Paint Primers in San Antonio

Before we start painting anything, our best projects start with a layer of Benjamin Moore primer from San Antonio Paints. The primer you choose will affect everything from the project’s appearance to the longevity of the paint applied over it. With these stakes, San Antonio Paint is excited to help you get started on your next paint project.

When To Use Primer

Primer is always essential, but thankfully some projects’ pumps are already primed. Jokes aside, knowing what unique scenarios don’t require a primer to save your time and money is crucial.

Benjamin Moore Paint & Prime Products

Some Benjamin Moore products are equipped to both paint and prime the location. Similar to 2-in-1 shampoo, this simplifies the process immensely, often to no discernible difference.

Previous Paint Projects

If you’re working on an area in good condition that has been painted previously, you likely don’t need to prime. The most important layer for primer is between the base and the first layer of paint, and if you’re painting over that, you’re covered.

Good Scenarios for Primer

Here’s a list of easy cases to use primer:

  • When the underlying layer has not been previously coated or painted.
  • Any PVC or composite material (particularly when bare).
  • Areas that have been sanded or worn down to the base layer due to damage.
  • Surfaces where rust or stains are present.
  • Dramatic color changes – regardless of the current state of the base layer.
  • Hard-to-coat surfaces. Primer acts as a binding agent for those hard-to-paint surfaces like plastic, laminate, glass, high-gloss, or non-porous surfaces.

Acrylic vs. Alkyd (Oil-based) Primers

Knowing when to use primer is an excellent first step, and the next is determining what kind of primer is best for you. When choosing a primer for a project, the primary consideration will be whether to use an acrylic (synthetic) or alkyd (oil-based) primer.

Acrylic Primers

Folks typically choose acrylic primers for quick general coating or to prep an area for a color change. They’re easier to apply, can be cleaned up by water, and are significantly more environmentally considerate. Acrylic-based primers serve as an excellent bonding primer and can be used on any of the following surfaces:

  • Wood
  • Laminate
  • Metal (without rust)

Alkyd Primers

Alkyd Primers are far better suited to areas where deep stains need to be covered or blocked. This covering is especially important in surfaces that have rust, smoke, water stains, or are just naturally stained (like some woods)

The benefits of use are many. It is among the fastest drying oil-based primers. They are great for both interior and exterior wood base layers. Lastly, they’re great for working with highly porous materials like natural wood.

Primer on Primers

Fresh Start® High-Hiding All Purpose Primer

  • Use: Interior or Exterior
  • Type: Acrylic
  • Base Layers: Most, including wood, laminate, drywall, plaster, and most non-ferrous metals, including galvanized metal.
  • Features: Superior Adhesion, Stain Blocking, Mildew-resistance, and maximum hide. This fast-drying, low-VOC acrylic latex primer performs well when aiming for serious color change.
Benjamin Moore Fresh Start® High-Hiding All Purpose Primer, San Antonio Paints near San Antonio, Texas (TX)
Benjamin Moore Fresh Start® All Purpose Primer at San Antonio Paints near San Antonio, Texas (TX)

Fresh Start® All-Purpose Primer

  • Use: Both Interior and Exterior
  • Type: Alkyd, oil-based
  • Base Layers: Best for wood and some laminate; not suitable for galvanized metal, PVC, ceramic tiles, or fiberglass.
  • Features: Premium low VOC alkyd primer. This undercoat and stain-blocking sealer gives a mildew-resistant coating and is quick to dry. The product offers excellent adhesion, unique hide, and tannin blocking.

Fresh Start® Undercoater & Primer/Sealer

  • Use: Interior
  • Type: Alkyd, oil-based
  • Base Layers: Best for interior wood projects, previously painted surfaces, and drywall; unsuitable for aluminum, brick, cedar, redwood, concrete, stucco, galvanized metal, PVC, or fiberglass.
  • Features: This interior product is known for its quick turnaround time and marvelous enamel holdout and stain suppression. This primer is perfect for creating an even topcoat on which to paint.
Benjamin Moore Fresh Start® Undercoater & Primer/Sealer at San Antonio Paints near San Antonio, Texas (TX)
Benjamin Moore Fresh Start® Deck and Siding Primer, San Antonio Paints near San Antonio, Texas (TX)

Fresh Start® Deck & Siding Primer

  • Use: Exterior only
  • Type: Alkyd, oil-based
  • Base Layers: Tannin-rich woods and weathered or chalky surfaces.
  • Features: This Benjamin Moore’s premier deck/wood primer penetrates wood surfaces for maximum adhesion. Deck & Siding Primer doubles as a sealant to protect the wood from the elements. Blocks tannin bleeding and suppresses stains.

INSL-X® Primers by Benjamin Moore

  • Aqua Lock® Plus Primer/Sealer
  • Prime Lock Plus
  • Stix® Waterborne Bonding Primer
  • Block Out® Exterior Tannin Blocking Primer
Benjamin Moore INSL-X® Primers and Paints at San Antonio Paints near San Antonio, Texas (TX)


Primers can be complicated, but you don’t have to understand them alone. Our talented and knowledgeable team is excited to help you accomplish all your paint goals. San Antonio Paints is your local Benjamin Moore dealer and is locally owned and operated by Texans like you. We have over 3500 hues to choose from and offer all the high-quality accessories and tools that set us apart from our competitors. Visit our shop or contact us online today to learn more about how we can assist your project.