Thanks for the feedback Slick, though on the Ben Moore website, the 023, 024, 094 and 366 are all listed as deck primers! A few other questions:
Yeah....there's no such thing as a universal primer. Many things are labeled by Marketing rather than reality.
1. Even though Ben Moore says the first primer coat should not be thinned (probably for VOC issues), is it a good thing to do, and if so by how much? If so, is mineral spirits or paint thinner best?
Incorrect, it's because they really did try and make the best primer possible...if it needed to be thinner they would have made it thinner
neither mineral spirits or paint thinner is the best if you are trying to thin this for some reason
A conditioner would be
I don't recommend it
2. Is there an optimal window period for putting on a second coat of primer, as well as the first and second topcoat?
There is no reason for a second coat of primer
3. Consumer Reports puts Flood Solid Color Deck and Siding as #1; Sikkens SRD as #2, and Behr Deck Plus Deck, Fence and Siding ahead of Cabots 1800 series. What are other's take on that?
CR uses the scientific method and repeatable tests under lab conditions using criteria that sometime has little to do with actual paint usage in the real world
It's basically occasionally interesting, sometimes hilarious, often frustrating, but in reality utterly useless for paint tests
That being said, I haven't used the Flood, the Sikkens is totally killer, the Cabots is great, and the Behr is the most cruel and unusual punishment ever devised for decks, coatings application techs, and owners of the decks.
Not only does it apply badly, and look bad, and last a terribly short time, it also has the amazing ability to fall off some parts of the deck, while being totally un-removable on others.
Strippers turn what's left into SuperElasticBubblePlastic
It can't be sanded
You are doomed to turn over you deck boards, or re-deck
It shouldn't be ahead of anything
Behr Plus Deck Fence and Siding should be a dozen or so places down from vomit, just a few spots behind urine in the Deck Coatings Ratings
Though you should post over at www.DIYChatroom.com
rather than here