"You might be expecting too much. You also might be priming too much. Primers are typically fairly delicate, and you might be better off roughing up your decoys lightly with 220-grit sandpaper before painting. The guy who started me duck hunting had another solution. He was pretty broke back then (well, we both were). He didn't paint his decoys until partway through the season, when the birds started losing their eclipse plumage. He figured the dinged paint job from last season matched dull eclipse plumage pretty well, and repainted only when the mallard drakes started sporting green heads toward late autumn. "