Hiding Wall Flaws Using a High Build Primer

Ever spent time spackling and painting over holes only to find the paint over the spackled patch dries to different finish or texture than the rest of the wall? Some of the most careful paint prep work can end in disappointing results if primer fails to hide inconsistencies in the wall’s surface.

priming ceiling

In an ideal world, walls would be perfectly smooth for painting. But, even with brand new construction the reality is something less. Minor imperfections — taped drywall seams, hairline cracks, pinhole punctures, paper fuzz, tiny nicks, and sanding grooves – can compromise the look of a fresh paint job. The secret to hiding them is using a product such as Benjamin Moore’s Super Spec Prep Coat High Build Latex Interior Primer 270.

Because of its thickness on application, this primer can hide minor physical irregularities in a wall, like sanding grooves or nicks. At 4.2 mils thick when dry, it’s over twice as thick as a conventional paint. It also evens out the different porosities between joint compound (or spackle) and the drywall itself so the finish across the whole wall will be uniform.

This thick coating doesn’t mean an eternal dry time, though. Super Spec is ready to sand and recoat in 2 to 3 hours. At that point, it can be covered with latex or solvent finishes. Such a concentrated coat doesn’t go as far as a regular gallon of paint—plan to only get about 150 to 250 square feet of coverage per gallon (a gallon of Aura covers 350 to 400 square feet). One caveat: While it can close up tiny cracks, the primer can’t fix structural issues, such as building settling. If a crack regularly reappears at, say, a doorway to a staircase, even the Super Spec won’t fix it forever.

But the thing that makes formula 270 so essential, counterintuitive as it may seem, is that walls don’t have to be in poor condition to need the primer’s powers of camouflage. One of its best uses is on brand new construction. The intersection between raw drywall and fresh joint compound is a challenging transition for a coat of paint. Applying a high-build primer literally levels the playing field, helping your finish coat of paint put on its best possible performance.

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