Do You Ever Really Only Use One Coat of Paint?

drybeanSeptember 22, 2010

I buy Benjamin Moore paint and usually prime the walls. Still, I always need at least 2 coats to achieve an even looking color.

I was reading on the thread about one of the advantages of BM paint being that it covers better and usually only needing one coat, and I was surprised.

So really, do guys honestly only use one coat? What I am doing wrong? It would be so much more cost efficient if I could cut down my paint consumption. I'm always running back to the paint store mid-project to pick up yet more paint.

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You could tint the primer towards your finish color and then it may cover in one coat, but generally speaking one color doesn't cover another color that often in one coat. Also, we only would even try for one coat coverage if the paint is flat or if you are painting with a washable paint and the previous paint is in very good condition with no patching required. Two coats is almost always needed for other reasons besides full color coverage....two coats will give you that even sheen you are looking for across the entire surface (no flashing) and the paint will always be most durable and washable when two full coats are applied.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 8:38PM
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Paintguy-OK, thanks. That makes me feel much better. I was thinking there must be something very wrong with my technique (I use that word very tongue-in-cheek).

Most of the finish I am painting over is flat paint in generally good condition, but I am using an eggshell finish in what I repaint since I have small kids. And I am patching some holes too, so I'll stick with my 2-3 coats and not feel like a loser. :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 8:49PM
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I use one coat when covering pastels with pastels, after priming any patched spots. The only time I have used 2 coats in recent memory was covering an obnoxiously minty medium green.

If you always need two coats for even coverage, you are probably trying to cover too much territory with one roller-full. I only cover an area that is about 2 rollers wide and 2 rollers high (4 square feet or less, overlapping onto the previously painted area by a few inches), then refill the roller.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 9:39AM
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Lazygardens-Huh. I bet you are spot on about my trying to cover too much area per roller fill. I tend to work in long, tall strokes instead of shorter, square areas.

I'm going to try your method on my son's room, which I'll be painting next week. I'm doing a light color over a light color, and I'd love to be able to get away with only doing one coat. Thanks for the tip. I'll report back!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 9:19PM
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I can't do it. And from the looks of paint jobs that I have followed behind, other people can't either.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 8:57AM
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I've been using Valspar and one coat is all I need. (No reds or whites, so I can't comment there.)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 2:08PM
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OK, well I painted my son's room yesterday trying to use LazyGarden's technique to see if I could get away with one coat.

The walls had a flat paint on there that my kids had really banged up:

I patched and primed over the crayon and pencil (sigh).

We are also in the midst of a kitchen remodel, so I'm feeling a bit skint and used Valspar paint, color matched to my BM color of choice.

I tried working in short, square areas. It worked really well, and I would not have needed a second coat save for a few spots where I didn't achieve even coverage. If I had been a bit more careful I really do think it would have been OK with just one.

I ended up doing a second coat. But it looks really good now. I'm very happy. The Valspar paint didn't go on very well, and at first I was panicked that it was going to dry as splotchy as it rolled on. But it dried just fine and looks great.

Of course, now I need new carpet since my 3 year old stepped in the paint tray and walked all over the carpet.... sigh.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 2:23PM
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