Applying Primer and Wall Paint
Painting new wood? Shifting from an oil painted surface to latex or water based paints? New drywall? If so, you must use primers, sealers or a combination of the two. These paints are specially formulated. They help even out textures and equalize porosity. Without them, the best finish paint will look lousy. I spoke about these primer paints in this linked article.
Applying Wall Paint
Most rookie painters make the same mistake. They simply put on too little paint. Many paint manufacturers recommend a minimum coverage for their products. They do this because they know that when first applied, a paint looks like it is covering well. But, an hour or two later, after the water or solvent has evaporated, the coverage looks horrible. You, the homeowner, then blame the paint. Well, it's your fault, not the paint's!
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This happened to me recently at my daughter's school. I test painted a wall that was previously light blue. We were changing to a wall paint that was almost white. I primed the wall and got good coverage on the first coat. After it dried, here and there you could see the blue through the paint. I knew this would happen. The next night some volunteers painted the other walls in the room while I was helping elsewhere. I specifically showed them the wall I had primed. It was made clear to them that they must not over-roll (apply too thinly) the paint. I even showed them how thick I was applying the paint. Oh well, what a waste of time! I came back into the room one hour later and it looked as if they had poured five gallons of water into one gallon of paint. The paint was applied so thinly that we had to paint everything they did an additional time. Don't let this happen on your job!