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Behr Premium Plus Ultra Coverage Problem

Last weekend, I purchased some Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Sailboat (S-H-590) to repaint a bedroom.  The HD sales associate assured me that I did not need to buy any primer because the Behr Premium Plus Ultra is a paint and primer in one.  I trusted him and did not buy any primer, but this has proved to be a costly and time consuming mistake.


I applied the first coat to clean walls that were originally painted white.  As I expected, the color was very splotchy with a lot of the old white paint showing through.  I waited about 2 hours and applied a second coat.  This one also dried with inconsistent color ranging from very light spots to dark spots.  The next day, I applied a third coat, but my results only marginally improved from the second coat.


I went back to HD and bought another gallon of Sailboat, but I feel like I'll be throwing good money after bad if I keep painting with it.  Is there anything I can do to fix my problem before I put any more coats on the wall?

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Posted 2011-11-02T18:51:41+0000  by latad1285 latad1285

Hello Latad!


I'm sorry to learn of your problem.


Not knowing exactly how you painted the room, I'm going to offer a series of ideas that work for my customers.


First, one gallon of paint would likely just be enough for two coats on an average size bedroom. The fact that you've painted three coats suggests to me that you might be using too short a nap roller. In our display, the 1/4 nap roller is labeled for "Smooth" surfaces, but my DIY customers complain that it doesn't pick up much paint and it takes forever to cover their walls.


My suggestion to DIYers is to use a 3/8th nap roller on a smooth wall. It will pick up and release plenty of paint to cover the wall.


Second, I always suggest that you keep the roller cover saturated to improve coverage. When the width of the paint releasing from the roller is narrower than the roller, it is time to reload. This may seem like overkill, but it will allow you to apply a thick, even coat across the surface.


Third, I recommend painting an area as wide as your body using either V or W stokes to completely fill the area, and then using smoothing strokes to even the application.


Make smoothing strokes by starting at the top of the wall and without picking up your roller, pull the roller all the way to the bottom of the wall. Overlap about 1/4 inch and do the next column. You should require about three or four smoothing strokes in the area you've just filled with paint. Once each column is smooth, move over and repeat the process.


The extra time you take is minimal, but the results are exceptional ... you create an even coat of paint and cover any scuff marks you made by tipping the roller during your V or W strokes while filling the area with paint.


And finally, I always recommend at least four hours between coats. If applied too quickly, the second coat will re-wet the first and cause streaks and/or show-through in spots. On your next project, plan to take a slightly longer break in between coats.


This paint is rated among the top performers in the category: Paint and Primer.


In practice, I have customers using the technique described above and they cover dark colors like Hunter Green with Off-White colors in just two coats. The key is putting a thick, even coat of paint on the wall.


Follow-up and let us know if these ideas help.

Posted 2011-11-03T12:03:30+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

rolling tends to be the opposite of spraypainting, medium-thick coats as opposed to very light coats.


i hope that is the problem because i was going to paint my house soon....

Posted 2011-11-03T12:53:51+0000  by fallenleader

Hey FallenLeader!


Glad to know you're going to DIY your exterior with Behr Ultra.


One of our garden experts, GreenGiant, was just telling me his brother painted using exterior Ultra.


His contractor sprayed one coat of Barn Red over the original Moss Green and it covered.


Whether interior or exterior, paint and primer products offer superior coverage when you apply thick, even coats.


NOTE: Most paint sprayers have flow controls and tips designed to spray thicker or thinner products. During setup, check your tip to ensure it matches the product label and then slowly increase the flow until you are covering but not causing drips.


APPLICATION TEMP: It is also worth noting that Ultra exterior can be applied at a surface temperature (not the same as air temperature) of 35 degree Fahrenheit. This extends your exterior painting season into the fall and allows you to begin earlier in the spring. Depending upon the region where you live, you might gain between four and eight weeks of additional outdoor painting.

Posted 2011-11-03T13:13:33+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL



I apoligize if I caused any misunderstanding here.  I forgot to mention I only painted two walls in Sailboat as accent walls.  I also used a 3/8" nap roller to do it.  I already paint with most of the techniques you describe and recently painted several other rooms in my house (using a diffferent brand of paint) with excellent results.  So I don't think my methods are the problem in this case.


Based on that additional information, do you think I should just keep painting with the Sailboat till it looks right?  Should I paint over what I've already done with a primer, then reapply the Sailboat?  Should I strip the walls and start from scratch?  If one of those isn't the right solution, please feel free to recommend something else.




Posted 2011-11-03T20:51:45+0000  by latad1285

Hey Latad!


I wouldn't think of backing up.


Ultra will absolutely cover. My customers rarely report a problem like this.


Just keep that roller saturated and use smoothing stokes to ensure even coverage.


Wait at least four hours between coats and your "Sailboat" will be in the harbor before you know it!


And I bet it looks great as accent walls!

Posted 2011-11-08T13:30:35+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

I am having a similar issue with the Behr Premium Paint/Primer all in one. I am the first person to live in my condo and it is @18 months old. The room I am painting has been painted once before by the property developer prior to me purchasing the unit. The room is currently an antique white and I am changing the color to a dark grey. I finished putting my third coat on today and the walls are still splotchy. It just looks terrible. I have put two full gallons of Behr Premium Paint with Primer on the walls of a 14x15 room. Since mine is new construction I did not have any repair work that had to be completed prior to painting. I cleaned the walls and used what I was told by HD to be the best paint and roller cover (Purdy) available. I have renovated two houses in the past and painted more rooms than I care to recall and I have never had this issue before now. I believe the problem here is with the Behr Paint. When I went back to my local HD to buy the 2nd gallon of paint for my room I shared my experience with the associate behind the paint counter. His only suggestion was that if I felt the issue was caused by the paint I should try using a different brand such as Martha Stewart next time. I will go one step further since that was the best and only suggestion he could make. Next time I will simply go to Lowes.


Please do not listen to these HD Associates when they begin spouting off about how GREAT Behr paint is. These are absolute lies. After my miserable experience with Behr I decided to switch to Benjamin Moore paint. Yes- it is significantly more expensive than Behr. However, it covers in one coat and dries perfectly even. The best thing you can do at this point is to never buy paint at HD again. The very fact that these HD Associates are aware of the issues with Behr Paint (how could they not be with the numerous complaints in their own sponsored forums) and they still continue to promote the paint, even going so far as to question the DIY skillset instead of owning up to the issues with the paint makes me furious and truly makes me question the integrity of the entire company.


Posted 2011-12-04T09:26:55+0000  by ExperiencedDIY

I get absolutely great results with behr paint and I'm in no way associated with HD. I only need one coat 90% of the time, the remaining 10% is when I'm coving non-white with white, but come on! I still feel like I come out ahead with only two coats in that situation.


 I own rental property and usually cover up whatever god-aweful colors I find with your light beiges, greys, and whites. Behr premium plus (no primer) and premium plus ultra (with "primer") are the only paints I use. I am by no means an expert painter, more of a novice really. The rental property stuff is something on the side so I don't want to waste time dickering- I just want to get it done so that I can get new tenants. I don't think, I just roll paint! 


So I have a novice skill-set and a whatever-gets-me-done-fast mindset, and STILL only need one coat, and STILL get compliments from freinds, family, and prospective tenants.  The only thing I can think of is that maybe the naysayers aren't using a thick enough coat.  For speed's sake I really load the roller up and put on a thick coat.  It dries very smooth and even when I do this.

It doesn't fade over time, adhere's great, is very scrubbable (I would know!), and is very easy to touch up. I will use this paint in my own house for sure, and anywhere else that I want a great looking finish in less time and fewer coats.

Posted 2011-12-07T22:06:08+0000  by biggameal

Very Nice Biggameal!


Thanks for your independent product confirmation in your follow up answer.


Your experience is exactly like 99 percent of those who use these products ... excellent coverage.


Like you, when I hear from that one percent who has coverage problems, I immediately discuss how to saturate a roller cover before beginning as well as suggest regularly going back to the tray to keep the roller cover saturated throughout the paint project.


An additional confirmation comes from a leading consumer product testing agency. In the fall, each year for the past seven years, this agency has published results of their independent study comparing twenty-three brands of paint. These brands include almost every major paint manufacturer in the U.S. market.


Their published results have ranked Behr paints and stains first against all twenty-three brands in every year except year six ... and in year six Behr was ranked second.


So your results and the results of almost everyone who uses Behr paint are confirmed annually by this independent testing agency.


There is a simple reason Behr's positioning statement is: Good, Better, Behr ... quite simply Behr works year-to-year to produce durable, high-hide paints that excel when measured against the competition ... Behr products do their job very well.


NOTE: Standard smooth walls should be painted using a 3/8th nap roller cover. There are several brands available, but anyone having coverage difficulty while using the everyday roller cover might consider using the sheepskin roller cover. It is known for saturating easily and releasing paint onto the wall. Expect to spend a bit more for this cover.

SheepskinRollerCover.jpgOnly available in 1/2 and 3/4 nap

Another option would be the 50/50 roller cover. Made of 50 percent wool and 50 percent polyester, this roller cover offers similar benefits to the sheepskin, but at about half the cost. It is also available in a 3/8 nap for smooth walls.

50-50 Roller Cover.jpgAlso available in 1/2 and 3/4 nap.

Hey Biggameal, I bet your tenants love the way you care for their homes!!!

Posted 2011-12-08T14:19:46+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

In reply to Latad1285's original post:


The Home Depot associate who sold him the "Sailboat" was definitely remiss in not warning him that this was a color which would require multiple coats. Sailboat carries The Behr cross/daggar symbol right behind the name. This symbol means that it is a poor covering color requiring a primer. Further, when punched into the computer, this color is clearly flagged at the bottom of the screen as requiring a primer mixed out of Behr Ultra Medium Base paint. Also, the customer should have been warned that going over white is the worse case scenario. Light travels through the poorly blocking colorants and are reflected back out through the paint film. Behr recommends a partial formula of the paint color being shot into the primer. Glidden prefers to prime the wall a shade of gray with Gray Gripper, so as to reflect less light back through the paint film. Behr's argument is that the color tinted primer gives the truest final color.


Regardless of whether tinted primer is used,, or merely more coats of paint, the color Sailboat will require at least three times around!  If the walls are in good shape with no patches, dark marks, blemishes and of a low sheen, I would probably just forgoe the primer and plan on going around  a minimum of three times with the paint. I would use a dedicated primer on poorly sealed walls or walls with patches and blemishes all over. A white tinted or gray base primer will present a blank slate for the finish coat.


Laypersons commonly make the mistake of thinking that dark colors should cover well, when usually the reverse is true. Dark dull colors do cover well. but dark bright colors cover poorly. Why? The primary colors: red,yellow and blue, generally give very poor coverage as they do not block the light rays. The "organic" colors; lamp black ,raw umber, red oxide etc., cover very well, however, they also dull the color. Dark colors also have very little white pigment in them. White pigment is the best  pigment for coverage. A coat or two of a quality pure white paint will cover any color, regardles of how dark or bright.


As to coverage and painting technique: I would agree with PatinPaint that the goal is a generous, even coat. To that end , quality tools are highly recommended. Multiple passes over the paint as you move along the wall are the rule of day. One technique that I always caution against is that of going around the whole room first cutting in all the edges. This is NEVER a good practice, but is especially egregious when using these dark, poorly covering colors. It results in the edges getting double coated, making them more opaque. It will probably result in another general coat to hide the fact that the edges are more opaque. It often results in pulling up the unset paint around the edges leaving an unsightly texture, especially with  glossy paints.


As to drying time: Behr states 4 hours on the label, but recommends at least one hour of dry time for every ounce of tint pigment in the paint, as a rule of thumb. These dark colors often contain up to 13 ounces of tint, i.e. 13 hours of dry time. The old, higher VOC pigments were floating around in ethelene Glycol as its liquid. Glygol significantly retards the drying time. Anyone who has wiped up an old blob of tint knows that it never drys! I do not know what the new liquid is in the new low VOC tints. Hopefully, it will favorably affect the results obtained.


Recoating too soon can cause a few problems: It can literally pull the first coat of paint right off the wall, especially if the paint underneath is glossy. It can result in a very streaky finish.


These dark colors have a multitude of idiosyncracies and it is the responsibility of the paint associate to warn the HD customer of them! He/she should also take the opportunity to consul in good painting techniques. Such consuling is also an opportunity to sell quality brushes, roller covers and sundries.

Posted 2012-01-08T03:29:19+0000  by ordjen
I had the same promlem with the behr paint and will never use it again. The glidden I just used was excellent! Light tan over DARK pink. Two coats and you d never know it was pink.
Posted 2012-01-23T01:03:13+0000  by sanchez8484
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