December 16, 2013

3M Patch Plus Primer - Review


If you read this site with any regularity, it probably means that you're sick of listening to me complain about painting. I cry and moan about it a lot and now that I'm painting my entire house, I've ratcheted up the ire quite a bit in the last few months. Well, 3M's new Patch Plus Primer is designed to skip a step in painting. They asked if I wanted to try some out and of course I said "oh yeah!" I've been using it for a few weeks and here's what I think...

First off, a painted-over amateur wall patches are so obvious that they might as well come with blinking lights and sirens. The problems come in one of two forms (or, in some sad cases, both); bad sanding and lack of priming. Bad sanding speaks for've got to make it smooth...if you don't...well, there's no hope. But beyond that, we've seen a lot of people go through the trouble of all the proper sanding, but they drop the ball on the priming and go straight for their top coats. Primer seals the patch and prohibits the paint from absorbing right into the porous patching compound. If there is no primer and the paint is put directly on, it will have a different sheen from the rest of the wall. This is called flashing, which basically is another way of saying, "everyone who walks into the room can immediately tell you need to brush up on your DIY skills."

3M's new Patch Plus Primer is a patching compound that has some kind of primer added to it. The press release for the product says, (and we're not kidding here) that it uses "nanotechnology to create a quick-drying, strong, even patch in just one easy step." Whoa, that's heavy. The dictionary tells us that this means 3M is playing with atoms and molecules in order to serve this one up. So it at least has that going for it.

So yeah, I'm in the middle of painting the entire interior of my house. Every room. Every. Room. Every. Room. I'm doing it at night, so it's taking forever. I'm turning into Jack Nicholson from The Shining. But anyway, I've been using the 3M product and I really like it. It saves a boatload of time.

I was once on a job with a painter once who would prime, then caulk and patch, then spot prime, then begin with the two top coats. It seemed like an extra step, but he was convinced that his prepping was that much easier because he could see everything primed and a single color. I've done it both ways and I have to agree with him. The first priming pass gets you up close with the wall and gives you a chance to see where all the blemishes are. It also means that when you patch, you're doing so on a uniform color, so, it's easier to imagine the finished product which may alter exactly how you do things.


The 3M Patch Plus Primer fits right into this regimen. Thankfully, I've got great plasterers, so there's minimal patching, but what little I have to do, I can just do after the first prime and then move right on.

The 3M is a little crumbly and not smooth like joint compound. Sort of like a dryer MH Ready Patch. So when you're applying it, little pieces are apt to fall off the putty knife and on to the floor, so you've got to watch for that.

One thing that I really like about the 3M is that it dries a grey and not white, so it's easier to find the patched spots when you circle back to sand them down (if you're working on a fully primed or freshly plastered wall). I know a lot of painters who stir a little blue dye into their MH just for this purpose.

So overall, this is a great product. It's saving me time and when you're doing a lot of mind-numbing painting, anything that makes it end faster is a good thing.

At Amazon

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at December 16, 2013 8:40 AM
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