What is an Adhesive Primer?

Adhesive primers can be applied like to paint to surfaces.
Article Details
  • Written By: Joshua Nuttall
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 02 July 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
It takes 248 years for Pluto to orbit the sun, so since 1930, it has completed less than a third of its orbit.  more...

July 3 ,  1884 :  Dow Jones published the first stock average.  more...

Permanently adhering nearly anything to a porous substrate can be a nightmare at times. The problem is that, because the substrate is porous, it will absorb the adhesive and shorten the usable life of the carpet, linoleum, or other material that should remain glued down for a long time. The solution to this problem, and problems like it, is the use of an adhesive primer. This type of primer is a liquid product, typically made with latex, that is "painted" onto a substrate and allowed to dry. These primers are used to increase the bonding quality of any adhesive, whether it is pre-applied, as with peel-and-stick tile, or if it must be spread, as with indoor/outdoor carpeting.

Latex adhesive primer is usually water-based, and it dries relatively quickly. Depending on the ambient air temperature and the relative humidity, dry times range between 30 minutes and three hours. Substrates can be either vertical or horizontal, and include drywall, wood, plaster, masonry, concrete, wood and wood underlayments, and poured-in-place gypsum subfloors.


The area that will be primed with adhesive primer should be ready to go before the primer is applied to the substrate. This means that the area to be primed, the primer, and the adhesive should be kept at or above 65°F (18.3°C) for at least 48 hours before and 48 hours after the primer and adhesive are installed. This will ensure that the primer dries evenly, and that the adhesive itself will dry correctly. Warm materials bond to adhesive more readily than do cold materials. That is why the surface must be acclimated as well.

Before adhesive primer is applied, the user should be sure the substrate is clean. This means that it is free of any kind of surface contaminants that will prevent the primer from working at its ideal level. Any dust, dirt, wax, polish, paint, oil, grease, or other contaminants that will interfere with effective material bonding should be removed. The substrate must also be in good, usable condition, and be relatively smooth and dry.

The amount of coverage that will be provided with a given amount of adhesive primer will vary depending on the porosity and the smoothness of the substrate. Rougher substrates should be smoothed as much as possible with a patching and leveling compound. The compound should be dried and cured according to the manufacturer’s recommendations before adhesive primer is applied.

When applying adhesive primer, a short nap paint roller or a coarse fiber brush should be used. If puddles form during application, they should be rolled or brushed through so they will not become a bonding issue when the adhesive is applied. This primer should be used at full strength, and tools can be cleaned with warm water.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 3

I used the peel and stick tile in the backdoor entry way in our previous house, and it worked really well. I didn't know it came with the pre-applied adhesive primer. I only knew it had something sticky on the back. I put the tile over an old linoleum rug that had been on the floor for ages, and the tile stuck perfectly -- no loose spots or bulges.

Post 2

@Feryll - Peeling paint can be caused when old layers of oil-base paint are covered with some of the newer water-base paints. This is common in older houses. However, there are many other issues that can cause paint to peel off of walls.

The first thing you want to do is scrape off and removed any peeling paint. Some people make the mistake of painting over the peeling areas because they think the new coat of paint is going to somehow take care of all of the problems. It doesn't.

Once you remove the peeling paint, sand the walls to even out the spots, so that you don't have a noticeable hole or indention where paint has been removed

. Once you do this and then wipe the walls down to remove dust and any other particles, you can begin applying a good adhesive primer.

The primer will cover any of the old layers of oil-base paint and also provide a solid foundation for the new paint you are using to cover the walls.

Post 1

There are walls in our house that have paint that is peeling in rather large pieces. The real estate agent told us this was because the previous owners painted over oil based paint with a water based paint, or the other way around. I don't remember which it was, but the paint is peeling.

Will an adhesive primer allow me to paint over the walls and not have to worry about the new coats of paint peeling off?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?