I'm new to this forum, tho I've posted on others on Gardenweb. I've read lots about paint brands and types, but not so much about primers. Do people have primer brand preferences, and if so what might the difference be in using a 'better' brand?
There are more 'good' primers than poor ones. Not much sense in making a low level primer. Low level painting (think apartments and non-custom home subdivisions), typically doesn't involve the use of many primers due to flat paints and preprimed wood. If one is going to prime - why would you want below averge quality?
The 'better' question is what are you priming?
All substrates need a specific type of primer - the brand being secondary. Most major manufacturer's products are very similar when comparing 'like' products. Sherwin Williams exterior waterbased wood primer will be very similar to Benjamin Moore's. The key is type of primer selection.
What are you priming and what stores are near you? You can find everything you need at one paint store regardless of which brand you choose. Of course there are subtle differences between products - but in the end, like products will perform similarly.
Primers are different from paints. Quality primers are resin rich for performance, while paints are pigment rich as a function of color. Research even shows that one coat of quality primer and one coat of paint is a more reliable system than two coats of paint.
Priming prepares the surface. Primers are formulated to fill open pores, creating a smooth, even and uniform base, to ensure true enamel holdout. New paint spreads further and often will cover in just one coat. ( I recommend and always apply two coats of paint). Priming also helps the paint get a better grip so it isn't as likely to crack, peel or blister. Unprimed drywall, or porous flat paint can soak up expensive paint and leave a weak and uneven appearance. By priming before you paint, the topcoat will have a more even sheen, and dry to a rich, luxurious finish.
Nine out of ten times, when I reach for a primer on the job, it's Zinsser Bulls Eye 1 2 3 Water Base Primer Sealer. It's a whole house primer! Inside and out, it covers, protects and prepares just about every job I do.
I'm priming bare wood baseboards, windows & trim, all new, and three doors -two interior, plus the inside part of an exterior door. The window panes on the exterior door are framed (if that's the right word) in plastic which might be a challenge to cover.
The trim might be pre-primed as I think about it. Does trim come pre-primed? It's wood and it's white.
Yes, it would be pre-primed if white. Everything Michael said is good advise,and I tend to use 123 also, but I mostly use Ben Moore Fresh Start as my primer of choice,tinted to the color you are going to top coat with.Just my 2 cents.
I just finished purchasing primer and paint for a major remodel. I used Zinsser 123 and Kelly-Moore Acra-plex,for my money both are the best you can buy.The primer is the best investment you will make,for the 15 bucks a gallon it will be the difference between a good job and a outstanding job. On this forum a lot of people favor Benj. Moore, I prefer KM it covers well and has a luxurious look.
I am wanting to paint cabinets that are formica, which of course, is a slippery surface. At B.M. they tried to sell me some brand that runs about 40 bucks. Is that necessary?
I am going to use Cabinet Coat or a Benjamin Moore paint that works on that kind of thing over it and probably use a paint gun. But my primary concern is to make the cabinets look factory and not painted on.
Since you're going to use Cabinet Coat, as long as the surface is clean and dull, primer is not required. However, I suggest you prime. I would use BM Fresh Start or Bulls Eye 1 2 3.
Be sure to clean and dull the surface even though the primer is for smooth glossy surfaces. Bonding and durability is best over a dull surface.