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Behr Enamel Undercoat Primer Nothing Special

Reviewing: Behr Latex Enamel Undercoat And Primer  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Renovating Expertise:
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Behr latex enamel undercoat goes on nicely but can be brushed too thin too easily, and sometimes even two coats aren’t enough to prime some surfaces well enough.

This was my first experience using this brand of paint. Although I’ve been happy with all the various top coat types I’ve used in the past couple of weeks, I have to say that I expected better things of the primer. Since one continually hears that Behr paints are really good quality, perhaps my expectations were too high.

The paint is smooth, and thick enough that it can be used on ceilings without dripping all over. I primed several different ceiling surfaces, both with rollers and by brush (hate those older suspended ceilings that have to be done completely by brush).

The very first day I used a brush to paint the angles of a room before using a roller on the large spaces. I quickly learned that although I thought I wasn’t brushing it too thin that the edges I painted had a much thinner coating than the rollered surfaces. And that did make a big difference in how the top coat looked. I had to paint over most of those edges again.

For covering light colors one coat (being careful to cover well) is enough. Painting over a medium-tone mauve flat paint I had to use two coats.

But I also had to paint over a door and some shelves that had been painted a dark green gloss enamel. I prepared this surface with another product to remove the gloss (review on Liquid Sandpaper forthcoming). I did two coats of primer, and still had to do two coats of enamel paint to cover that green completely with white.

It did fine with one coat over semi-gloss enamel paint in a light color.

It also claims to be a stain blocking formula, but it doesn’t do any better than any primer. We had to use Kilz to cover crayon, sanded areas with multiple layers of various colored paints, water stains, and magic marker. It did ok to paint over plastic wood, but the Kilz did better. I generally used two coats of primer over plastic wood.

Although I haven’t used any other primer recently, I can’t say that this was anything special compared to primers I’ve used in the past.

This was purchased at Home Depot in a 5-gallon bucket for $85.