Number of coats in a paint job

Let's say you're painting over basically raw drywall. If you're using a quality paint, should you still use 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint?
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Eigenvector wrote:

if you are using quality paint and you know what you are doing, one coat of each is enough. most people don't put enough paint on their roller. they load a roller and then try to paint a whole room. i fully load a 3/8 nap roller, paint one stripe the width of your roller. reload roller. if your roller slides without rolling, then you have a bit too much paint.
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I'm using some borrowed equipment, so I can't complain too much. But I was working it based on some advice I was given, work a 3x3 section then load back up and repeat until she's done. That seemed to do a good job for me, but yeah my roller was getting too heavily loaded initially. Painting must be a learned art - like everything else I guess.
What about removing paint when you make mistakes. For instance I made the huge error of relying on the edging tool and not masking off the edges and corners when painting the ceiling. Now I have a few blotches where the roller bumped the wall. Paint scraper/drywall knife to remove - or just put the primer over it when I paint the walls.
This is like my test room, so I'm not overly concerned about perfection (actually I'm never really concerned about perfection).
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Eigenvector wrote:

edging tools and masking tape really don't work that well for the reason you found--paint bleeds through. if it is woodwork, you can scrape it off after it dries just enough so that it doesn't smear. if it is on paint, you are SOL and must paint over it with ceiling paint or whatever. get a 2" angled sash brush (or some people like a regular 4" straight brush) and cut the line freehand. load your brush, start brushing near the corner and using long smooth strokes, ease the line of new paint to where you want it. when you run out of paint on the brush, ease the cut line down onto the wall and reload your brush. use long steady strokes with the brush oriented parallel to the intersection. with practice you will find it does a nicer job than a edging tool or masking tape.
rolling the 3x3 section works for some people. important thing is to be systematic.
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Basically raw ???? Hmmmm...
If it's really good paint & primer, one of each. If it's mid grade, one primer and 2 coats. Although the first coat always looks good, that 2nd coat just makes it right.
What can really help using only one coat of paint is to have them tint the primer the color of the final paint color. Actually, a little lighter is better so you can see the final paint coverage better as you are painting. Places usually have it so you give them the color and there is a setting they can use to tint it 3/4 of the color.

Latex (hopefully) should be wiped with a damp cloth as soon as you realize it. If the paint dries for like a day, that damp cloth with warm water may take it off. It takes a while for paint to cure.
For subborn or old paint you can try Oops! paint remover     http://www.homaxproducts.com/products/cleanersremovers/index.html
I've used zylene to remove dried paint. Works great but that can damage what the paint is on.

Learn to paint freehand. Use a cheap or midgrade brush and you never will paint freehand. Get yourself a Purdy or Wooster 2" angled brush for latex paint. They have a plain wooden handle. Not a painted one. All of those are important - brand, angled and latex. You will be amazed at the control you have. It will cost you $10-12. Worth 2x that.
Clean the brush when done or when paint starts to dry (cake) on the upper part. Take it out in the yard and hit it with a hose in the direction of ferrell to tip - never into the end of the bristles. Take inside and wash with warm soapy water. Take outside and shake/whip it to get the majority of water out. Wrap in newspaper mainting it's original shape (don't squish the sides in by wrapping tightly. When dry, put it back in it's package to maintain shape. Never soak the brush in a container of water.
If you are cleaning it only because the paint is starting to dry on it and need to continue painting immediately, it will be fine if it is damp to put back in latex paint and use. A damp brush or roller is actually how you prime it for use when it is dry.
I have painted entire houses, inside and out, and they are still in great shape. Both are over 15 yrs old.
If you need to stop painting and are going to use the brush later in the day or even a day later and it is not "dirty", you can wrap plastic wrap around it and put it in the frig. Paint will not dry.
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Thank you very much for the tips. It is much appreciated, especially as I learn to paint the edges and corners. It seems to be easier to keep the rollers more evenly loaded than a brush, I notice that my edges look thin where my ceiling looks just fine (to me). Practice Practice, Practice I guess.
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The reason for an angled brush - for me anyway. Someone else may have gotten used to a straight and do just as good a job. Not better though :-)

A good quality, proper bristle materal for latex, once saturated will hold a LOT of paint. Regardless, you still have to do a lot of dipping to keep it saturated. You can't paint feet at a time without dipping. With the type brush I've been describing, you get a 3rd dimention of control - how much pressure you put on it to cut really nice.

You got it right on the head. It's just a lot less typing for me to mention what to do vs. what not to do (and have done) :-)
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A paint stick type roller with a reservoir in the handle is a good investment. Paints 1/2 to 1 wall per fill-up and you're less likely to lay on a thin coat.
I use the pad type edging tools as they seem to give me the best control and can be loaded from a small cup instead of a tray. I tried all sorts of rollers but none were very easy to use for trim, maybe for a small wall section around a door but not the molding.
If you're putting on a dark color (mixed with the deepest base) you will usually need a second coat but neutral colors on white or neutral primer usually need only one coat each.
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marson wrote:

If I used your technique, I would have roller lines down the wall. Two coats of primer should make a difference on new drywall, as it sinks into joint compound and dries after first coat with different surface appearance. On a previously painted wall (clean, not glossy), you should not need primer, but usually will need two coats of paint.
There are primers specific for NEW drywall. Paint needs to be mixed immediately prior to using. Technique can make a difference, too - one person's two thin coats may not be as thick as another's thickly applied single coat. Putting paint on too thick with a roller can make nasty roller lines that aren't apparent under normal lighting but show up when lighted across the wall.
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The answer is yes, no, definitely, and maybe.
If the room is entirely empty, as in new construction, I would personally airless spray it. One coat of primer and one coat of finish. Spray it on, and have one man right behind the sprayer with a sheepskin thick roller "backrolling". That is, spreading out the paint evenly and giving it a stipple. Works great. But that's only when there's nothing in the room. Otherwise, the overspray gets on everything. As to how many coats otherwise, it depends on the experience of the painter. Such things as "loading a roller" and "maintaining a wet edge" are Greek to a non-painter but something a professional could do at two AM on a trip to the john.
What you put on bare drywall is the base coat forever. You mess it up, you mess it up. I would put two coats of primer on it, and put it on intentionally thick. I don't know where they get those coverage estimates, but I personally find them very low.
The final coat depends on things too. Mainly the color. One color may look fine with one coat, and another definitely needs two.
So, there is no canned answer to your question. Consult a paint dealer, or a professional. Since this is a bare wall job you want done right, you might want to bite the pillow and hire a pro THIS TIME.
No sense wasting quality paint on a crappy job.
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A lot depends on the color too. For a darker color, it would be tough to get away with one primer and one finish coat. For a color like white, one primer and one finish can work. I would not put down more than one coat of primer. If more coats are needed, make them finish coats.
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