What's the least/most time you can have between:
1) coats of primer?
2) last coat of primer & first of paint?
3) between each coat of paint?
1. primers need to be topcoated preferably within a month's time to still be effective ; however, there are some prof. painters I know that leave primers on the wall for up to 3mths at a time to do the finish coats.
2. read your primer can; should give you the detail information on the labels. some within an hour and you can topcoat with your basepaint; some 4 hrs- depending on what you are "COVERING".
3. again, read your paint can; it will give you the information you need. darker colors with more pigment will require longer wait times to recoat; the new Aura after one hour.
Remember, temperatures and humidity also play a big part in your application times as well.
Primers have a wide variety of time frames for topcoating. If you are using a stainblocking primers, it is usually within one hour for the least. If you are using a slow dry oil, it could be as much as 24 hours before topcoating. Latex primers can usually be painted in four hours of less. Each primer will tell you on the can the drying time and recoat preference. It is best not to wait longer than 21 days to topcoat. Once primer is dry, sanding is usually not recommended because it breaks down the primer, especially if it is a stain blocking primer.
As for the number of coats of primer, one is sufficient, and use two coats of a topcoat, unless it is a very deep color that you are painting. You can also make your job easier by having the primer tinted to 1/4 to 1/2 formula of your final color. In the case of really deep colors, use a deep tint primer that is specifically made for the application. If you are painting topcoat of oil based finish or a gloss latex finish, you need to recoat within 48 hours. If you wait too long (ex: one week or more) the product will begin the cure process and the second coat may not adhere.
If you leave the primer on too long, be sure to wash or vacuum the walls before painting, as dust will settle and could mess up the paint job.
Thank you everyone for this information that I am saving.
I've never heard of a maximum time for topcoating over primer. I've never had a problem even waiting months, so long as the walls are free of grease, dust and dirt.
The walls in the main hall of our home were repaired and primed in March 07 by the previous owners. (they offered to paint but having seen their other color choices, we declined...)
We had planned on topcoating right away but more pressing issues came up (i.e., we had a bathroom problem, then realized we needed to do more work on the woodwork, then we had another baby...), and I just got to the topcoating last week. Paint seems to be adhering just fine. I did, however, scuff the primer with 220 grit before painting.