Do You Have the Paint with the Primer in it?

“Do you have the paint with the primer in it?” If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this question, I’d be long retired (SMH). This phenomenon started several years ago by a marketing genius at Home Depot, or more accurately, whom ever they hired to do their marketing. When Home Depot first started to sell the BEHR brand of paint, it was beyond awful. You could tell a BEHR customer as soon as they walked into the store (Background info: I’m a fairly large Benjamin Moore paint retailer Est. 1928) “This is the worst stuff I’ve ever used!” was a common utterance by the angry customers. I was more than happy to sell them a “real” gallon of paint and would usually get a customer for life for my troubles. And then suddenly the party was over. Home Depot swamped the airways with Paint with the Primer in it for $23.78….The Home Depot ads completely saturated every popular radio and TV station and still pretty much do……The worst part was the newer BEHR paints weren’t half bad. BEHR paint stopped being funny like the Trump presidential run.

Ok, back to the paint with the primer in it. IT’S NOT REAL!! There is no primer in the paint. Ever. When BEHR’s newer paints came out a few years ago, they covered pretty well, but instead of calling them self-priming like other premium paint companies did, they decided (pure genius) to call it Paint and Primer in One. First of all it makes no sense. It’s like saying the Egg McMuffin is Breakfast with Lunch in it, or saying a new crossover SUV is a Car with the Truck in it. But people think it’s real and it’s maddening. Then Benjamin Moore did something I never expected. They gave up and started putting it on their labels too! And now, it seems virtually all newer premium paints say that on the label as well.

The biggest problem I have with this slogan masquerading as fact, is that it is very misleading. It implies that primer is not needed so, you can save money by not buying primer and it can do everything in one less coat!  Maybe yes, but probably no. They make primer for a reason. One would be to seal up a new surface like Sheetrock or bare wood, another kind of primer is designed to seal in stains and odors and another is to hide very bright or deep colors. Yet another primer is made for adhesion to hard, glossy surfaces such as ceramic tile and even glass. Even Benjamin Moore’s Aura paints may require a Color Foundation primer for some of it’s extremely bright colors,(but will require only one top-coat).  There is no one-product that can cover all those bases.


So, yes I have the paint that says “Paint & Primer on the label, but THERE IS NO PRIMER IN THERE!! I swear!     -Tod


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