PVA Drywall Primer

Have you ever wondered why professional painters spend a lot of time painting the primer over drywall and wood before applying the paint? Looks like a waste of time for you? Confused what’s PVA Primer? Then read on, this article is for you.

PVA is short for Poly Vinyl Acetate.  It’s a synthetic polymer (which is rubbery) and the Primer is available in different varieties. But all of them have one Key function, which is to Seal the Pores of the surface it is applied to.  Sometimes it is also referred to as wood glue or white glue.

It can also be a latex-based product and is soft due to its rubbery nature.

You wouldn’t notice the softness because when it is applied, it’s extremely thin on the surface.

As it hardens it provides a perfect surface for the paint to be vibrant and show the full potential of the paint.

What is PVA Primer Made of?

Like mentioned earlier Poly Vinyl Acetate is the core ingredient in the PVA Primer.  

There are other variants such as PVAc and Poly Ethenyl Ethanoate.  But in my opinion, all those are generally referred to as PVA.

In layman terms, PVAs are referred to as carpenter’s glue, school glue, white glue or wood glue.

That’s right, the same glue that you use for the school project. Now, you can use that glue as a primer. You need a PVA based primer and not the PVA itself.

For your drywall projects find a PVA primer that is specifically designed for sealing drywalls.

Polyvinyl Acetate is a latex resin – that’s all it is. It is non-toxic if you don’t know.

That is used as the primary ingredient in the manufacture of many paints and wood glues. Primers are formulated using polyvinyl acetate resin.  

And you know what…

PVA is the most commonly used base coat for use on newly installed drywall.

Not only on dry walls, but it is the latex primer/sealer used on acoustic ceiling tiles and popcorn ceilings.

Make sure to check if the product is low or Zero-VOC. That is important.

Manufacturers must adhere to and show the environmental effectiveness of the primer. However, it’s in your best interest to consider the same.

Check the Ozone Transport Commission Specifications (OTC) for paint and primer product data sheet, to see if it meets the standard.

Where else these primers can be used?

Well, You can use it on concrete and masonry walls.  For it provides good hiding, apart from having easy sanding and fast-drying properties.

However, I prefer using it on fresh newly installed drywall. For all other primer application, I find the right high-quality primer.

I have a lot of professional painting experts complaining that the PVA primer is very runny. However, it is probably very inexpensive.

So the painting experts all prefer to use it on new drywall installation or any unpainted surface. Instead, they choose a better-suited quality primer for other repaint applications.

What is PVA Sealer and Is It Different

The two go hand in hand. As far as I know, there are no differences. PVA actually is a sealant. Since it is providing a good base for paint to go on top of it it is also referred to as a primer.

If you look carefully on all the manufacturer’s label, they are clever with the wording.

It is always called as “PVA Drywall Primer and Sealer”.

What’s the Difference Between Drywall Primer and All Purpose Primer

Yes, there are differences.

For one, the drywall PVA primer is very thin and cheap.  It is made specifically to cover the pores of drywall.

It must be used on new installation only.

Even then, many complain that they wouldn’t use it. I can see why. It is just cheap.

In any case, never use it on a pre-painted surface it is going to be a terrible job.

Do You Need to Prime Drywall Before Painting for the First Time?

You don’t have to.  You can start using the paint directly over drywall or plaster.

However, the primer is a super important first step before painting for several reasons.

If you were to paint directly without using the primer or any kind of base coat, you will be in for a sticker shock.

A gallon of construction grade paint will cover 350 to 400 sqft on a well-primed surface.

Consider using paint directly, and you will need a minimum of 2 gallons to cover the same 350 to 400 sqft.

Now, don’t think the finish will come any closer. For all you know, that painting might look sloppy and you will have to hit the several spots to make it look even.

Never miss out on priming.

Should I Prime over Drywall Patches

Well, if it is a small area I wouldn’t go through the pain of priming. However, priming will bring the color out very well.

But if it’s just a small area, use paint as your primer the first time. Come back after 15 minutes and hit it with your regular coat of paint.

Without primer, your drywall is going to suck the paint, so if it’s a portion of the room or a wall, you are better off coming with primer before paint.

Should I Tint the PVA Primer and How to

Yes, you should. This is a neat little trick that the painters use all the time.

In fact, some of the remodeled houses that I have seen had tinted primer with no paint in less occupied areas – Laundry and such.

Know that you can tint the PVA primer. First, the primer is going to seal the surface so it’s easier for the paint to adhere and shine well.

Tinting is just going to make the paint’s life much easier. So tinting the PVA Primer with the same color and tone the wall is going to be painted is a huge plus.

If you have imperfections in your painting job, it will hide it.

Can I use PVA Primer Over Paint

No. Never use it.

I know DIYers will go back and use leftover PVA primer on the painted surface. Bad idea. It’s not going to do any good.

In fact, if you have any sheene on the paint, then you will find the PVA primer running, even with a very slick coat of it.

You need to degloss first using a solvent before using the PVA Primer. But PVA Primer is not designed for that. It is intended to close the pores and provide a painting surface that is smooth, that’s all.

Use the appropriate primer that is designed for the painted surface.

In Conclusion:

Painting is fun. That is, only if you have a good base surface that is worth painting on.

Primer is very important and that is what you need to think about when painting.

Don’t miss this or you will pay dearly and break your back while doing so.

PVA, as we saw, is a flexible polymer that does seal the pores in the surface it is applied to. So, this is a decent option when it comes to freshly installed drywall.

However, the brand that you pick plays a big role in the coverage.

Have fun and transform your living place.