One Less Can: Paint and Primer

one less can



The last time you painted a room yourself, did you consider a paint and primer combination? This convenient product promises to make your home improvement project simpler and cleaner.

But is it always the best option? Does combining regular paint with the thicker primer counterpart really provide the coverage you need? There are many situations in which a primer is necessary, and sometimes you just want to avoid the hassle of extra coats of paint. But if you are looking for a professional paint job, you might want to consider going to the extra trouble.


fewer coatsFewer Coats

When you are painting your home’s interior on your own, sometimes you just want to save money and mess. Purchasing a paint/primer may accomplish this goal. Paint and primers are ideal for coverage over light-colored paint (such as the beige left behind by contractors). And the coverage of a paint and primer combination is more complete than with regular paint, meaning fewer coats and fewer cans. Most paint companies on the market today offer this combination for more thorough paint coverage. Behr’s paint and primer options, for example, include both a water-resistant primer and even one you can apply at 35 degrees.


Does it do the job?

When it comes to covering walls, there’s lots to consider–from how much surface area to the color. When you are covering a dark-colored wall, you definitely need primer in order for your new color to show up properly. But does saving money on a can of primer by using a paint primer combination really do the job?

This bogging painter says that yes, they do work—after two or three coats, sometimes more if the color beneath is dark. This means you paint the same amount as you would have if you had just done a primer coat followed by your topcoat. Do you save money? Maybe. Do you save mess? Yes, it is one less can. But do you save on labor and time? It doesn’t seem so.


professionals and primerProfessionals and Primer

When it comes to getting a job done right, professional painters will most likely stick to real primer rather than using the paint and primer shortcut. That’s because a paint and primer combination does cover better than plain paint, but it also means the risk of previous paint color seeping through is greater. Most professionals prefer the assurance of quality that an extra paint can and some extra layer of painting can provide. Over at Popular Mechanics, you can find out more reasons why primer on its own often does a better job than the convenience of paint and primer together.


What will go on your walls?

Paint and primer together might be a good option for a DIY painter who is not concerned with a professional appearance, especially if he is trying to save money and mess. But taking the time to coat first with real primer produces better results—and you’ll be in the same class with professionals.

Have you ever used a paint and primer? Did you like the result? Or have you done both—used a paint and primer in one room and real primer in the next? Leave a comment in the box below to start a conversation about how which primer option worked best for you. We always respond to our comments, so there’s no reason not to start chatting with us right now!

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