I've been using Zinsser's PRIMECOAT2 found at Home Depot for bare pine and poplar lately. Once again I was impressed with their products. One consistent aspect of Zinsser is their products DO what they say they will do and PRIMECOAT2 is no exception!
PRIMECOAT2 went on solid and dried solid. The product sands well on poplar with minimal raising of the grain which is a HUGE advantage when finishing poplar trim.
If you are at all familiar with my ongoing goal to minimize the efforts on the job (the purpose of this blog) and simplify the system then - you know there was more to selecting this product than to prime bare wood.
Using PRIMECOAT2 allows me to use one primer where in the recent past I was using three on the same job. This product can never replace the advantages of Zinsser Cover Stain oil-based primer but PRIMECOAT2 allows me to minimize when to use Cover Stain with other advantages.
I use PRIMECOAT2 for 3 reasons/applications.
1) as a wash-coat over factory primed trim. In this scenario, the trim, casings, baseboard etc is installed in the home and PRIMECOAT2 is applied BEFORE filling nail-holes or caulking. The main advantage is this primer allows better 'bite' when filling nail holes. It provides a better 'cut' or 'break-off' of putty in the hole allowing for flush fills and ease-of-use. It also prevents the putty from shrinkage.
2) When priming bare pine you will find there is no real reason to sand the product prior to finish assuming the bare wood was installed in good shape. You can give the primer a quick sanding for that extra assurance that the surface is free of any debris but if you shop-vac the trim prior (not dust-off) then all should go well on the finish.
3) PRIMECOAT2 is excellent over poplar trim! The main advantage here are two things over using an oil primer such as Zinsser Cover Stain. a) minimal raising of the grain. b) lack of absorption. You might get some grain to raise and will sand off nicely and the fact that the primer does not dissipate into the wood allows for one nice coat of primer vs. two of oil and a ton of sanding.
So, is it KICKASS? Absolutely! and you will suck less at painting by using it.
CONS: bad odor. Similar smell in comparison to ICI Gripper