Why do I need to use a primer instead of just using two coats of the finish paint?

A primer is beneficial because it helps provide a uniform surface that promotes good adhesion of the topcoat. A primer can also serve a special purpose by sealing a porous surface, blocking out stains, preventing rust formation on iron and steel, and preventing tannin bleed on wood. Most finish paints are designed to provide a decorative or protective finish for a substrate. In most situations, they do not provide the features of a primer, so it is always important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended coating system.