall and compromise its integrity.

You’ll have drywall cracks, splinters, and maybe even chunks of drywall coming off in record time if you breakthrough that paper barrier with your sanding.

On top of that, sanding and scuffing the paper barrier of your drywall is going to take a whole lot more time (and produce a lot more mess) than just slapping a coat of primer on.

Go the primer route and you’ll get better adhesion with next to no cleanup whatsoever.

It’s a bit of a no-brainer!

No Rough Spots

Construction worker finishing painting drywall

Another big benefit of adding a coat of primer to your drywall before you texture is that you’re able to eliminate a lot of the “rough spots” that tape joints and screws might have left behind when your drywall was just finished.

Decent drywall installers are going to give you pretty clean joints that can be taped up and sanded, disappearing almost completely under a couple of coats of paint.

Bad drywall jobs, though – or older drywall jobs that might have already started to crack and splinter – may suffer from all kinds of cracks and valleys between your pieces of drywall.

Some of those gaps and some of those valleys can be filled with texturing material. But if they get worse (and they always get worse) you’ll end up with a splintered and cracked texturing job as well.

You’ll have to spend a ton of time every year or so re-touching your textured finish.

That’s not a fun place to find yourself.

By priming your drywall ahead of time, though, you smooth out a lot of those rough spots and seal your joints at the same time.

You don’t have to worry about splinters, cracks, gaps, and valleys opening up later down the line. Your drywall will essentially be “locked in place” and you’ll be rocking and rolling.

Longer Lasting Finish

new home construction interior drywall and finish details with white lights installed

Textured materials are designed to last a lifetime (and then some) – but only if they have been applied to a properly prepared surface.

Applying primer to your drywall allows you to extend the life of your finish, sometimes dramatically.

Primers (all quality primers, anyway) contained a variety of different binding agents that cause your texturing material to really cement itself in place.

You’re not going to get slips, you’re not going to get drips, and you’re not going to get any shifting of your texture when you have primed the surface properly.

On top of that, the binding agent helps to harden the texture even more than it would have otherwise.

This means you’ll end up with a texturing base that is a whole lot more resilient than it would have been without primer. It’ll be there for the long haul!

Smoother Application Process

At the end of the day, properly primed drywall is just a whole lot smoother to work with.

This speeds up the texturing application process. It saves you a lot of headache and a lot of hassle. But it really ends up saving you a lot of time and turns what can be a bit of a tedious project into something a lot more enjoyable.

When you know that you’re able to just sort of hit the ground running with a primed and prepared surface, rather than feeling like you are fighting your texture every step of the way, you end up with much better results.

man Finishing Drywall Walls

If you’re serious about texturing your walls properly – and want a finish that’s going to last a lifetime (and then some) – primer has to go down first.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it, our (almost) complete and total run down of why you want to prime your drywall before you even think about applying any texturing material to the surface.

As we highlighted a moment ago, you can definitely get away without doing any primer if you absolutely have to. The texturing material will (usually) still stick to your unprepared walls, though you’ll have to go back and touch things up – and it’ll certainly take a whole lot longer to finish the job than it would have with primer.

But if you want a professional grade finish, a textured finish that’s going to stand the test of time without degrading and without falling apart and don’t want to fight the project every step of the way, you need to get your hands on some primer first.

Priming your drywall will only take a couple of minutes (and then maybe an hour or two for the primer to “cure”) but the impact will be dramatic.

Prime those walls!

You won’t regret it.


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