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Old 07-10-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Default One or Two Coats?

This came up a bit on the recent Aura thread but I was wondering how many of you routinely bid two coats versus one and what are your rationales for doing so? Obviously there are many variables to consider but from what I observe there are some who regularly bid at one coat and others at two.
I only do interior, usually residential repaints which are inhabited and have furnishings and I mostly brush and roll. I'll spray when popcorn ceilings are involved but that's about it. I almost always bid at two coats. My jobs usually involve some priming and a change of color and I feel two coats just provides a richer, deeper look as well as providing more protection. I've never had a customer disagree with my recommendation of two coats. When I explain that the cost of prep is the same for one or two coats, the extra cost makes sense to them. Even landlords can be sold on the value when you stress the protection aspect. I have lost some jobs over the years based on the price of my two coat bid compared to someone else's one coat number but it's been a relatively rare occurrence.
If I'm doing a surface in the same color and sheen, and it's in relatively good shape, then I may bid at one coat. Ceilings are another area where one coat is often sufficient since the color and sheen are often not being changed and protection isn't an issue. But even if color and sheen are not changing I'll recommend a second coat if it's an area that gets lots of wear and tear, like like hallways and stairwells, or if moisture is an issue such as bathrooms, kitchen, utility rooms, etc.. If the house has kids or large pets, a second coats is also often my recommendation.
I don't feel this is an issue that involves a painter's skill in application or the ability of the product to cover well but one where I am evaluating the situation and providing the customer with the best final result I can. There are times where I've looked at a surface after the first coat and thought it couldn't look any better but I still put on that second coat because that's what the situation deserves and that's what the contract calls for.
When I did exteriors I always bid at two coats for pretty much the same reasons I listed above.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:54 PM   #2
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a lot of different variables to consider when answering a question like this ........I would say mathematically speaking I generally apply 2 coats now that's not to say that some jobs get 1 even though I bid for 2 .......and on that same token some get 3 when I have it bid at 2 i just get the damn job done ...............woot woot lol

my old boss used to say that the 2 coat bid was just ''insurance'' incase the paint didnt cover in 1 ..........i have to agree with him there
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole34 View Post
.......and on that same token some get 3 when I have it bid at 2
Like when red is involved? I usually bid that at two coats but with an optional third coat price just to be safe.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:23 PM   #4
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.5 coats, the others are extra.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:36 PM   #5
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Two coats 98% of the time...If there is a color change it's always 2 coats...Sometimes when there is extensive prep and mudding I'll do 2 coats with no color change.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:57 PM   #6
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Always two coats. Have never had anybody happy with one.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:58 PM   #7
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super paint. the work horse2 coats always except same over same. a lot of times i dont know the color until the night before. with 2 coats im always good.i look my clients right in the eye and tell them. some say you can get away with 1 coat. and that's what it usually is, getting away. my clients pay for 2 they get 2. you know i often think i wish the first coat could go as fast as the second
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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I put in my proposal apply paint to cover. This usually requires two coats, but sometimes one will do and other times three or more are needed.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott65 View Post
I put in my proposal apply paint to cover. This usually requires two coats, but sometimes one will do and other times three or more are needed.
your version of ''it covered'' and a HO'ers version are 2 different things ............youll learn this soon...........
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:08 PM   #10
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The reason I posted this thread was I often see references to one coat coverage. I've been at this a long time and experience tells me it isn't very common. Granted, there are times when one will do the job but I almost always bid for two. Sometimes, like when red is involved, I'll quote for a third.
I never want the customer to look at my "finished" work and suggest more coats are necessary. As the pro it's my job to let them know up front what it's going to take (and why), bid accordingly, and do the job properly. Never had a customer complain yet about the end result.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole34 View Post
your version of ''it covered'' and a HO'ers version are 2 different things ............youll learn this soon...........


Yeah unless you define the term "to coverage" on your contract, this seems to be opening the door for disputes. Most painters put "to coverage" because they hope to collect a two coat price for one coat.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:26 PM   #12
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I spec for two coats unless it is a specified maintenance coat.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:54 PM   #13
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It is always the customers version of covered that counts, they are the ones that must be happy. If you bid two coats and the old color shows thru arent you going to make them happy and apply another coat? I simply propose to "cover" so as to avoid arguments over how many coats are on the surface. I always inspect my work before I present it as finished to my customers. You only need one bad reference to hurt your reputation in a small town. This is what I have "learned".
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibberish45 View Post
Yeah unless you define the term "to coverage" on your contract, this seems to be opening the door for disputes. Most painters put "to coverage" because they hope to collect a two coat price for one coat.
I use the "coat to cover" section as well. I pretty much always need to cut twice even with Aura, however rolling can sometimes be done once. There are so many variables and Aura is still relatively new to me so I can't always say with certainly what the Aura job will take.

Generally with Aura, the color is either there or it's not. Either the drying of the paint has condensed to the point where you can see the prior coat...or not. It's not like some other paints where you can completely cover a wall and still see the prior color through dried paint.

At the end of the day, we are there to change the COLOR of the walls. I used to lay out the number of coats, then after one coat less than what was spec'd, I'm looking very closely and I've got 100% coverage - and I'm wondering why I'm coming back the next day. When I can haul in a bunch of painters and HOs and give them a swatch and they can't tell whether I've applied one coat or five, it's time to put down the brush and move on to the next job.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:28 AM   #15
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2 coats, in order to insure:


1) complete coverage, no pinholes or holidays (it happens.)
2) a true/solid color
3) a uniform sheen
4) manufacturer's warranty specs are met
5) my reputation remains flawlusss
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WisePainter View Post
2 coats, in order to insure:


1) complete coverage, no pinholes or holidays (it happens.)
2) a true/solid color
3) a uniform sheen
4) manufacturer's warranty specs are met
5) my reputation remains flawlusss
Ditto. I bid for two coats and apply two coats. And maybe its just me, but I would never try to get away with one coat when charging for two.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:18 AM   #17
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I get a kick outta talking with a potential client and describe my scope of two finish coats. Sometimes they will say something like "well we painting the kids bedroom and it only took one coat".

Sometimes I wanna go walk to the room and peer inside, and then turn to them and say "yep, thats why it looks like "
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ Paint View Post
I get a kick outta talking with a potential client and describe my scope of two finish coats. Sometimes they will say something like "well we painting the kids bedroom and it only took one coat".

Sometimes I wanna go walk to the room and peer inside, and then turn to them and say "yep, thats why it looks like "
I was recently bidding as a sub on a remodeling job. The HOs (a couple in their late sixties) questioned my bid of a primer coat over the new texture and two full top coats because they had "always been able to do it in one". The lead carpenter and I were looking over the walls of the master bedroom - pink over white. Everywhere you looked you could see nine inch swaths of dark pink overlapping lighter pink and some that were nearly white. If you didn't know better you might of thought they'd gone for that effect on purpose. We both almost got headaches from all the head shaking and eye rolling we were doing. I didn't get the job because they decided to do their own painting on all the nice and expensive remodeled areas that were being built for them.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by researchhound View Post
I was recently bidding as a sub on a remodeling job. The HOs (a couple in their late sixties) questioned my bid of a primer coat over the new texture and two full top coats because they had "always been able to do it in one". The lead carpenter and I were looking over the walls of the master bedroom - pink over white. Everywhere you looked you could see nine inch swaths of dark pink overlapping lighter pink and some that were nearly white. If you didn't know better you might of thought they'd gone for that effect on purpose. We both almost got headaches from all the head shaking and eye rolling we were doing. I didn't get the job because they decided to do their own painting on all the nice and expensive remodeled areas that were being built for them.

at the risk of offending a potential client, i will firmly suggest that they DO NOT decide to do it themselves based on their previous attempt to ruin their home.
as we are going over their work, for demonstration purposes of course.

it's my way of mind screwing H.O.'s for wasting my time in the past and future...resolve!


most clients i have understand the error of their 'spendthrift'ways, and hire me.
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WisePainter View Post
at the risk of offending a potential client, i will firmly suggest that they DO NOT decide to do it themselves based on their previous attempt to ruin their home.
as we are going over their work, for demonstration purposes of course.

it's my way of mind screwing H.O.'s for wasting my time in the past and future...resolve!


most clients i have understand the error of their 'spendthrift'ways, and hire me.
If this would have been me bidding directly with the client I would have most definitley explained why a professional job would be more beneficial to them. Working as a sub with a remodeling firm that becomes the responsibility of the contractor and lead carpenter - both of whom attempted to do so. Believe it became a matter of the HOs trying to bring down the total cost of the remodel which, IMO, only makes it worse. Spend $60,000 to have a remodel done and then put your own crappy paint job on it. Heard later that it did indeed look like s--t because they did it at the very end - after the cabinets, fixtures, trim, etc., were all in instead of doing it before all that was installed. No fixing stupid.
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