My House Was Painted With Primer. What Should I Do?

I bought my first home a year ago and I've recently discovered that it was painted with primer, but no regular paint over the primer.

I discovered this when I was looking through some paint tins from under the house. There's a big tin on Dulux 1Step primer/sealer/undercoat, which has been fully tinted blue. After some quick research I found that primer is only usually tinted "towards" the final colour and not usually fully tinted the final colour.

I've since used some of it for touch ups and it's definitely the exact same colour.

I think the house was "painted" with the tinted primer 2-4 years ago.

Is this the previous owner cutting corners? The house had been a rental for a decade or so before I bought it so they may have been looking to save a bit of money on an investment property. Can I get by just leaving it as is, or should I be looking to paint the house ASAP?

Any help is appreciated.

mspaint diagram if you need it.


  • +38

    Excellent post, has MS Paint diagram. 5/7

    • +1

      I'm loving the 3D realistic paint tin!

  • +4

    Lol at the diagram 😂

  • +13

    Judging the size and structural integrity of the house, I think you should rebuild then apply new paint.

    • +6

      Clearly there's some paint left over - the tin is AS BIG AS THE HOUSE!

    • +2

      Make house out of paint tin

  • +3

    "mspaint diagram if you need it"

    Excellent ;)

    Could be the previous owner cutting corners (or the painters!).

    Yes, unless you're recladding the walls you should overpaint with a suitable exterior paint asap. Primer is not UV protected like exterior top coats and I would assume that after 2 years of exposure to the sun it would have broken down quite a bit. If you don't overcoat soon, you'll also need to reprime which will be more time and $$$.

    • There only seems to be minimal damage to the paintwork. DJR9000 raised a good point that the house may well have overcoat and the previous owners/painters used up all the overcoat but had primer left over, so that's all I found under the house. So now I have no idea if the house was painted properly or not.

  • +3

    My House Was Painted With Primer. What Should I Do?

    Errr paint it in a top coat then?

  • Run a few coats of paint over the top?

    If you decide to run it through your printer, a water-resistant inkjet will probably be best in this case! :)

  • +1

    Interior is never that big of a deal.

    If it bothers you, just repaint it. If it doesn't just leave it.

    • +3

      Please refer to detailed MS Paint diagram, which clearly indicates it is exterior

  • -1

    If you like the colour just leave it, otherwise when you have the time choose another colour and paint the whole house with two coats of the new colour. You’ll probably have to repaint eventually once the paint is looking old or faded. Paint is mostly aesthetic, so it doesn’t matter that it’s painted in undercoat other than the appearance.

  • +2

    Are you sure it's actually primer and not just a different tin? Eg maybe they had a 20L tin and put the leftovers in a 4L tin?

    • No - this may well be the case.

      It's a 20L tin and it's full. There's a second 20L tin that's almost empty. No overcoat left over so I can't tell just by the tins I have.

  • +2

    You really can't tell if what had happened is they got the primer tinted as well as regular paint and then painted over the primer and ran out of paint. So there's only a big primer tin left and the overcoat ran out and they chucked out the empty tin.

    If you really care, just go buy some more paint e.g. dulux weathershield, rollers, drop sheets etc, then hose/pressure wash/sugar soap the walls and paint over it. scrape, sand and re-prime any flaking or damaged areas before painting.

    • Is it common practice to tint primer? I had jumped to the conclusion that the whole house must only be painted with primer because I didn't think there was any reason to tint it to the same colour as the overcoat.

      I think I'll keep an eye on it and paint over it if it looks like it's not holding up. Thank you for the advice.

  • Primers can be tinted to the exact colour. If it's a just primer, it will appear thin and flat. The topcoat paint will look fuller, and likely have a slight sheen.

  • Mint the ms paint diagram as NFT, sell for a cool million and buy new house

  • What is this? A house for ants…the building has to be at least… three time bigger than this!

    • It is pretty small actually. At least 7 ants could fit I reckon.

  • Say hello to poppa smurf..

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