For the last few years, many companies and manufacturers have developed a two in one primer and painted product. Skipping the priming procedure, which is mandatory, is a dream come true after all, as many people dislike this step. However, out of the many reviews submitted on the two in one primer paints, there are many questions raised subduing the available answers.

Traditional vs. 2-in-1 Primer and PaintThis article, therefore, aims at sparing you from infinite hours of searching through negative reviews. The research done will aid you in going through the dilemma regarding the right instances of using paint and primer 2-in-1 product, and under what circumstances are you better off using the two products as separate products.

Paint and Primer in One: when to use it

Two in one paint and primer products best works when you are staining over an area that already has painted. It is because the efficiency of 2-in-1 paint and primer probably falls somewhere between the old-fashioned two-step procedure of priming then painting and skipping the primer all together.

Dede and Jens Persson of Sibcy Cline Realtors often advice and remind homeowners of the importance of priming as a step towards choosing the right product. They state that primer is designed to work with the top layer of paint to enhance better adherence to the wall. More so, this is crucial if you are changing sheen to flat from a smooth semi-gloss, or you alternatively want to use latex for covering oil-based paint.

In case you want to cover an existing painted wall with similar type and finish of paint with the same shade, you might be able to do away with the primer altogether. In such instances, 2-in-1 paint and primer may help you attain excellent results in just one layer. The paint and primer combination products may also give you practical coverage over a wider variety of shades of the existing paint.

Based on individual tests conducted, blogger AnNicole Faeth of Our Suburban Cottage submitted a constructive review of Behr Paint Plus Primer and seconded by many followers of the blog who also tried it for their interior paint projects.

Consumer report’s test report of Lowe’s Valspar Signature Colors and Home Depot’s Behr Premium Plus Ultra concluded that you only need two layers of the all-in-one paint and primer product to cover extreme dark colors. On a positive view, Consumer Reports discovered that two in one paint and primer products had much better coverage as compared to cheaper traditional paints applied over a conventional primer.

Finally, all in one paint and primer products appear to work well for painting on over already painted areas, providing better coverage in one layer and a bit more challenging in covering spaces of different color shades. As you paint over darker surfaces, evaluate the cost of using high-quality paint and primer versus using two coats of a two in one paint and primer product. Perssons state that primer is often about half the total cost of paint, a gallon for a gallon. In many cases, this may be more cost effective than applying two coats of an all in one paint.

Traditional primers and paints: When to use

When painting over space that has never been painted earlier, or changing the type of paint and sheen, skip the two in one paint products. Traditional primer does a better job of preparing the current space for the effective adherence of paint.  As such, this is a situation where professional painters and contractor’s opinions are decidedly against the two in one primer paint products or so-called self-priming paint.

Dave Tingle, who’s the owner of Tingle Painting, believes that two in one paint and primer works in certain scenarios. He has used one of the all-in-one paint products on exterior wood trim and achieved desirable results even with the trim already painted. However, he is keen to caution that the two in one primer and paints do not work as a one for all covering solution. When working on a new surface like new wood or drywall, try using a primer of excellent quality first. It is so because new drywall tends to absorb paint at a faster rate. Primer not only creates a better adhesion but also saves you from wasting paint and your money. For excellent results, use similar brands of the primer and paint.

The Bottom Line

The combination products of paint and primer work, but not compelling enough as compared to traditional primer and paint. Utilize paint and primer two in one product when rejuvenating existing interior surfaces by just changing colors. Two in one paint and primer is much more likely to cover in one layer compared to traditional stains. However, stick to the original two-step process of priming then painting as you change the sheen of the wall, moving to latex or acrylic paint from oil-based paint, covering dark walls or even painting a brand new, unpainted space.