Paint and Primer in One: What Should You Know?

Find out if “Paint and Primer in One” actually work?
A Paint and Primer in One Image

The thought of priming a surface before getting to the painting part seems unnecessary for many people.

This is why so many individuals feel overjoyed over the prospect of a paint and primer, all in one go. Since they no longer have to use a primer, they would cut their work in half. 

But what exactly do you know about the best paint and primer in one combo? Well, as a fellow paint enthusiast, I have some info for you – so, keep reading.

In a hurry, here are our top three primer paint recommendations.

What Is a Paint and Primer in One?

A paint and primer in one combines both products, eliminating the need to wait for the primer to cure separately. It should save you the time you spend priming the surface and spare the time you have to wait afterward. 

It’s thicker and builds higher in comparison to regular paint. When you are painting the walls, you won’t need the first coat of primer anymore. All you will need is this 2 in 1 product.

What’s the Work of a Primer?

Now, before we get into what a paint and primer in one is, you must understand what the standard primer is. A primer is a component that comes before the top coats of paint, and serve the following purposes;

  • Cover imperfections such as water stains on the wood cabinets, smoke, or irregularities that would show through the new color.
  • Acts as a layer between the surface and the actual color.
  • Acts as a gratification for the painting – a process that will encourage paint adhesion. The primer is not the final color of the surfaces you have to paint. As surprising as it might seem, it is not a protective layer either.
  • Preps the surfaces that can’t handle paint well. When you try to apply paint directly on some surfaces, it may start to bleed or creep into the porous crevices. Such surfaces include: 
    • Bare wood and walls of a porous nature
    • Metals with no coating
    • Masonry
    • Wood that is row and/or finished
    • Drywall

In the end, the purpose of the primer is to even up that surface so that you no longer see these imperfections after painting. When you use a paint color after the primer, the result will look smooth, without the bumps that appear on the raw material.

How does Paint and Primer in One Work?

Paint and primer in one is a product that merges two DIY processes in one. It takes away the two-part procedure of;

  • Priming and waiting for the primer to dry.
  • Painting once the primer is dry

 The best part? You can paint on the colored formula directly.

A paint and primer in one gives you a thicker paint to work with, offering you stain blocking properties with a higher build.

When a paint and primer in one product dries, the final coat will be thicker than standard paint. Because of this, it seems like it covers similarly to regular paint.

Is a Primer and Paint Combo Any Good?

Paint and primer in one is considered to be a time saver. Still, whether it is considered “good” or not will depend on:

  • The results you wish to achieve
  • The state of the surface you’re painting over.

Here is the caveat;

When you use a primer, you are basically flattening a surface. As a result, you’ll no longer have the pores that will create indentations on the surface when it dries. 

The application of paint is also smooth because you are working with thin layers. This will reduce the chance of the paint bleeding.

In a nutshell;

Does Paint and Primer in one Work?

Paint and primer in one do work with much thicker coats. Even so, as the paint and primer product dry, they don’t have a base to follow. So unless you have a particularly thick and quality paint formula, you might still see the indentations in the paint. Therefore, for a professional paint job, apply a primer before painting.

Moreover, the thicker the paint, the higher the chances of bleeding will be. So if you don’t paint the primer paint in thinner coats, you might end up with some ugly bleeding points. 

This could be especially the case for walls, where thicker paint tends to drip (or “bleed”).

When Would You Need a Paint and Primer Combo?

In certain circumstances, you might not even need a primer at all. You require one or two coats of paint to refresh the color and make the surface look nice and even. This is the case with kitchen renovations when refreshing the paint color of the cabinets.

Usually, you would have to patch up every surface, use a primer for its stain blocking properties, and then apply a paint mix after the primer is dry. With that in mind, a primer and paint in one can sometimes be enough.

Therefore, you need a paint and primer in one;

  • When repainting a room in the same color. In that case, matching paint and primer in one should be enough.
  • If you’re painting on drywall. 
  • If the surface you’re painting already has a layer that is not chipping.
  • When you want to prevent bleed from occurring.

Will It Save You Money If You Use Primer Paint?

Some people might want to skip primer and use paint and primer in one instead. This option seems less expensive when they have a paint job. However, what you need to keep in mind is that primer paint is usually more expensive. 

Even if you work by the gallon, primer and paint in one might not save you money in the long run. Paint and primer in one product will add more in other areas.

A typical gallon of self priming paint costs around $25. Add a second coat (which you will certainly need), and the price will go up to $50. 

Many painting tips from professionals suggest that primer and paint in one will save you a lot of time. However, this paint option might not be the easiest thing for your budget, even if you skip the priming stage. 

On the other hand, a gallon of primer costs around $12, whereas a gallon of simple latex paint is about $17. 

Even if you add two coats of separate primer and two layers of paint, you’ll still get about the same price. All it will save you is time. 

Which is the Best Paint and Primer in One

We’ve spent hours researching customer reviews, expert advice as well as these self-priming paint themselves. With this information, we bring the list of the three best paint and primer in one on the market.

1. Prestige Paints Interior Paint and Primer In One

Prestige Paints Interior Paint and Primer In One, 1-Gallon, Satin, Comparable Match of Benjamin Moore* Revere Pewter*
149 Reviews
Prestige Paints Interior Paint and Primer In One, 1-Gallon, Satin, Comparable Match of Benjamin Moore* Revere Pewter*
  • Prestige Paints has created a comparable color based on color specifications of the original color using industry leading technology.
  • This Benjamin Moore paint color name is a trademark of Benjamin Moore. Prestige Paints is not associated or affiliated with Benjamin Moore in any way.
  • Smooth Application ideal for living rooms, family rooms, media rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens and hallways
  • 100% Acrylic latex paint for easy soap and water clean-up
  • Low VOC: less than 5 g/l prior to tinting

If you are looking for a paint color similar to the Benjamin Moore trademark, then you might want to consider this paint and primer from Prestige. 

You may use this paint over wood, metal, or any other surface you might have in your house. 

If you have wood cabinets or some other project that needs a re-touch, then this paint and primer in one will cover any stain. Its thick consistency will provide coverage even with porous surfaces and tougher stains. 

Since this paint and primer in one is quite thick, you can only use it with a brush, as paint sprayers might get clogged. The paint should stick without any issues, taking the need to prime away.


  • Thick paint consistency that encourages adhesion
  • Works as both interior and exterior paint
  • Smooths down the surface even without a primer
  • Perfect for wood, metal, walls, drywall, and other surfaces


  • Painting with a sprayer cannot be done
  • Might require more than one coat

2. THE ONE Paint + Primer In One

THE ONE Paint and Primer: White, Satin Finish, 8.5oz - Water Based Chalk Paint with Primer for Wall, Ceiling, Bathroom, Kitchen, and More - Quick Drying House Paint for Interior / Exterior Use
5,666 Reviews
THE ONE Paint and Primer: White, Satin Finish, 8.5oz - Water Based Chalk Paint with Primer for Wall, Ceiling, Bathroom, Kitchen, and More - Quick Drying House Paint for Interior / Exterior Use
  • PAINT AND PRIME: 2-in-1 painting solution that allows you to quickly paint and prime all at once
  • ONE COAT ONLY: No need to apply a primer or undercoat thanks to the paint's thick, opaque formula
  • MULTIPLE SURFACES: For walls, laminate cabinets, wood, metal, plastic, brick, stone, glass, and more
  • RICH PIGMENTS: Choose from the 12 stunning colors available in gloss, satin, and matte finishes
  • WATER BASED FORMULA: Low VOCs to be safe, environmentally friendly, and suitable for indoor use

Whether you need a paint and primer in one with a light or dark color, this option should offer you multiple possibilities. The pigments of the paint are rich, which means you will get a smooth color once it dries.

The formula for this paint and primer combo is quite thick. This means you need only one coat of paint, no matter if you are painting over wood, drywall, walls, or even glass.

Specialists providing painting tips suggest that you leave the formula to dry for about an hour. It is still a paint that dries quite easily. You will need one hour to apply two coats of primer and paint in one.


  • The paint is easy to apply
  • Very small chance of bleed
  • Multiple rich color choices


  • It might require multiple layers even for dark colors

3. Glidden Interior Paint + Primer

Glidden Interior Paint + Primer: Gray/Phoenix Fossil, One Coat, Eggshell, 1 Gallon
884 Reviews
Glidden Interior Paint + Primer: Gray/Phoenix Fossil, One Coat, Eggshell, 1 Gallon
  • One Coat Coverage - Glidden One Coat Interior Paint & Primer has exceptional hide and stain block which means you need fewer coats to hide your common stains and make your walls beautiful.
  • Makes Walls Washable - Exceptional scrubbability and washability make sure that if anything does get on your finish, it can handle the scrubs to get it off.
  • Colors Chosen By Experts - These hand-selected beautiful Gray and Black Paint Colors make Glidden One Coat Interior Paint perfect for use in every room of your home.
  • Looking for another color? Glidden One Coat is also available in over 300 other premium-curated paint colors chosen by professional color experts to make sure your next painting project comes out beautiful.
  • Low-VOC, Less Stress - As a Low-odor, low-VOC paint Glidden One Coat Paint & Primer In One allows you to paint with less stress and disruption to your daily routine

If you are looking for a good paint and primer option that works on both interior and exterior, you might want to consider this bonding primer paint. It can cover any stain and its latex consistency will offer easy coverage with a brush.

This paint primer can be used on any surface, from wood to drywall and any other material. It is the perfect paint to use if you wish to paint your cabinets or change the color of the drywall.

This paint and primer in one product is thick enough that you will only need one coat. You may require two coats if you are priming and painting over a different color. 

Unlike many other paint and primers combo options, this one does not smell too bad. This makes the paint primer perfect for any room, whether it is the kitchen or the living room.


  • The paint and primer in one has excellent adhesion
  • Perfect for painting surfaces such as wood or drywall
  • The color varieties allow for a paint job on both light and dark surfaces
  • Professional quality paint and primer that covers areas stained by smoke


  • The color can be off for certain primer paint options


Can I skip priming if I use paint and primer in one?

As long as you are painting over a surface that has already been primed and painted before, you may skip priming. However, you will have to use quality paint and primer in one. 

If you have tougher smoke stains or other visible stained surfaces, the advice is that you use a separate primer as well. 

Can’t I Just Use Regular White Latex Paint as Primer?

No, because white latex paint does not encourage the same adhesion and stain blocking properties as a primer. 

The primer is more concentrated in solids, has bonding properties, and also works to seal the surface. Unlike regular paint, a primer helps provide a smooth finish for your project.

Does Paint and Primer in One include Actual Paint in the Formula?

While paint and primer in one does merge two different processes, it does not mean that it mixes the same two formulas. Priming paints actually have acrylic resin included in their formula. 

This will increase the consistency of the paint, promote good adhesion, and eliminate the need to prime the walls or other surfaces.

What’s Next?

Paint and primer in one may eliminate the need to prime, but you must also make sure you use it on the correct surface. While it can be used on painted materials that haven’t peeled or chipped, you might want to refrain from using it on damaged surfaces. 

Prep the surface well before you use paint and primer. Even if you are not using the actual primer, you still need a clean surface for proper adhesion.

If can’t get the paint and primer in one, find out whether you can mix paint and primer.

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