Oct 21, 2008

How to Avoid painting 4-5 coats

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A common issue with homeowners and even some paint contractors is getting stuck in the recoat 'money pit' cycle where you paint a room 4-5 times to achieve full color and coverage. Not only can that be a huge expense but it can ruin your day or tie up your weekend. If you are a paint contractor, this can jack up your schedule! and unless you told the homeowner a price per coat with no guarantees then you can lose your ass on a job like this.

Here are a few things you should know about how to avoid the recoat cycle. First things first, lets take a look at the yellow-gold (above photo) on the left. That is a color that would require 4-5 coats to achieve full solid coverage. Many paint manufactures are recommending a gray primer base coat for deep or bold yellow, red, blues, and greens. The only time I see a gray primer being most effective is under red, blue and green. As far as yellow goes, the gray works against you. In this scenario I have a medium gray color room to start with and I need to paint it the yellow-gold color above, 'Valspar Swelter'.

IMG_0508bThe photo on the left is a good example of what happens when you use gray primer under yellow top coat. For this job I am using Zinsser Bullseye Primer tinted the color on the right above. Notice the gray showing through the yellow primer. Also notice in the center of the wall there is a second pass with the roller which dried more solid. If you were to prime like you see in the photo and apply your finish paint now, the paint will dry exactly as you see it in the photo except it will be the color you picked. You will still see that gray area through your finish and this is where some people get caught top coating over and over trying to cover it up.

What you need to do in this scenario is recoat the room with primer (2 coats of primer). The primer for this job was $12 vs. the top coat paint at $26. The primer coat needs to look as if its finished, nice and solid. Primer over primer dries faster than finish over primer so you will be saving time here by doing 2 coats of primer and one finish. Once the primer coat is solid, the finish paint will be too.

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Here is one coat of the final color over 2 coats of primer. Total job material cost was $38 vs. $78 if you were to 3 coat it with finish paint or $130 if this job took you 5 coats. Not only that savings but I would prefer to paint a room 3 times vs. 4 or 5 times.

Final Time Saving TIP: When you first start applying your primer coat and notice immediately that the primer will not cover nice and solid, then blow through that first coat of primer and apply it fairly fast and thin. Let it dry and re-roll it and make your cut solid and do it once.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Excellent article. I've talked to a lot of sales clerks and asked them if I should use a grey scale primer and they look at me like I"m nuts. Great explanation!