How to Prime Substrates Before Applying Self Leveling Concrete

How to Prime Substrates Before Applying Self Leveling Concrete

Are you looking to ensure a smooth and successful self-leveling concrete application? One of the key steps in preparing for this process is priming the substrate. By properly priming the surface before applying self-leveling concrete, you can improve adhesion, prevent bubbles and pinholes, and achieve a more durable and long-lasting finish. In this article, we will discuss the importance of priming substrates and provide a step-by-step guide on how to do it effectively.

Benefits of Priming Substrates

Priming substrates before applying self-leveling concrete offers several key benefits that can greatly enhance the overall success and longevity of the project.

Improves Adhesion

One of the primary reasons for priming substrates is to improve the adhesion of the self-leveling concrete. By creating a strong bond between the substrate and the concrete, priming helps to prevent delamination and ensure a durable and long-lasting finish.

Prevents Bubbles and Pinholes

Priming the substrate helps to seal any pores or imperfections in the surface, preventing the formation of bubbles and pinholes in the self-leveling concrete. This results in a smoother, more even surface that is free from unsightly imperfections.

Reduces Porosity

Priming also helps to reduce the porosity of the substrate, which can help to prevent moisture from seeping into the concrete and causing damage over time. By creating a barrier between the substrate and the concrete, priming helps to protect the integrity of the finished surface.

Types of Primers for Substrates

When preparing to apply self-leveling concrete, priming the substrate is an essential step to ensure proper adhesion and a successful installation. There are several types of primers available, each with its own unique properties and benefits. Here are three common types of primers used for substrates:

Acrylic Primers

Acrylic primers are water-based primers that are easy to apply and environmentally friendly. They are known for their ability to provide a strong bond between the substrate and the self-leveling concrete. Acrylic primers are also fast-drying, which can help expedite the overall installation process. Additionally, acrylic primers are often used on porous substrates to help seal and prepare the surface for the self-leveling concrete.

Epoxy Primers

Epoxy primers are solvent-based primers that offer superior adhesion and durability. They are highly resistant to chemicals, moisture, and abrasion, making them an ideal choice for high-traffic areas or industrial settings. Epoxy primers are also known for their excellent bonding properties, which can help create a long-lasting bond between the substrate and the self-leveling concrete. However, epoxy primers do require proper ventilation during application due to their strong odor.

Polyurethane Primers

Polyurethane primers are versatile primers that offer both strength and flexibility. They are often used on a variety of substrates, including concrete, wood, and metal. Polyurethane primers are known for their excellent adhesion, UV resistance, and moisture protection. They are also easy to apply and can be used in both interior and exterior applications. Polyurethane primers are a popular choice for projects where flexibility and durability are key considerations.

In conclusion, choosing the right primer for your substrate is crucial to the success of your self-leveling concrete installation. By understanding the different types of primers available and their unique properties, you can ensure a strong bond and a durable finish for your project.

Steps to Prime Substrates Before Applying Self Leveling Concrete

Surface Preparation

Before priming the substrate for self leveling concrete, it is crucial to ensure that the surface is clean and free of any debris, dirt, oil, or grease. Any existing coatings or adhesives should be removed, and the surface should be properly leveled to avoid any unevenness in the final concrete finish.

Primer Application

Once the surface is prepared, the primer should be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important to use a primer that is compatible with both the substrate and the self leveling concrete being used. The primer should be spread evenly over the surface using a roller or brush, and any excess primer should be removed to prevent pooling.

Curing Time

After the primer has been applied, it is essential to allow sufficient time for it to cure before applying the self leveling concrete. The curing time will vary depending on the type of primer used and the environmental conditions, so it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Once the primer is fully cured, the surface will be ready for the application of the self leveling concrete.


In conclusion, properly priming substrates before applying self leveling concrete is essential for ensuring a successful and long-lasting flooring installation. By following the steps outlined in this article, including assessing the substrate condition, selecting the appropriate primer, and applying it correctly, you can create a strong bond between the substrate and the self leveling concrete. This will not only improve the overall quality and durability of the flooring, but also help to prevent issues such as delamination and cracking. Remember, taking the time to prime your substrates properly will pay off in the long run.