Primers and putties: the basis of any repair

Indeed, primers and putties in the literal and figurative sense are the basis of every complex repair and any finishing work. It doesn’t matter what you have to do – lay tiles, paste wallpaper, plaster or paint the walls. First of all, you should take care of carefully preparing the surfaces with which you will work. After all, the coating applied to them should last for many years.

Most often, the finished primer is applied with a roller. At the same time, it is important to apply it evenly, in one layer, without gaps.

The first step is priming

Whatever the base surface (substrate) is – concrete or metal, plaster or wood – all coatings must adhere firmly to it. For this, primers are used, which penetrate deeply into the base and improve its adhesion (adhesion) with the subsequent layer. With their binding and strengthening properties, primers often prevent damage to the underlying surface (for example, when removing wallpaper). In addition, the primer layer promotes more uniform application and absorption (absorption) of materials such as paints, plaster, wallpaper glue, putties, etc. The result is obvious: the quality of the finishing of premises is improved.

The leveling mixtures are applied in smooth movements, preferably in one thin layer and in one pass. It is best to use a wide stainless steel spatula for this.

Of course, you don’t need to prime, say, concrete walls. But in this case, the probability of a poor-quality repair increases significantly: subsequently, the plaster can fall off, the wallpaper sag; in addition, under the influence of moisture, it is possible that all kinds of defects (stains, streaks, cracks) appear on the finishing layer. Thus, applying a primer before applying a dry mixture or plaster is an additional guarantee of the quality of the future surface. Priming treatment costs an average of $ 0.5 per 1 m2, and the cost of all plastering work, followed by painting and wallpapering can reach $ 20 or more per 1 m2. And to this must be added the cost of materials. And the exclusion of not the most expensive stage of finishing work can further cancel out all efforts, not to mention the financial costs of finishing walls and ceilings.

The times when virtually the same primer was used for all types of work are long gone. And the construction and repair technologies in our country have changed dramatically in recent years, approaching those used throughout the civilized world. Today on the Russian market there is a great variety of both dry and ready-to-use modern priming materials, from which you can choose exactly the one you need. In the production of the composition, the type of surface to be treated is taken into account (brick wall, concrete or expanded clay concrete blocks, metal, gypsum, plasterboard, wood, surfaces plastered with cement mortar, etc.), the characteristics of the room in which the primer is applied (wet or dry), as well as the method of further finishing (painting, tiling, plastering). As a rule, the compounds used for the initial preparation of the bases (the so-called primer primers) and for improving the adhesion between the finishing layers are distinguished..

The use of two spatulas – main and auxiliary – allows you to apply the entire mixture without residue and at the same time clean the tools

Primers include film-forming substances (resins, bitumen, oils, different types of adhesives, etc.), pigments, drying accelerators and various additives to give the surface certain properties. Produced on mineral, acrylic, alkyd and other bases.

In mineral-based soils, cement is used as a binder. Such compositions are used for primary accelerated processing and preliminary leveling of internal walls made of mineral materials: plaster, concrete, lightweight concrete, brick, gas silicate and expanded clay concrete blocks. Nowadays, universal water-borne primers with good hiding power based on acrylic copolymers are quite widespread. These formulations provide good adhesion to the final coat, including latex, acrylic and alkyd paints. Equally suitable for the preparation of surfaces made of concrete and concrete blocks, cement and cement plaster, gypsum and gypsum plasterboards, wood and its derivatives, as well as for previously painted surfaces and fiberglass wallpaper.

Internal Corner Putty Application

Fast drying alkyd based primers are designed for primary and secondary treatment of new and previously painted wood, fiberboard and chipboard. They have good adhesion to such difficult-to-work surfaces as fiberglass, PVC plastic, galvanized steel, glass, tiles. Among the materials with a narrow specialization, it is necessary to note moisture-proof primers (with anti-mold and fungicidal additives), special insulating primers (prevent the detection of coating defects caused by nicotine, smoke, soot, dried water), primer paints for ceilings and finally primers for floor preparation.

Currently, the market offers a wide range of products, both foreign and domestic brands. Many large international companies have established their own production in Russia and produce soils based on local materials. Russian firms using imported technological equipment are not lagging behind. The products themselves contain foreign components and additives. The retail price for such Russian-made primers is slightly lower than for imported ones, and the quality is quite comparable. As a rule, primers and putties are produced by large manufacturers of dry building mixtures or paints and varnishes. The most popular in Russia are such foreign companies as ALPA (France), ATLAS (Poland), DUFA, HENKEL BAUTECHNIK, KNAUF, PUFAS, JOBI (Germany), OPTIROC, TIKKURILA (Finland), ICI PAINTS (UK), UCP PAINT (Canada ), SEMIN (France). Among domestic manufacturers, it should be noted “GLIMS-PRODUCTION”, “IVSIL”, “CONSOLIT”, “KREPS”, “SVYATOZAR”, “STARATELI”, “RUSLUX” (trade mark “Eurolux”), as well as the association “YAROSLAVSKIE KRASKI”.

A high-adhesion primer should be applied to a dense and low-porous substrate such as a brick.

According to the price-quality ratio, all primer and putty compounds on the market can be conditionally divided into four groups:

The cheapest materials. Applicable in cases where the decisive factor is price, not quality (this mainly applies to the decoration of public premises, government organizations, etc.). Here, as a rule, one type of primer is provided for all types of interior work. High-quality domestic materials, manufactured either jointly with foreign firms, or based on imported components (TIGI-KNAUF, GLIMS, IVSIL, SVYATOZAR, YAROSLAVSKIE PAINTS, EUROLUX and others).
The third group is made up of putties and primers from well-known foreign companies, the most widely used in Russia (ATLAS, DUFA, JOBI, OPTIROC, TIKKURILA).
Elite European (English, German and French) materials, which are used only on request. An example of such products is the materials of the German company LUGATO CHEMIE. They contain all sorts of specific additives, in particular, allowing you to adjust the rate of drying of the mixture.

It is convenient to level the inner corners with a special spatula

The listed compositions also differ in price: a standard 10-liter canister of primer of the first group costs up to 90 rubles, the second – 100-300 rubles, the third – 400-600 rubles. As for the materials of the fourth group, they can cost 3-4 times more than mixtures of the third level..

If there is a financial choice, it makes sense to combine materials of the second and third groups. High-quality domestic compositions to carry out work in auxiliary and secondary rooms (storage room, garage, gym, loggia), and to send imported ones to the most “responsible” surfaces – walls, ceiling, ledges, outer corners of the living room, kitchen, office.

The higher the cost of primers, the more strictly they differ in purpose: materials appear separately for concrete, for painting, for porous surfaces. Each layer acquires a clear specialization (layer between wall and plaster, between plaster and putty, between putty and paint, under wallpaper).

Putty putty on the outer corner on one side…

Each surface has its own soil

Pay attention to the degree of porosity of a particular base (brick, concrete, plaster, etc.), that is, its ability to absorb moisture. This characteristic determines the adhesion strength of finishing materials not only with the base, but also with each other. On relatively dense, low-porosity substrates, it is better to apply a primer with high adhesion properties. A loose, very porous surface is best strengthened with deep penetration soil. Universal primers are applied on substrates with a medium porosity (a drop of water will dry on such a surface from 3 to 20 minutes).

Most high quality professional primers are designed for a specific type of substrate in order to get the most out of their application. Here’s an example. It is especially difficult to apply the first layers of plaster on monolithic concrete walls. Therefore, such surfaces must be treated with primers. In this case, the optimal formulations are mineral-based (binder – cement), developed specifically for these purposes and guaranteeing a high-quality result. For example, the TIGI-Knauf “Betokontakt” primer is designed specifically for pretreatment under plaster of dense, non-absorbent substrates (monolithic concrete, massive concrete ceilings, etc.) during interior work. Depending on the type of surface, “Betokontakt” is applied undiluted or mixed with water in a 2: 1 ratio.

…and the final alignment of the corner with the other

The Russian company “CONSOLIT” also produces its special primer. The Consolit 301 composition forms a layer with high adhesion to cement-sand mortars, plasters and polymer-based mixtures. With Consolit 301 primer, it is good to treat not only bases made of in-situ concrete, but also floors, ceilings and all other surfaces made of factory reinforced concrete panels. This brand does not have a penetrating effect, does not strengthen weak surfaces and does not impart water resistance to the base (all these properties are distinguished by its brother Consolit 340). The main task of the Consolit 301 composition is to increase the adhesive properties of the surface.

Another popular primer in Russia for primary treatment (leveling) of walls made of mineral materials (concrete, brick and expanded clay concrete blocks), as well as for repairing old surfaces plastered with cement mortar, is “Vetonit TT” by the Finnish company OPTIROC. This cement-based mortar is intended for dry, damp and wet environments. It is often used in the preparation of surfaces for tiling..

For the convenience of working with putty, two spatulas are usually used – a large and a small

Finishing wet rooms (bathrooms, showers, saunas, baths) also requires the use of special primers. They must create a thin waterproofing layer on the surface of the base that prevents moisture from penetrating into the structures. The Waterproof Primer 94, produced by the French company SEMIN, for outdoor and indoor use protects the surface from condensation, leaks, capillary moisture and mold. It is applied in two layers: the first forms water-insoluble fillings and stops the penetration of moisture, the second creates a flexible and elastic waterproof film. The primer can be used to prepare the base for painting, wallpaper, putty, tiling, and also, when it comes to floor processing, under the screed.

Among the relatively new materials on the Russian market, one can note the Elegant 144 universal water-borne primer-putty based on vinyl acrylic latex (from UCP PAINT). The material allows you to combine two operations – priming and puttying – and, therefore, significantly reduce the time of work. If we compare Elegant 144 with the usual formulations, then it is thicker than a primer, but thinner than a putty. When applied, it fills in all small cavities and smoothes the surface. It can also be used as a finishing coat before painting. The applied layer of Elegant 144 is sanded after drying like a normal putty. You can use a primer-putty for external and internal work. It is suitable for re-painting and repairing painted (with the exception of long-term layers of oil paint) and unpainted surfaces (smooth, porous, embossed, rough and rough). Provides excellent adhesion to the final coating.

The correctness of the geometry of the corners and walls can be checked using the building level

As for the preparation of surfaces for painting, it is best to use materials from the same manufacturer. This will ensure a high-quality result of all work. Each serious company produces its own product line, guaranteeing the compatibility of various materials within its limits. And if you want to achieve a good result, ultimately it is not the thickness of the applied primer that is important, but its type and brand of the manufacturer..

It is worth emphasizing once again: surface treatment with soil is mandatory according to technology. If you have to deal with old and loose walls, the decision is usually made to prime them in the most thorough way so that the reinforced layer is as thick as possible. If the walls are solid and adhere well, the primer is usually thinned. In this case, working with high-quality primers of the third group, you can even reduce their concentration in order to save expensive material. The optimum value of the thickness of the applied layer of soil is 0.2 mm. It should be taken into account that the porous surface has better absorbency. The material consumption increases accordingly. More primer will be needed for additional treatment of old walls with chalky surfaces..

When working with priming and leveling compounds, rollers, metal and rubber spatulas, trowels are used. The final grinding of surfaces is carried out with a grinding float with a handle. The mixture can be prepared using an electric drill with special attachments.

An experienced foreman, assessing the condition of the walls on the spot, can make some changes in the order of finishing work regarding the thickness of the layers and the levels of priming. For example, under vinyl or fiberglass wallpapers with subsequent painting, sometimes they do not use priming of the wall, but only puttying or plastering. The fact is that the wallpaper itself in this case plays a certain binding role (in fact, glue performs the function of a primer here). Under the tiles, the primer may not be applied if the base surface is in good condition (if necessary, the walls are primed with tile adhesive). Gypsum blocks must be primed before laying the tiles: the soil is absorbed into the surface, creating a film that will not allow the glue to lose moisture (if the glue does not dry within the time prescribed by the manufacturer’s instructions, it loses strength, and the tile may fly off over time).

Putties for interior work

Even a relatively thick layer of primer follows the surface profile. Therefore, the geometric correctness of the walls can be achieved mainly in two ways – by applying a layer of plaster or by gluing sheet materials, such as gypsum plasterboard or gypsum fiber sheets. The final alignment of geometrically correct walls is carried out using a putty, which has the property of being sanded, due to which the surface can be brought to a very smooth state.

All modern putties are dry mixtures, mixed with water, or ready-to-use pasty substances and are divided into leveling (rough-relief) and finishing.

Rough-relief “rough” compounds (they are also called first layer putties) are intended for preliminary leveling of surfaces. Such putties are applied in a layer with a thickness of 0.5 to 2.5 mm in one pass. The first layer should be flexible enough so that it does not shrink and crack when dry..

Finishing putties are used to seal small defects, cracks, scratches, and during the final leveling of the surface, they are applied in a thin layer – usually no more than 1 mm. Especially thin materials are called superfinishing materials. It is necessary to apply the finishing putty in several layers of 0.1-0.2 mm with intermediate drying. It is important to ensure that the total thickness of the layers does not exceed the maximum permissible value for a given putty (it is different for different brands and must be indicated on the packaging). Otherwise, the surface may crack..

The best modern dry putties are made on the basis of gypsum or cement and must be modified with polymers, which ensures better adhesion of the material to the base, elasticity, water resistance, ease of processing and, ultimately, increasing the durability of the applied layer. Gypsum putties are used only in dry rooms and are characterized by high plasticity, whiteness, ease of application and ease of grinding. Gypsum-based compositions are especially common today. They grasp quickly and are quite comfortable to work with..

Cement-based putties are practically not inferior to gypsum ones in ease of application, but they are characterized by increased moisture resistance – they can be used not only in dry, but also in damp rooms. It is necessary to grind cement putties in 1-2 days after application, as they gain strength for a long time and after a month they are already difficult to process.

Putty mixtures are prepared immediately before work and are suitable for use for a certain time (this indicator is determined by the composition of the putty). Each manufacturer indicates in the instructions for use the shelf life of the composition from the moment of preparation to the beginning of setting, when its plastic properties (the ability to uniformly distribute in a thin layer) are lost.

For modern putties, the “life time” ranges from 5 to 24 hours. Thanks to this, it is possible to avoid premature drying of the composition (and, therefore, increased consumption of materials) and less often distracted by the preparation of fresh portions.

Home stretch

A full range of putties for interior work is offered by all major manufacturers of building and paint and varnish materials: DUFA, TIGI-KNAUF, JOBI, OPTIROC, PUFAS, TIKKURILA, GLIMS-PRODUCTION, SVYATOZAR, RUSLUX. For example, OPTIROC produces several types of putties for finishing dry premises: rough Vetonit T (with an organic binder) and Vetonit L (with a polymer binder), finishing Vetonit KR (coarse-grained) and Vetonit LR Plus (fine-grained ). They are applied mechanically by spraying. The company also produces waterproof putties (rough “Vetonit B” and finishing “Vetonit BX”) on a cement basis for walls and ceilings. In expensive high-quality compositions, the solid fractions have a very small cross-section (in rough putties of the Vetonit brand, the maximum particle diameter is 0.6 mm, in the finishing compounds – only 0.1 mm; the same particles are in the Consolit 505 mixture). As a result, walls and ceilings can be made very flat and smooth. In addition, the putty contains a number of special chemical additives that increase their strength and adhesive properties, ensure uniform drying of the solution, and subsequently – the elasticity of the finished layer..

Of all the materials available on our market today, experts consider the products of TIGI-KNAUF and OPTIROC to be the most successful in terms of price-quality ratio. The compositions of these brands are well combined with each other and form an almost complete line of materials for finishing work. Comparatively high quality at a reasonable price is provided by the products of DUFA (Schnell-Spachtel, Fullstoffinnen, Glattfix Elite-serie series) and TIKKURILA (Presto, Lakkakiti, Prestonit, Spakkeli series). Primers and putties from the Russian-Israeli joint venture “GLIMS PRODUCTION” are comparable in quality to imported ones, and the price level for them is somewhat lower. If it is necessary to maintain acceptable quality at affordable prices, the best choice will be the brands “IVSIL”, “SVYATOZAR”, “EUROLUX” (“RUSLUX”) and CONSOLIT. The main thing is to remember that products of different levels (cheap and expensive) do not fit well with each other and that when using expensive materials it is best to use the products of one company.

As a rule, a line from one manufacturer – primers, putties, tile glue, dry mixes – is designed just so that users do not have a problem of material incompatibility (just read the instructions for each of them carefully). Therefore, if you use dry mixes TIGI-KNAUF, the quality of all work will be ensured only if you use primers, putties and different types of glue of the same brand. By the way, the TIGI-KNAUF company, whose main products are gypsum plasterboard and gypsum fiber sheets, also produces a whole line of dry and ready-made putty mixtures for gypsum and plasterboard applications. In particular, these are putties of the Fugenfüller and Fugenfüller Hydro series for sealing gypsum plasterboard joints, Uniflot – for manually filling gypsum plasterboard panels without reinforcing strips, Bordfinish – gypsum putty for finishing work and even a quick-hardening compound floors, bricks and concrete. Almost all manufacturers have a putty specifically for plasterboard surfaces in their program. Suffice it to mention the mixtures for sealing and leveling GKL “Vetonit Siloite” by OPTIROC or “Presto Yot” by TIKKURILA.

It should be especially noted that the wallpaper lags behind the wall much more often if it is glued directly onto the plaster. That is why, in this case, a layer of putty must be present – they will stick better to a smoother, putty and sanded surface. The processed base ensures stable and uniform absorption of the glue, which means that the wallpaper will not crumple and stretch, and will not “wrinkle”. If, before gluing them, putty is not applied to the wall, all surface defects (pits, irregularities) may appear, which are clearly visible if the wallpaper is thin, and even more noticeable if non-standard lighting is mounted in the room. In some cases, when thick, heavy embossed wallpaper is attached to high-quality walls, applying a putty may not be necessary – a layer of primer is enough. The same is sometimes done if the walls are perfectly plastered. Nevertheless, this is a violation of technology that requires the compulsory filling of the walls under the wallpaper..

It’s better to calculate everything in advance

In order to avoid any misunderstandings with payment for repairs, the types and class of materials used should be set at the very beginning of work. It is advisable to prepare a project and terms of reference, which will stipulate the finishing materials used, as well as the sequential procedure for carrying out all operations, from removing old coatings to finishing the premises. The main costs are determined based on a clear knowledge of the degree of curvature of the walls and the level of customer requirements. For standard work, the material consumption rates indicated by the manufacturer correspond approximately to the actual.

And in terms of money, and in time, and in terms of material consumption, plastering and puttying operations account for the largest share in all work, and the cost can reach a third of the cost of interior decoration. Even in new buildings, not to mention typical buildings, the tolerances for the curvature of walls, floors and corners are relatively large. That is, it will not be possible to glue wallpaper or lay tiles without leveling the walls. But the more types of work, the more expensive the cost of repairs.

Most construction and renovation firms can offer a detailed work plan, tailored to the level of decoration. Each firm has its own gradation, but, as a rule, there are several main levels. Most often it is a simple, improved (removing old wallpaper and paint up to concrete, leveling walls) and high-quality finishing (involves applying several layers of primer, using different types of materials for each layer, etc.).

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