Many paint jobs require multiple coats for good coverage, but one coat paint options simplify the process.
One coat paint has been formulated to give you the complete coverage that you get from multiple coats of other paints of the same brand.
What is One Coat Paint?
Manufacturers create one coat paint using 20% more paint solids for a thicker consistency and more volume than regular paint.
These paints combine paint and primer in their mix to provide more coverage for stains and a durable finish in one coat.
Factor in Choosing a Type of Paint
When deciding between conventional and one coat paint, there are factors to consider that will help you make the best decision.
Location of Use
One coat paint finish is not as durable as conventional paint. Therefore, it is best to use one coat paints in low-traffic areas that don’t require constant upkeep like living rooms, formal dining rooms, ceilings, and adult bedrooms.
In high-traffic areas like playrooms, mudrooms, and kitchens, maximum durability and washable paint may be required.
Type of Paint
There are two broad types of one coat paint: oil-based paint and water-based paint, also known as acrylic or latex paint. There are both conventional and one coat paints of both varieties. The kind of surface you are painting should determine the kind of paint you use.
- Oil based paint – is a more long-lasting and durable paint than water-based paint. This kind of paint works well in areas that need a more protective coat of paint. Yet, this kind of paint requires a longer drying time.
- Water based paint – are not as durable, but they are easy to use and they dry in a matter of hours.
Color and Finish
The color you use in your space and the type of finish will determine the best kind of paint for you. If you want to paint a dark blue room a light color, one coat paint may not be the best choice.
Also, there are limited colors of one coat paint. Therefore, if you have a very specific color in mind, one coat paint may not be a good choice.
All paint comes in different levels of glossiness from matte, which has no gloss, to high gloss, which has a shiny finish.
- Low gloss finishes like a matte or a flat finish work well on ceilings or anywhere where you need to cover minor surface imperfections. However, this kind of paint does not have a washable finish.
- An eggshell or a satin finish has more gloss in the finish and reflects more light than flat paints. These finishes do not cover imperfections as well as matte paint, but it is more durable.
- Semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes are the least able to hide wall and ceiling imperfections. Yet, this kind of paint has the most durable and long-lasting finish. This makes them ideal for decorative molding which needs a durable coat of paint.
The amount of VOCs, volatile organic compounds, in paint determine the level of harmful fumes that the paint contains. Oil paints have higher VOC levels than acrylic or latex paints.
Breathing these fumes can cause headaches, nausea, and even organ or nervous system damage when breathed at high levels over time.
If you are painting in an area with poor airflow or no ventilation, it is best to use a paint with a low VOC level. Thicker high gloss paint will have a higher VOC than flat finish paint.
Pros and Cons of One Coat Paint
One coat paint works well in many situations, but there are some drawbacks to using this kind of paint that you should consider before you invest in this option.
- This one-coat paint makes painting surfaces quicker as you need only one coat for many surfaces.
- Most one-coat paint options have a paint and primer combined.
- One coat paint is not the best option for new drywall or new wood projects as these need a generous coat of paint and primer for full coverage.
- There are not as many color choices in one coat paint as with conventional paint products.
- Lighter color one coat paint options do not cover dark walls or stained surfaces as well as multiple paint and primer coats.
The Best One Coat Paints
We have done the research needed to bring you the best one coat paint on the market today and highlighted the essential elements of each paint option.
This one coat interior paint is one of the best-loved one-coat paints on the market. This is a water based paint and primer combination which comes in all finishes from flat/matte to high gloss enamel and in several sizes from 8 ounces to 5 gallons.
This paint has a low VOC count and low odor, even in the high gloss sheen, making this a good choice for high-traffic interior walls with low ventilation like bathrooms or hallways. It requires a full 24 hours to dry and 4 weeks to cure. After that, you can subject it to regular cleaning with non-abrasive detergents.
Behr Marquee One Coat Basics
- 4 sheens: Matte, Eggshell, Satin, and Semi-Gloss
- Comes in regular paint sizes with an additional 8 oz. sample size
- Dries to the touch in 1 hour, 2 hours for topcoating
- Coverage is around 400 square feet per gallon
- May require a top coat for heavy stains and wood with high tannin content like redwood and cedar.
This Glidden One Coat is a water based paint that comes in three different finish levels including flat, eggshell, and semi gloss finish. It boasts exceptional hide ability and durability as it can stand up to frequent cleaning.
This interior paint line features 300 of their most popular colors. It has a low VOC, so you can use it in areas with low ventilation.
Glidden One Coat Basics
- Interior paint in 3 finishes: flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss
- 100% acrylic latex
- 300 available colors
- Covers 400 square feet per gallon
- Dries to the touch in 1 hour, 4 hours for recoating
Kilz is a recognized name in the primer industry, but not as well known for paint. As with their other products, this Kilz one coat paint has excellent stain blocking qualities for an acrylic paint. In addition, it has low levels of VOCs which make it a good option for small spaces like bathrooms.
This paint ranges in coverage from 250 square feet for porous surfaces to 400 square feet for smooth surfaces. One coat coverage will not be adequate on new or stained surfaces and will need to be topcoated for best results.
Kilz Tribute Basics
- 100% acrylic paint with low VOC count
- Available in 4 sheens: matte, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss
- Drying time 1 hour, 2 hours to recoat
- Covers 250-400 square feet depending on the surface
With a name like Benjamin Moore, we expect a certain level of quality. Aura paint from Benjamin Moore does not disappoint. It is a paint and primer combination with amazing one-coat coverage.
This paint features their Proprietary Colour Lock technology which means that the paint’s long-lasting color does not rub off. Also, it resists scuffs which makes it perform better in areas with children and/or high traffic.
- 100% acrylic paint
- 4 finish options: matte, eggshell, satin, and semi gloss
- Thousands of color options
- Covers 350-400 square feet per gallon
- Drying time 1 hour, 1 hour to recoat
Valspar Ultra Interior Paint & Primer gets high marks for its washable smooth finish. It features Scrub Shield technology to make it more resistant against everyday scuffs and scrapes. It has a mold and mildew-resistant finish and it does work best on painted surfaces rather than new drywall or wood.
Valspar Ultra Interior Paint & Primer Basics
- 100% acrylic
- 4 available sheens: eggshell, flat, satin, and semi-gloss
- 400 square feet per gallon
- Drying time 30-60 min, 2-4 hours to recoat
- Low VOCs
The Showcase brand of paint from Sherwin Williams is another paint designed to hold up to deep and regular cleaning. Also, it has a mold and mildew-resistant finish that makes it stay cleaner longer. Therefore, you can use this paint in high moisture areas that are prone to mildew problems. This is an acrylic based paint that has a low VOC count.
- 100% acrylic paint
- 4 available sheens: eggshell, flat, satin, and semi gloss
- Covers 300-400 square feet per gallon
- Drying time 1-4 hours, recoat after 2 hours
This is a water based primer and paint combination from Rainbow Chalk Paints. This is a thick and luxurious paint that requires just one coat for complete coverage.
You can use this paint on top of painted surfaces, laminates, wood, plastic, metal, masonry, and tile. This paint variety has a limited color palette with just twelve color options.
This paint comes in three different sheens and is an option with a low VOC count and safe for the environment.
The One Basics
- Water based paint
- 3 sheen options: matte, satin, and gloss
- 12 color options
- 3 available sizes: 250 ml, 1 litre, 2.5 litres
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Do one coat paints actually work?
With one coat paint there is not a guarantee that it will work in every situation. In some cases, one coat paint works well. This includes times when you are painting over a surface that has been painted before and if you are not changing the color too much from what it was before. For new surfaces, one coat paint is not a good option. In addition, one coat paint does not work well if you are changing the paint color from a dark color to a light color.
Can you paint over old paint?
Yes, you can paint over old paint. However, you need to be sure there is no loose paint that will peel off under the new paint. In addition, make sure to use a coat of primer or a primer and paint combination in order to cover over any stained areas that may bleed through to the new paint.
Why do you apply more than one coat of paint?
It is best to apply more than one coat of paint if you are painting a porous surface that will soak in the paint. Also, textured walls and dark color walls will require at least two coats of paint.
Is primer just white paint?
Primer has specific qualities that make it distinct from paint. The resins that you find in primer are designed to create a smooth and receptive surface for paint. It is formulated to adhere well to many types of surfaces and to block stains from bleeding through to the top coat of paint. There are many types of primers and some are formulated for general use and others for specific issues like glossy surfaces or stain protection.
Can I paint without primer?
There are times when it is fine to paint without the use of a primer. This is when the surface has already been painted with a layer of paint. However, if you are painting a bare surface, changing the color of the surface, or trying to cover up heavy stains, it is best to use a primer.
One coat paint: Conclusion
Our lifestyles are busier than ever, and even when we are not busy we want to spend quality time with family and friends instead of spending valuable hours painting. One coat paint options work so well for many projects. Examine your project and the many options of one coat paint to determine which solution is best for you.