I have new ceiling in my bathroom installed by my contractor. I gave him primer/sealer to apply on new drywall ceiling before painting it.

Looks like he cut corner and did not apply primer and directly painted the ceiling with white paint.

I wanted to seal drywall before paint , is it too late now ? Can I still apply this primer/sealer and paint again ?

I am using this KILZ 2 water-based primer.

  • 2
    It's not too late, but it's mostly pointless. Primer/sealer is mostly to save money on the initial coat and to achieve a more uniform topcoat finish.
    – isherwood
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 21:17

3 Answers 3


As far as I can tell the primary purpose of a primer is to identify areas that need more work. Primers are generally easy to sand to allow you to fix these problem areas.

Anytime I talk to my rep at sherwin williams they seem to indicate that you can use an initial coat of any paint as a primer. The initial coat will seal up substrates. Using a paint as primer is typically not ideal as it won't sand well. Obviously if you are going over oil or sealing out mold or stains then you want a primer designed for that and you'll sacrifice sandability.

In your case if the paint job looks good then you are probably ok. The other thing a primer is probably better at doing is handling the initial layer of drywall dust left from sanding - depending on how good of a job you do cleaning your walls after sanding. A lot of pros don't clean the walls after sanding and rely on PVA primers to handle the residual dust on the wall. I am not sure how paint vs pva primer preforms when absorbing and bonding to dusty drywall.

I have heard of these primer with paint mixtures - so they either make a hard to sand primer or a easy to scuff/damage paint? Doesn't seem like a great idea.

  • 1
    I don't entirely agree with your opening paragraph, but the rest is accurate. Primer mostly seals the drywall surface, and it's cheaper than paint so it tends to save cost.
    – isherwood
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 21:15
  • good point about cost. Commented May 11, 2021 at 18:17
  • 1
    "of any paint" but not any colour. Perhaps it's obvious to some, but should be mentioned. For instance, you can use an old dark paint as a primer for a new dark colour, and save on the new paint.
    – P2000
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 20:32

It's a shame your contractor couldn't follow directions. Check to see if the paint he used contained a primer, many paints out there now do.

The primer you purchased can be applied over latex paint so you could still use it over the painted ceiling and then repaint it.


If you wanted to prime the ceiling for the purpose of blocking moisture that is a good idea. You can still prime it as long as the paint he used is not peeling from the surface. Or you could buy better paint made for bathrooms and places that may get moisture from steamy showers.

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