Behr Premium Plus Ultra Review
I just used Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Satin (Behr's new paint and primer in one product) to paint my builder grade oak bathroom vanity, and thought I would post a review. Prior to purchasing the product, I read some very mixed reviews, so I wanted to add my thoughts.
The major problem people seem to have had is that they need to apply multiple coats to get good coverage. This suggests that the negative reviews are based on a misperception - that "paint and primer in one" means you don't need to apply primer coats. Behr does not make this claim. Instead, they claim that in many cases it negates the need for a SEPARATE primer product. The directions on the can instruct you to apply 1-2 primer coats of this product on repaired or uncoated surfaces, and surfaces in which there will be a dramatic color change, followed by paint coats of the same product. (Of course this begs the question of why one would use a relatively expensive paint as a primer, instead of buying a less-expensive primer, but one plus is that if you use this as a primer, your "primer" is exactly the same color as your paint, and thus you need fewer paint coats.)
Of course, some surfaces can be painted with 1 or 2 coats of any kind of paint, and no primer at all, and the result is good adhesion, coverage, and durability. But some surfaces absolutely require at least one primer coat, and I suspect that those who had negative experiences with this product had surfaces like that.
I painted my vanity with the color French Roast, which is the darkest brown Behr offers. (It's almost like a warm black.)
I removed doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, and washed all surfaces with a no-rinse TSP substitute. When they were dry, I sanded them with a medium grit sanding block to further remove gloss. I can't completely speak to the capability of this product as a primer, as for my project, where proper adhesion was of utmost importance, I primed with one coat of grey Glidden Gripper (an excellent primer.) However, I can say that the Behr Ultra has the same viscosity as primer (thicker than regular paint), and I fully expect that on most surfaces it would prime as well as any other primer. (Glidden Gripper is specifically for "hard-to-stick" surfaces, which describes my glossy cabinet, which is mostly real wood, but has sides of fake wood laminate. I wouldn't bother with it on most kinds of walls.)
The Behr went on the very smooth wood laminate in just one coat, despite the very dark color over a lighter primer. The cabinet front, doors, and door fronts all have a noticeable grain, so although I got very good coverage with one coat, I did apply a second coat. (I then applied a second coat to the laminate side, just to make sure the depth of color all matched.)
I found the paint to be very easy to use, and I was impressed by its self-leveling ability. I rolled it on using an ultra high-density foam roller, which left somewhat of a ripple pattern. When dry, this rippling was almost imperceptible. I used a brush on a couple spots around the door panels, and the brush strokes also leveled.
Although all latex paints take awhile to fully cure, one thing I noticed about this paint is that it seems to harden more quickly - it doesn't stay tacky to the touch, even though I painted on rainy days. It's also mildew-resistant (which makes sense since it's a primer, too) which is good for a bathroom. I went back and forth about what kind of paint to use for this project - oil? Latex? I didn't want to use latex because of durability issues, but I was talked into this one. Only time will tell how durable it is, but so far it seems more durable than other latex paints I have used for things like furniture. It doesn't seem to have that "rubbery" quality that latex paint often has when applied to surfaces other than drywall.
One more thing - it is supposedly low-VOC, and I have noticed that it does have much less of an odor than most paints, and yet it is still thick and offers good adhesion and coverage, which is often not the case in low-VOC paints.
I'm not totally done with my bathroom re-do, hence no pictures.