What You Should Know About All-in-One Paint and Primer

Updated on November 24, 2017
Matt G. profile image

Matt is a professional painter sharing house-painting tips, related product reviews, and his experience in the trade.

Paint With Primer in It—Is It Real?

Practically every paint manufacturer now sells a product that supposedly primes the surface while painting. Behr was the first company to successfully market and sell these products through a massive marketing campaign in 2009 that eventually led other paint manufacturers to add "self-priming," or "paint and primer in one," to their paint can labels.

The real question is whether the paint really contains primer that primes the surface. The truth is really nothing more than deceptive marketing that has caused confusion and even lawsuits. In reality, these paints are not formulated with primer, but instead have a higher concentration of solids for better coverage. Basically, think of these products as nothing more than thick, premium paint, that covers in less coats than cheap paint.

Unfortunately, many homeowners unknowingly buy these paints thinking they can bypass the task of priming, but depending on the surface being painted, a separate primer still might be needed to avoid problems with adhesion and coverage.

First, it's important to understand the purpose of primer and when it's needed.

When Is Primer Needed?

Primer is needed when painting porous surfaces like bare wood, or surfaces with visible stains that paint alone won't cover without bleed-through. If you were to apply an all-in-one paint and primer product directly over bare wood, tannin from within the wood would likely bleed into the top coats of paint, no matter how many coats are applied. The paint would also be more likely to peel prematurely if it's outside. Primer seals a surface and bonds well with paint for maximum durability.

Self-priming paint won't get rid of water stains, crayon, or smoke damage, on walls. An oil-based primer is needed in those situations to seal over stains on drywall and hide them when painted. Another example is for new, unpainted drywall. A separate PVA (poly vinyl acetate) primer is needed to seal the drywall and form a strong bond with paint.

Another example is when painting walls that are coated with glossy, oil-based paint. Latex paint will form a weak bond if the surface is not coated with a separate bonding primer first.

When Should Paint-and-Primer-in-One Be Used?

Self-priming paint is fine for repainting walls a similar color that have already been painted with latex paint. The consistency is thicker than cheap paint and covers well in less coats, due to the high build. These paints are typically of premium grade too, which allows dirt on the wall to be cleaned easier without ruining the painted surface. The overall finish looks much better too.

For major color changes though, it is usually more cost-efficient to apply one coat of inexpensive primer first, followed by two coats of your premium paint. The savings add up when you're painting the whole interior of a home with only two coats of pricey paint instead of three.

Best Paint-and-Primer-in-One

I'm personally not a fan of Behr paint. The paint is too thick and difficult to cut-in as a result. Most of the paint I use is from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.

Sherwin Williams Duration

Duration has always performed well for me, even long before it was labeled a self-priming paint. I use both the exterior and interior versions with satisfactory results. The coverage is excellent. There have been instances where I was able to get solid coverage in two coats, painting very light colors over dark colors.

The paint is also very washable. The exterior version boasts one coat coverage, but unless the colors are similar, two are usually needed. The cost is about $65 per gallon at regular price.

Sherwin Williams Super Paint

The paint is not as washable as Duration, but the coverage is excellent. Expect only one to two coats in situations where three would normally be needed using cheap paint. This paint was around long before Behr. Super Paint flat sells for about $57 per gallon.

Benjamin Moore Regal Select

Regal Select is thick and covers really well in my experience, compared to the regular Regal Classic. At $45 per gallon, the price is more affordable than their expensive Aura brand and performs very similar.

Questions & Answers

  • Can I use all-in-one paint and primer on wallpaper?

    Wallpaper, if you must paint over it, should be primed with either an oil-based primer or a shellac primer like BIN. You can then paint over it with any latex paint.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)