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Paint like a pro for a look that lasts

One of the easiest home improvement projects — one that will add the most value to your home for the least amount of money — is painting. It’s easy to keep your paint job looking great so it continues to add value to your home for years to come. Just do what professional painters do: Use one coat of primer and one coat of paint instead of two coats of paint. Here’s why:

• Primers hide previous colors — even the darkest blues and deepest reds — far better than paint alone and prevent them from showing through or changing the color of the topcoat. They’ll make your new color look more vibrant and even. Here’s a little secret: By tinting your primer toward your paint color, you’ll use less paint — plus get all the benefits of priming. Just ask your paint store or home center associate to add one half the same colorant they use to mix your paint.

• Primers work hard to block stains. If you try to cover a stain with a fresh coat of paint, the stain will probably bleed through — no matter how many coats of paint you apply. Quality primers seal in stains and prevent them from ruining your paint job.

• Primers prevent common paint problems. Because primers are formulated to prevent problems such as cracking, peeling and blistering, they’ll make any painted surface more durable, washable — and last much longer.

• Primers provide a sound base for paint. Paint is formulated to provide rich, beautiful color — but don’t expect it to do a primer’s job. High-quality primers are rich in resin and provide a firm base for paint to adhere. Primers such as Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 even stick to glossy, hard-to-paint surfaces without sanding, so you can paint paneling, cabinets, glossy paints, vinyl siding and more.