RE: welcome to a great art form!
While I am by far an expert, I have a few firings under my belt. My molds are all BE (I used a cheap nock off one once and was sorry with the results) and worth their weight in gold. They did not require prefiring and unless it’s rainy and cold outside my four or five layers of kilnwash dried without the need of the kiln in just a couple of hours (overnight to be sure). Then, when dry, I smoothed out the kilnwash (unless put on with an airbrush which makes things SO much easier – do a batch at a time) with an old nylon stocking to just take off any surface bumps before placing the glass for slumping. I’ve used several types of kiln wash and all seemed to do their job, but use BE (Bullseye) almost exclusively now. Mixing in small batches and not storing too long, plus being very sure it is well mixed with no dirt particles, seems most important. If using a large (wide) hacke brush, brush one direction and then after a few minutes, brush the next layer the opposite direction.
A bigger deal will come with you decide to buy a kiln. Don’t rush on this and often if you are patient you can find a good used one from someone who is moving, etc. That way your dollar can buy a larger kiln (which you will come to really appreciate when you want to fire many pieces at once). But honestly , if you get the bug, you’ll want one with say a 23″ shelf and another with a shelf in the range of 28″x 48″…and a little test kiln is worth it’s weight in gold. Go slow, keep good notes on EVERYTHING, and you will be happy for your experience. Good luck!
Windows listen attentively for the sound of broken glass.