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May 2010
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Glidden Gripper Primer

Painting is the most common finishing technique for your home. It is either validation of all your efforts or your worst nightmare highlighting areas that were not done properly.

One of the most important steps in painting is using primer. Primer performs  important functions. It seals the surface,  blocks stains,  and it covers very small imperfections depending upon application. The larger ones can be caught and fixed before you start painting that expensive color paint you bought. Because it seals the surface, the coverage of that expensive paint will come close to what it says on the can, and you may need only one good coat.

The photo on the left is Glidden Interior/Exterior Gripper Primer Sealer. I was turned on to this by the paint guy at the orange store while buying BEHR Premium exterior paint. This is the only primer you will ever need. This is a full bodied, solid color primer with incredible gap filling and coverage.  This is one of those products that make me want to paint more stuff, and painting is not on the top of my list of things to do.

I experimented with primer/paint products and they just don’t get the job done. Most notable was the complete coverage of the inked  mill marks on the lumber for the Fascia and Outdoor  Table projects. Also the gap filling on weathered wood.

Here is your 411 heads up. Quality finishes require quality prep work. If you want stunning results in painting you will need to primer. Get over it. Painting is one of the things that you cannot get an ‘app’ for. So you might as well use the products that will give you the best results. Gripper is the primer I recommend. It is really that good.

P.S. Try not to get it on you. It sticks really well and is harder than hell to get  off your skin.

66 comments to Glidden Gripper Primer

  • Suzanne Johnson

    Will Glidden Gripper work well on the vinyl walls of my manufactured home? We tested an area of the wall first by painting over the vinyl wallboard with Valspar Satin from Lowe’s. Within 24 hours in peeled off in sheets. If I cover the walls in Gripper first, will this prevent the paint from peeling off?

  • Nik

    I have a 2000 manufactured home. It has “slick feeling” patterned wallboard with battens. I have a room that I wanted to paint and would like to know if Gripper is what I need for priming to eliminate peeling that I hear often happens when attempting to paint MH walls.


  • alisa

    Hi, I heard that if you use glidden gripper, you can paint furniture without having to do any removal of the current surface (paint, sealer, etc.) Is that so? I have a bedroom set that is begging me to paint it, but it has so much carving and detail, it seems like a nightmare to have to sand anything other than the tops of the pieces. Thoughts?

  • Liz

    Gripper is the best!

    Yes, you can use it over oil-based paint, and then use a latex topcoat. Although in my experience it sticks to anything (currently using it over builder-grade bathroom cabinets) and is specifically designed for “hard-to-stick” surfaces, I’d first still clean and scuff up any surface to be painted. For many surfaces, I use a no-rinse TSP substitute… this cleans and deglosses. For a wall you might use a weak detergent solution and rinse carefully. Then, I’d use a medium-grit sanding block and just do some quick passes… no need to sand heavily, just remove any gloss.

    Gripper can be used over oil or latex paint, and also works very well on melamine furniture. It can likewise be topped by either oil or latex paint. I’ve never had problems with it not drying – if it’s applied to a poorly-prepared surface, it dries, it just won’t adhere as well. I think the problem mentioned above does have to do with the humidity.

    As mentioned, I am currently using it (the grey version) over a builder-grade bathroom cabinet. I removed doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, and cleaned every surface with the no-rinse TSP. When that was dry, I sanded every surface (including the side, which is really just “wood-look” paper over fiberboard) with the medium-grit sanding block. Again, this is merely to degloss… don’t go crazy. The Gripper adhered perfectly not just to the “real” wood of the doors, drawer fronts, and front of the cabinet box, but also to that wood-look paper. The paint (I used Behr Premium Plus Ultra) then adhered perfectly to the primer. I was really amazed and impressed. Behr Premium Plus Ultra is a 2-in-1 painter/primer product, but I didn’t trust it alone for this project. It goes on perfectly over the Gripper primer, but for a previously-glossy item, I wanted to use a separate primer with good gripping power.

    Dexter – my guess is that it will adhere, but may come off later. I would try to remove it with TSP and then sand, and then apply Gripper.

    Remember – a good primer is an absolute requirement when painting (especially when painting older or glossy items) but preparation starts before that. Gripper is the best primer I’ve ever used, but one still needs to clean and sand to get the best “gripping” power.

  • Liz

    Whoops, I missed the latest comments. To address those…

    If used on items which are not prepped in any way, Gripper will allow you to get better results than you would if you just put paint directly on the surfaces. But, as I just mentioned, early prep is still important. You don’t need to sand every carved detail, but you should use a cleaner/deglosser like TSP. The “no-rinse substitute” I use comes in a spray bottle. It removes any oils as well as deglossing. Also, remember that a foam sanding block is easy to use. You can get into more tight areas than you would think, and again, the goal is not to strip, but to scuff the area slightly, so a quick pass is adequate.

    I don’t have experience with manufactured homes, but based on my experience using Gripper on other “slick” surfaces, it seems that it would work well for your purposes. Again, clean and lightly sand first, as much as the surface will allow.

  • Barb

    Thanks for all the great info. I am thinking of refinishing laminate cabinets. FYI, we have a home improvement company and were always told by our high-end 100% extruded vinyl window companys “NEVER” to paint the windows; but in our condo community where everything has to match, someone preped with Gripper before painting windows with tan and 5 years later the paint still is not pealing.

  • melissa

    Can I use it on a small room on wood floors?

  • Vince B

    I am planning to use on walls and ceilings before painting – the walls are textured (knockdown). Will the thickness of the Gripper primer be an issue – i.e., filling in the texture?

  • Barbra

    I have wall paper in my spare bathroom. Its been on from the 70’s. I am trying to avoid the hassel of wallpaper removal i tried once and the drywall was coming off. Can i use gripper to paint over wall paper..so I can redecorate and paint over it ?

  • Jacelynn

    I have used Gripper Primer on my laminate formica cabinets in my kitchen and worked great!! Went over the laminate and also the oak wood trim that is also on the cabinets and the metal parts. This stuff is awesome! I don’t doubt I could use it also on my laminate countertops but I am going to skip that step and just buy Rustoleums new Countertop Coating specifically for countertops and it’s only $18 bucks!!

  • Tom

    Can you use gripper to paint over the old trim which is peeling now? Or do you need to sand all the way down on the old trim first?

  • elliot

    i used gripper on my kitchen wood cabinets and then painted them white .they do not look good . can i use gripper again and then stain them ? anyone have any other ideas ? help !

  • getting new alder wood cabinets would glidden gripper and there white paint do a good job? and would like a bright white

  • blues

    My 1959 house has a basement that has OSB walls covered with wallpaper (which is peeling off). After I remove the wallpaper, could I use this Gripper over the OSB? If yes, do I need to remove the leftover adhesive from the wallpaper, or do any kind of treatment?

    I read of people using oil-based primers and paints over OSB for their garages – but since this is a basement, I want it to look really nice.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated – thank you.

  • John

    Can GRIPPER be used on cedar 2×8’s and 5/4″x6″ deck boards for a deck? I plan to finish with a latex finish.

  • Bob lowden

    Can i use gripper over wallpaper