Do Valspar “One Coat” & “Paint + Primer” Paints work well?

Have you used Valspar  “paint + primer” or “one coat” paint?

Valspar is sold at Lowes. Some consumers have complained that primer & paint combo products are seriously disappointing – if not falsely advertised.

If you have purchased Valspar Reserve, or any Valspar paint that claimed to be an all in one paint/primer product, it is possible that you too were disappointed with “one coat coverage” claims on the can.  Perhaps you found that you wasted time and money attempting to utilize a shortcut, and you would have been better off using primer and then paint.

What is paint and primer in one and why do people buy it?

Homeowners and “do-it-yourselfers” are always interested in stretching a buck when it comes to home improvement projects. Whenever a new product comes out that promises to do more, for less money, people are interested. Over the past five years or so, a number of paint companies have been promoting all-in-one primer and paint products. The appeal is obvious. One advantage potential advantage to purchasing a combo product would be avoiding buying too much or too little primer. The biggest selling point is the potential of doing less work to the get the same result. If a paint and primer product could cover in one coat, as most of them claim, that could mean doing at least half as much work (and using far less paint as well). However, some consumers have questioned the efficacy of many of these “all in one” primer/paint products, after finding the coverage claims were too good to be true. According to many consumer complaints about primer and paint combo products, some do not cover adequately – among other other problems – and end up greatly increasing labor and material costs.

What is primer and why does it matter?

Traditionally, primer is used on bare wood, sheetrock, metal, or plaster before finish paint is applied. Finish paint does not adhere well to bare surfaces. Without a solid base of primer underneath, most finish paint applications are bound to fail in a least three ways. First, ink markings on sheetrock, and knots and sap on wood tend to “bleed through.” Second, peeling becomes a problem. Third, it is often difficult to achieve a uniform appearance without a base coat of primer of the same color, especially with dark colors. A good coat of primer should prevent these problems. The downside is that using primer takes more work and planning. And, some novices are not even aware of what primer is, or what it does. They skip the primer step without even realizing it. Sometimes, contractors and painters looking to make a quick buck cut costs, and deliberately don’t use primer. They want to get the job done and get paid as fast as possible, neither caring about their reputation, nor the problems that will turn up for the homeowner later on. If the primer layer in a painting project is skipped, sometimes it is necessary to start all over again. This can mean hours of scraping and paint removal just to be able to start all over again and do the job right. No one likes to waste labor and material costs. For the do-it-yourselfer, it means time wasted that could be spent with their family. Whenever a paint job fails, whatever the circumstances, it is an infuriating waste of time money. Often it is due to the use of inferior products, and/or by not using traditionally accepted preparation and painting techniques.

Is Valspar all in one paint & primer worth purchasing and using? 

Valspar Reserve claims to do the job of both primer and finish paint in one coat –  but does it work as advertised? From reading the litany of complaints at about Valspar paints, it is clear that a large number of consumers have been completely dissatisfied with the performance of various Valspar paints, such as Valspar Reserve, Valspar Infinity, Valspar Duramax, and Valspar Perfect White Paint + Primer.


Valspar Reserve at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Saugus MA, April, 2017

Information about Valspar

The full name of the company is The Valspar Corporation. According to Bloomberg, Valspar was founded in in 1806, is headquartered in Minnesota, and the CEO makes over a million dollars per year. Valspar owns Cabot Stains.

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