Design Dish: Paint & Primer

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{Our first paint decision in our new home.}

For this weeks design dish I’ve decided to tackle a question I’m asked a lot and most times I’m met with resistance when I give my response. The question I get asked a lot by family and friend is what paint they should use when tackling a paint job on their own. They don’t want to know a specific brand they want to know my thoughts on paint & primer.

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{ Then after the brown I got the itch for pink and we re-painted. By we I mean I hired a painter so Jon wouldn’t divorce we for changing my mind and repainting so soon.}

These last couple of years we have been bombarded with paint company after paint company coming out with a paint and primer line. They swear the coverage is amazing and that you’ll be skipping one step. I fell for it a couple of years ago and purchased a paint & primer by Behr. I’ve used Behr on many occasions and love their normal paint so I figured why not try it.

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{ The white below the chair rail took 7 coats with paint & primer!}

Worst experience of my life. The paint and primer took 7 coats to get full and even coverage. I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t even covering over a dark color with a light color. I was covering a light color with a shade of white. I reached out to Behr and they very nicely refunded my money and I continue to use their normal paint line from time to time.

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{ A bamboo armoire we painted for a client.}

We paint a lot of furniture for clients, our own home and for selling purposes and on occasion I have picked additional paint & primers from other companies when they have been in the Oops section and I’ve liked the color. I’ve continued to have the same experience with it and I no longer buy it from any brand.

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{ Hudson’s nursery when we had just finished painting. We used Mythic for this job and we really liked it.}

To be honest I don’t always prime, but when I do I go for Kilz. For my paint I’m not brand loyal to one brand. I like testing out all different brands and my latest favorite is Harmony by Sherwin Williams. It’s zero VOC and is odor free. Now a lot of paints say they are odor free, but this is the first one I’ve used where I’ve actually not smelled a thing and was able to sleep in the room the very same day with no issues. Win, win. I also found an amazing roller during my last paint job and I’m now obsessed with using red mohair rollers.

How do you feel about Paint & Primer? Do you have luck with it? You now know my thoughts on out so if you ever ask for my advice at the paint counter I will passionately try to talk you out of it every time.

*In my research it looks like some painters have used and like Aura by Benjamin Moore, which is there version of paint/primer that promises no more than 2 coats for every color.

 

 

 

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21 Responses to Design Dish: Paint & Primer

  1. Andrea R. says:

    I used valspar paint and primer in a dark blue for the back of my bookcases 2 wks ago and only needed 2 coats to get an even coverage. Very satisfied!!!! Now i used another valspar for a vintage cabinet to paint the interior (it formerly held motor oil and such) and i have some red and brown coloring that has shown thru after 3 coats. Not so happy there, but wont notice once the doors are re attached.

  2. Lindsey says:

    I used Behr’s paint and primer in one on my crappy kitchen cabinets. I only needed two coats to go from a (very sanded down) oak to grey.

  3. Colleen says:

    I’ve been asked the same question too and have always said don’t do it…I really have no evidence to back up my answer but I’ve always been leery about the pain/primer combo…glad to know my insticts were right!

  4. debra goerner says:

    I recently went from a dark mauve (previous owner) to a beige in my sons room. I figured I would get a cheaper paint since I have always used BM but didn’t want to spend the money for a kids room. I used Gilden paint and primer. I was sold. ONE COAT. over dark mauve.
    I tried Gilden again on a textured wall over a bright yellow (again previous owner) and had them mix it in Kendall Charcoal BM. One coat again. I have always been a name brand; more expensive is better, kind of girl so I am shocked. This has all been in the last 6 months though, perhaps formulas have changed?

    • effortless says:

      Hmmmm you have intrigued. Glidens paint colors have been so pretty lately that I have been tempted to try them out. I just went over a textured paint myself and used Kilz first to make sure it was smooth. That’s great that you had such success with Gliden I may need to try it out.

  5. Jamie says:

    When I painted my master bedroom, I opted for a separate paint and primer, and the woman at the counter looked at me like I was crazy and told me I should just buy the paint& primer in one. My bedroom was a deep purple and I wanted it to be a light airy blue. I stuck with my instincts, and it might have been more work, but I have very little bleed through.

    • effortless says:

      Yay for sticking to your guns! I think you made the right decision with a transition from dark to light. I like paint and primer is like those shampoo and conditioner combos. I think once they are together they just don’t enough impact or work as strongly as doing them both separately. Just my 2 cents.

  6. amanda says:

    Really??! I’m SHOCKED! I love that paint plus primer stuff. Maybe it’s something about your walls? I used it in our previous almost-100 yr old home on the plaster and in our new house built last year on the builder paint drywall and I’ve been really happy with it. I always do two coats (I’m not good at getting it on evenly the first time) and I think that it looks as good as the paint I’ve bought from Benjamin Moore in the past.

    • effortless says:

      Yea Jon and I hate the stuff. It never works when we use it. We have an older home so it’s all plaster walls around here. Maybe its work better on new walls.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I only use Behr’s paint and primer. It has never let me down, regardless of the color I am trying to cover, and I can generally get excellent coverage is two coats. For oil based paints, I always prime with Kilz. My bad paint experience happened with a Martha Stewart paint. What a nightmare! I love the color selection but the paint quality is lacking.

    • effortless says:

      I’ve actually tried the Behr Paint and Primer more than once due to oops paints that I’ve picked and have never had a good experience. Happy to hear that it worked for you. I had MS paint too! The colors are beautiful, but the paint not so much.

  8. Carol-Anne says:

    I’m an obsessive painter, both for myself & for clients, and I am devoted to Benjamin Moore’s Aura line! The fastest drying, best covering, least smelly paint I have ever used! Well worth the slightly higher price.

    Thanks for the review of paint + primers~ I’ve always wondered if they worked & am glad to know I don’t have to waste my time!

    • effortless says:

      Happy to hear Aura lives up to the hype. I love BM paint, but I’ve never used it. I’m now obsessed with the Sherwin Williams Harmony paint. It won me over and only $48 a gallon so not too bad.

      • Focipresley (Bon) says:

        Just wanted to add to Carol Ann’s comment about the BM Aura. I painted a dark blue (gentlemen’s gray) over a golden yellow colour and it only took the two coats. Pretty good! The only complaint I have (probably my fault) is that the Matte finish leaves periodic noticeable roller streaks… its almost as if in some spots the finish is shiny and in others its matte. I think the problem may have been too much paint on the roller which created the shiny areas / noticeable roller path.

  9. Brittany says:

    I guess I am old school because I like doing separate primer and paint (for both furniture and walls). I’ve used SW Harmony a few times and must say it works really well for me, but I also will use Bher and BM depending on the project. I love seeing everyone’s thoughts on what works best for them!
    Thanks for sharing

    PS I love that you predicted emerald green as a trendy color in 2013 even before Pantone made their announcement :) (That first picture with the green painting reminded me)

  10. Anne W says:

    I am also very opinionated about paint :) I, however, love Behr’s Paint & Primer in one! I feel like it gives a finish that is somewhat comparable to oil-based paint. I did not like Glidden’s paint and primer in one, and I also did not like Martha Stewart’s paint quality. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams are great, but I’ve been so happy with Behr, I haven’t felt the need to pay more. Always interesting to hear about other people’s experiences.

  11. Angela says:

    I’ve painted the interiors of my current and previous homes myself, and have been happy with the Behr paints, both regular and paint-and-primer. I’ve never needed 2 coats, even with a dark color, with the paint-and-primer. Before the holidays, I repainted my entry and hallways, which were looking rough after years with kids and dogs. I used Behr paint-and-primer, and my only concern was the eggshell had too much sheen. However, I didn’t want to use a flat paint in a high-traffic area (even a “washable” flat). So, I mixed the two sheens… two cans of flat and two cans of eggshell. Mixed them one-to-one in a big bucket. Mixed a lot, and mixed often! But it worked. I now have a very subtle sheen that’s also washable. (Color matched BM Classic Gray, by the way, and it’s light and lovely…).

  12. Julie says:

    I will ONLY use Benjamin Moore Aura paint. I’ve tried other paints and the Aura paint takes one coat, no more. I first used it in our kitchen when I was painting it from a dark gold (that was the color when we bought the house) to a light sage green. One coat – done! It’s totally worth every penny. The only drawback, and this is just a technique thing, is that if you put the paint on a little too lightly and want to go back over a spot, you need to wait until it dries and not try to paint over it while it’s still tacky otherwise you’ll smear the paint around and it will give you some undesirable texture/smears that you’ll have to sand away. Sounds weird, I know. Oh, and the other bonus of the Aura paint is NO smell. I love it.

  13. scott says:

    Seven coats is a lot of paint!
    I have worked retail in paint for the last seven years and I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario that would lead to seven coats.
    Usually when a homeowner comes to me and says, “This is the worst paint I have ever used!” at least one, if not more, of these things are happening:
    *Covering extreme contrast, light over dark or dark over light, both can be equally troubling.
    *Wrong applicator. People buy the best paint then can and then think they can roll it on with the cheapest roller covers they can find.
    *Improper substrate prep. Just because you’re using a “paint and primer in one” doesn’t necessarily mean you can just slap it on any surface and expect it to preform. MANY of the paint and primers on the market right now simply have high adhesion, like a primer.
    Nothing more. In fact, a few years ago when this paint and primer craze started up, several of the paints I sell simply changed their labels to say “Paint and Primer in One” after they “re-evaluated” their own performance and found it was similar to their competitors paint paint and primer type product. *facepalm*
    *Wrong paint! At least once a year, someone comes into the paint department and just grabs a can of paint off the shelf and goes through the checkouts without consultation.
    Inevitably, the paint they grab is a Tint Base, and must be tinted to work properly. A lot of tint bases dry “white” but some are almost clear without the colorant added.
    ~
    I’m not saying any of those scenarios apply to your experience, but they can and do happen all the time.
    Personally, in my own painting projects, I prefer to prime a lot of the time.
    I have found though, if you aren’t painting over too much contrast and you don’t need a paint with extreme adhesion, a paint and primer can sometimes save you time.
    (sorry for long post)

  14. Sarah says:

    I can’t believe you’ve had some many issues with Behr paint and primer. I just recently purchased my home, and all the walls were covered in mustard yellow, burnt orange, and hunter green. I’m sure you can imagine how depressing it was to stare at those colours everyday. So I decided to paint! I was a little skeptical with Behr paint and primer at first because I’m used to having to prime everything, but I gave it a try. I kid you not, I was able to cover all of these dark, disgusting colours with only 2 coats of a light grey. I will never use another paint brand ever again. I’m sold for life.

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