Primer is such a great product to keep in mind for your next painting project. There are pros and cons to using oil vs water based primers, but either is important for a professional looking finish that stays put! My personal favorite is BIN Zinsser Primer – a shellac based primer sticks to loads of surfaces (laminate, wood, and metal to name a few) and is great at covering stains. It dries fast, but be sure to use with lots of ventilation and a respirator – the odor is no joke and hazardous.
Depending on the surface, I apply with a foam brush or roller and lightly sand with a 400 grit sandpaper after it has dried. Don’t invest too much cash in your brush, since it is NOT water based, cleanup is tough, and you may end up tossing your brush when finished. To ensure full, even coverage, I will often put on a second coat and lightly sand again before painting. Once dry, you will have a smooth, even surface to start painting on! It is an extra step in the process, but completely worth it and may even save you a coat or two of paint!