Source: http://homes.gmnews.com/news/2008/1001/Tips/006.html

As the weather begins to cool down, why not head inside and spruce up the interior of your home?A fresh coat of paint will improve the look of any room, but for professional quality results, you have to paint like a professional. Here are the answers to your commonly asked painting questions:
 
What's the secret behind professional paint jobs? Professionals start by priming; it's like starting your paint job with a fresh canvas. Ordinary paint just isn't designed to do a primer's job. Primers like Bulls Eye 1-2-3 hide dark colors, block stains and seal the surface for a more even color and sheen. Also, when you use a primer, the paint will adhere better. Primer will even stick to slick glossy surfaces like paneling, cabinets, glossy paints and vinyl siding — without the need for sanding — taking an extra step out of painting projects.
 
If I'm using colored paint, won't it just hide a previous paint job? Probably not. Primers are designed specifically to hide previous colors — even dark blues and reds — and prevent them from showing through a new paint job. Plus, they are great at sealing surfaces and allowing you to use less paint, so you're actually saving money. In fact, research shows that one coat of tinted primer and one coat of paint will give you a longer lasting, better looking paint job than two coats of paint. Bulls Eye 1-2-3 (for light and pastel colors) and Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Deep Tint (for medium and dark colors) are specially formulated for tinting. Just ask your paint store or home center associate to add the same universal colorant to your primer that they will use to tint your paint.
 
Can I paint over stains on ceilings and walls? No. Most stains — including water stains, crayon and marker, lipstick, nicotine, and airborne grease from cooking — will bleed right through paint, no matter how many coats of paint you apply. Quality stain-blocking primers, like Cover Stain, permanently seal in stains and prevent them from showing through and ruining your paint job.
 
How can I prevent other paint problems like peeling? Primers are specifically formulated to prevent common problems like cracking, peeling and blistering, and they'll make any painted surface more durable, washable and last much longer.

Remember, if you want to paint like a pro, prime like a pro. For more helpful "tips" for a professional quality paint job, visit www.zinsser.com.

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