Do I have to do two coats when painting?

Blog written by Benjamin Moore Pinnacle South

Do I have to do two coats when painting?

This is a common question that we get at our Edmonton paint store, and it’s usually because people only want to do one coat, not realizing that to get the proper look and result, two coats might be needed. Knowing how many coats you need will determine how much paint and supplies you’ll need to buy.  So here are some situations in which two coats is a best practice, to ensure that you can enjoy your work and appreciate the wonderful look that you achieved.

1: When doing a color change

When doing color changes, two coats is always recommended if you are going light over dark, and sometimes required for going dark over light.  It can also be beneficial to do a prime coat followed by two topcoats if you’re doing a color like simply white or Chantilly lace over top of any medium to dark feature or main color.

2: When painting over patches on your wall

Imagine what if you’ve had to patch some nail holes or dings in your wall, and now you need to paint.  The best practice here is to first ensure the patches are sanded nice and smooth and flush to the wall, then prime them.  This is to prevent flashing, where the patch absorbs the paint differently than the surrounding area, creating an area of different texture and sheen.  Then if you’re just going over with the same color, one coat is sufficient.

3: Freshly installed, mudded, and primed drywall

Fresh drywall that has been fully prepped (taped, mudded, and primed), will need two coats to ensure that you get a consistent finish and depth of color to your walls.  After this is done you can enjoy your walls for years until either of the first two situations occurs.

Very important tip!

When doing your coats of paint, please read the technical datasheets for the product, this will tell you the spread rate of the paint, which will determine how much you need to buy to ensure your 1-2 coats.  Stretching the paint beyond this spread rate means that you aren’t getting a proper coat of paint on the wall, so it’s not going to cover as expected.  A safe measurement is 300-400 sq ft of wall space per gallon for 1 coat, this will ensure that you are getting the right amount of paint on the wall, resulting in a fantastic looking finish.

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