One important step in drywall finishing is to buy the right drywall primer to apply before painting. Primers remain under the paint but plays crucial role in providing the perfect shine after paint.
Because we have various types, sizes, and brands of paint primer available in the market, picking out the best drywall primer for your walls could be tricky.
Getting the right primer allows you to hide pores and blemishes of the drywall to have a perfect glowing surface.
On the other hand, wrong primer may not work that way and joints, blemishes, along with pores may look awkward after the final coat of the paint.
Let's help you make that purchase right; check these drywall primer reviews for 2020. Let's go!
Glidden Interior One Coat Paint + Primer
Best For DIY Application
Rust-Oleum Corporation 01501 Drywall Primer
Best For Professionals
KILZ 2 Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer
Best For Exterior
3M Patch Plus Primer For Drywall Repair
Best For Small Repair
Valspar 11288 Interior PVA Wall Primer
Best For Multi-Surface Application
What is Primer For Drywall?
Primer is a PVA material used for making the surface ready for painting by sealing tiny pores and holes.
Applying paint directly to a freshly made wall without a layer of priming makes your painting look coarse.
The primers aren't your regular paint, as they do not contain similar composition. The polyvinyl acetate in a drywall primer creates a stronger bond to drywall than paint. They are often used to seal hollows in your wall and keep the wall friendly to painting.
Our 10 Best Drywall Primer Picks:
Here are our detailed reviews on primers that you can use on drywall before painting.
1. KILZ L211101 Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Latex Primer
It has been recommended as the best drywall primer for both professionals and DIY priming. This is because of its high-bonding technology on elegant painting surfaces of any wall type.
When we speak of a drywall primer capable enough to spread through a wide range of surfaces, then Kilz Latex Primer is what we turn to.
The product covers at least 250 square feet per gallon, which, in any instant transparent, does the job perfectly. Its interior latex feature ensures that the wall stays repellent to water particles upon contact.
Hard painting surfaces like vinyl, Formica, glossy finish, metals, and the likes are completely receptive to the high bonding adhesion of Kilz.
Turning to an oil based primer on slick surfaces as most people do would only mess up the painting. But using the right amount of Kilz High build primer adheres perfectly to ultra smooth surfaces of any kind. Also, for professionals who have always had difficulty priming chalky paints and PVC, this priming product is a lifesaver.
Backsplash your tile floors before laying the bricks can be done effectively with the aid of Kilz Adhesion Primer. After application, the adhesion feature of the primer also contributes to the total grip of the tiles on the floor. Unlike traditional primers, the product comes pre-mixed, so it saves you the time and energy of mixing. Also, it gives your room a pleasant fragrance when priming, unlike the oil based primers out there.
- High-bonding adhesion spread on all kinds of surface
- Easy-to-use pre-mixed feature for DIY applications
- Widespread range of any wall size
- A unique latex feature that enhances the adhesive nature of the sealer
- Applicable for both interior and exterior walls
- The fast-dry option makes wiping off difficult after application
- Gets watery easily without the usage
2. Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Interior/Exterior Gray Primer
The Zinsser Bulls Eye is a high quality primer with just enough features to serve as an all-round primer product. Its anti-stain and dust repellents mix are designed to make your priming completely clean on the walls.
Having provided its users with one of the best priming adhesions, it remains affordable to the general public. Exceptionally made to fit tiny holes and pops out your paint coating on dark topcoat colors. The grey color leaves your walls attractive, even without being coated with paint.
It is remarkably receptive to all kinds of oil paint. Even when working with latex paint could be frustrating, this primer blends just well with the chemical composition of latex paints.
For folks who love traditional primer, the Zinsser drywall primer also comes in one of those leaving you to decide the solubility of the primer. Works nicely on tiles, metal surface, concrete, wood surfaces, glass and so on. The product also comes in an aerosol spray primer formula suitable for hidden areas.
This primer product has a high-resolution resistance against rust. Its anti-rust composition makes it unique when applicable to metallic surfaces. For an effective result on metallic surfaces, ensure you clean out partially rusted particles before application.
Also, with one of the best flexible acrylic capabilities, bonding becomes impossible to tear apart. Graffiti and tannin paint lovers can apply the Zinsser Bulls Eye primer without having to worry about breakage.
- Applicable with any topcoat color
- Waterproof feature lasting all through the wall
- Totally resistant against stains and dust
- Great flow and easy application on all surfaces
- Special aerosol spray formula for all-round access to hidden areas
- The grey color refrains you from getting your desired painting color
- Too harsh on tender surfaces
3. Glidden Interior Best Paint and Primer in One
Working with the Glidden Interior primer offers professionals and DIY folks a one coat priming coverage. This means that you only get to glide the coating brush once over the wall surface, which saves your time and cost.
Its thick formula also enhances the one-coat coverage because it sticks once after application. The Glidden Interior Primer, unlike other primers, hides basic stains on the wall by applying once. This means that every stain-blocking needed on any surface can be done with just one glide of the primer.
Interestingly, washing off excess and spillage on the floor and other unwanted surfaces can be wiped off quickly. Because of its lasting drying techniques, errors can be fixed and cleaned off immediately before the solution dries off.
The Glidden Interior Primer comes with a low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) interior painting feature suitable for all paints. When dealing with stains, this product requires less amount of application to cover them up. Unlike what you get with other primers, one coating does the job just fine.
The primer comes in great color options chosen by professionals that make coating the walls uniform in all rooms.
Also, for people who would prefer other colors, the Glidden primer is available in over 250 color options. This keeps a wider range of options for the beautification of your home.
Lastly, you'll get this product with a low VOCs and less stressed during application.
If you are looking for the best paint and primer in one product, this the bet for you!
- Exceptionally washable and easy to scrub off spillages
- Unique bonding priming feature
- Additional latex and acrylic in the mixture
- Available in various color options
- Suitable for interior use only
- Best paint primer product
- Takes hours to completely dry and adhere to the wall surface
- Sometimes attracts dust before coating with paint
4. KILZ 2 Multi-Surface Latex Primer
The 1 Gallon primer container makes an application in multiple rooms and various surfaces possible. Making you save money on one purchase other than getting primers that come in little containers.
Its excellent adhesion and ability to seal the wall surface with the paint coat is over the charts. With the strong bond created, you hardly notice breakages from the coating years after priming and painting. The product is versatile, which makes it suitable for applications on tiles, metal, bricks, and so on.
The Kilz 2 Multi-surface latex primer permits application on oil-based paints that often seem slippery and impossible to be held down. In recent times, its latex primer feature has been the basic comparison for working with slippery and shiny surfaces.
This stain blocker staves off stains of any kind on the walls, making fine coat painting possible. The product works well in hiding the previous wall color to avoid a mixture of colors.
Palatable to apply on glossy surfaces, plaster, and Masonry. This feature makes its wide application acceptable to all wall types and homes. The application can be made with a roller, brush, and spraying cans of all types.
The fast-dry feature of this primer works in 25-30 minutes and ready for coating with a quality paint within an hour. It allows you to mix its concentration with water of a considerable amount to ease the thickness. This practice is often done on mild surfaces. When you are looking for the best primer to cover drywall imperfections, this product comes at the top 5 list.
- Allows paint to stick fast and hard on the primed surface
- Prevents mild water stains from water spills and other minor stains
- The product has a mildew resistant element
- Firm adhesive abilities on new paint
- Difficulty in wiping off spilled primer on surfaces
- Leaves cracks on glossy surfaces when changing primers
5. 3M PPP 4-in-1 T-Patch Plus Primer For Repair
The 3 Fl Oz plus primer comes in a 4-in-1 pack that makes application on holes easy and neatly done. Each pack has a uniquely designed end that allows you to spread directly on intended spots.
In a few words, it is the perfect priming kit for repairing small portions of the interior walls. This way, you'd spend less and save more, other than getting an excess 1-gallon primer, which would be useless.
This is a spackling compound which also acts and serves as a priming reagent for coating and priming at once. The quick-drying effect of this primer makes working time-bound and helps cover your patches in a few hours.
In just about 25-30 minutes, the primer would be strong enough to hold a nail through a hammer. Applying this primer makes changing the paint sheen possible without tracks.
3M T-patch plus primer leaves your wall with a professional end finish and ready for painting in less than an hour. Unlike a few primers with in the ability to hold metals like screws and nails, this holds them just fine.
However, excessive drilling on the patch might lead to complete breakage of the primed wall. This product works for bricks, tiles, glossy surfaces, PVC, and most mild surfaces you can think of applying it on.
Packaging comes with a built-in knife to cut off the lid before application. It's easy to use readers' manual makes application great for DIY and not just for professionals.
If you are looking for the best primer for drywall patches, this is the go-to for you!
- Great product for patching up nail holes
- A unique composition that repels shrinking and cracking
- Leaves your interior walls with a professional finish
- Resists flashing of any kind
- Works three times faster than traditional primers
- Not suitable for a large amount of work
- Costs more when working on a complete wall priming
6. Roman 016901 PRO-999 Rx-35 Drywall Repair Primer
This drywall repair primer fixes roughly torn wall parts and creates a drywall plain surface.
At the end of the fix, the wall could then be coated with paint or covered with wallpapers.
The Roman Drywall Primer works perfectly well for customized ceilings, and skims coats. The adhesion technique of this primer leaves the walls with a fine finish for wallpapers and paint coating.
Suitable for fixing all kinds of interior walls ranging from bricks, ceramic, glossy surfaces, shiny surfaces, and marbles. It dries fast enough to make application easier and also saves time and cost since you need just a little to get you going.
The high-bonding adhesion solidifies the naked wall and freshly applied paint together. Roman Drywall Repair Primer comes with 4-ounces of colorant to leave the priming fancy.
Most times, half of a gallon is enough for one primer coat on the ceiling of a 1500 Square feet house. With the perfect completion of his primer, every spot, holes, and breaks are filled with one coating application.
- The ideal match for blistering and cracking walls problem
- Ready to use primer mix
- Offers a limited 1-year warranty after purchase
- Enhanced adhesion on paint coating
- Not a self-application primer
- Dries off easily
7. KILZ L220101 KLEAR Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer
Just like the other Kilz primer we've looked at before now, this also offers a multi-surface priming application. It works fine on glossy and shiny surfaces, marble, bricks, sandy surfaces and so on.
All Kilz primers have a well-known stain-blocking feature that acts as a repellent to any form of stain. Also, the latex acrylic formula ensures an ever-present and robust bonding between the wall and paint.
This stain blocking primer offers a high-quality alkali-resistant primer that protects your paint coating from stains and dust. Its unique transparent surface impact makes application on hollows and hidden areas effective.
While this primer might seem traditional in its application, it allows you to mix the primer to your preferred taste.
Also, it works for both interior and exterior priming purposes. It perfectly suits any weather conditions during and after priming, so be rest assured that the weather wouldn't affect the drying process.
Because of its composition, the primer can be used to fit holes and cracks of any size on walls. The bond of attraction created during priming makes breakages seem impossible after years of application.
- Suitable for both interior and exterior priming purposes
- High-quality alkali-resistant primer
- Versatile for application of all surfaces
- Totally transparent surface impact primer
- Allows mixing to preferred taste
- Lack of pre-mixed feature and takes time to mix
- Latex acrylic affects the smoothness of the paint during coating
8. Rust-Oleum Corporation 02501 Zinsser Shieldz Universal Wallcovering Primer Sealer
The Rust-Oleum wall covering primer-sealer has been known to possess relatively high adhesive properties for bonding.
Upon application, this primer ensures that the one coat of paint added to the wall produces a professional finish. The primer is mostly but not restricted to painting supplies and house primers.
The composition of this primer can be easily added to painting supplies to increase the adhesive factor.
Also, its mildew-resistant feature wipes off existing stains and protects your wall from future ones. Prepares all wall types for placing and covering after coating with paint.
When spillages occur during application, they can be removed instantly with water and wet cloth. The product has a reduced odor that makes breathing goes smoothly when applying on the wall.
Unlike other primers with concentrated chemical combination congested to the nose, this allows aeration.
- Rust-oleum removes previous stains and dirt on the wall
- Easy to use on all surface types
- Works perfectly well for beneath wallpaper
- Relatively low odor during priming
- Universal wallcovering primer
- Poor packaging of the primer-sealer
9. Valspar 11288 Interior PVA Wall Primer
The Valspar Interior PVA wall primer is one primer known specifically among painters across the globe.
With its easy to use application on all kinds of surfaces with a few alterations on the solubility of the composition. For an effective way of sealing porous surfaces, this primer product is often recommended as one of the best.
When preparing your surfaces for further construction work, these primers ensure they last the time of construction.
This primer works on both freshly painted walls and new walls of any surface type including new drywall.
So far, the product has always sealed uncoated drywall perfectly fine without leaving room for coarse and dry particles. The quick-drying effect of this primer makes working time-bound and helps cover your patches in a few hours.
In just about 25-30 minutes, the primer would be strong enough to hold a nail anytime. Applying this primer makes changing the paint sheen possible and leaves tracks.
- Ensures a uniform surface across the wall
- Evenly suitable for latex paints
- Seals porous-looking surfaces well
- The quick-dry effect after application
- Leaves tracks on paint sheen surfaces
- Dries off easily during application or errors
10. Benjamin Moore ULTRA SPEC Prep Coat Hi-Build Interior Primer White
The Benjamin Moore, Ultra Spec primer, comes in a white color, which makes application of another easy.
The Hi-build interior Primer works perfectly well for customized ceilings, and skims coats.
The adhesion technique of this primer leaves the walls with an elegant finish for wallpapers and paint coating. Also, the latex acrylic formula ensures a strong and ever-present bonding between the wall and paint.
It works nicely well on tiles, metal surfaces, concrete, wood surfaces, glass, and so on. The product also comes in an aerosol spray primer formula suitable for hidden areas.
This primer product has a high-resolution resistance against rust. Its anti-rust composition makes it unique when applicable to metallic surfaces. For an effective result on metallic surfaces, ensure you clean out partially rusted particles before application.
Prepares all wall types for placing and covering after coating with paint. It's easy to use readers' manual makes application great for DIY and not just for professionals.
This product works for bricks, tiles, glossy surfaces, PVC, and most mild surfaces you can think of applying it on. After application, the adhesion feature of the primer also contributes to the total grip of the tiles on the floor.
- Fully equipped with acrylic latex
- Low VOC
- Suitable for both residential and commercial applications
- DIY manual for home use and professional priming
- Repellent against water or reduction of the concentration
- Not ideal for little priming application
Best Drywall Primer Sealer Buying Guide
Shopping for something is always satisfying. But making a purchase decision that satisfies our needs is a tricky and complicated task. The following words will help you to pick the best primer for drywall-
1. Knowing the Purpose
You should know the purpose of the purchase to pick a perfect product that suits your needs. This is not the case only in primer shopping, rather every purchase decision should be made after answering this question- Why do I need this?
By answering this question, you will find out some key features that you need to look out for in the product when purchasing.
2. Stain Resistance
Primers make a coating on the surface so that the paint can sit well on it. Getting a perfect painting is not the only goal of priming rather the primer sealer needs to have stain resistance.
Stain prone primers can lead to a ruined painting work as you will end up staining the primer within a few days of uses.
3. Moisture Resistant
The drywall sealer you pick should have the moisture resistance in it. This is a must when you want to use the primer in the bathroom or kitchen.
Although most of the modern primer products come with this feature, don’t hesitate to double-check the feature. Doing so can save your time and money for sure!
4. Odorless Primer
Bad odor is a problem when it comes to the primer. Primer is made by mixing different chemicals that odors bad.
Nowadays, you will find some manufacturers doing a great job removing the odor somehow. I recommend going with the odorless primer so that you do not feel irritated when working.
Since the bad odor vanishes when the primer dries out, you can skip this feature if the odorless primer is not available for your needed type.
As the primer is used on the surface and it remains as a connecting agent between the surface and the paint, it needs to be highly sticky.
If the drywall sealer comes out easily, stay away from that crap! The primer should stay strong and sometimes can hold a nail on it without any breakage.
6. Primer Pack Size
As you know that primer is used in two situations, when you need to paint a new wall or repair it. When repairing a portion of a wall, you will not need a gallon of primer.
So, when purchasing the primer for your drywall, make sure you check the size of the product you are paying. Otherwise, you can end up purchasing a gallon of primer when you need a pound or purchasing a pound when you need a gallon or more!
7. All-Purpose or Specialized
There are primers in the market that can be used in any type of surfaces and some can be used only in the special type of surface. I recommend all-purpose primers as you can use the primer on other works if some of it remains unused after finishing the job.
8. Primer Color
When purchasing the primer for painting over it, make sure you pick a color that goes with the paint you are going to apply to it. Some primers come with different color options where some come in one color.
One-color primers are generally fit for any color and the primers that offer different colors need to be used by matching the color of the paint.
9. Drywall Primer Price
The last but not the least thing you need to consider is the price of the primer. Make sure you grab the best deal available for you by researching a bit. We do not recommend overly priced or cheap products to our visitors.
In most of the cases, cheap drywall primers are not so good and thus not recommended.
How to Apply Drywall Primer?
Now that you have picked the drywall primer for your house, how will you apply that? To make your task easier, here is a quick guide to prime drywall easily.
- Paint Stir Stick
- Paint Can Opener
- Paint Roller Cage & Roller Sleeve
Step 1: Drywall Inspection
Priming must start with inspecting the surface. You need to check for any holes or cracks before starting to prime drywall.
If you see any hole or crack, use drywall mud for hiding the hole or crack.
Step 2: Clean The Surface
After you are done with inspection and hiding the crack, now it’s time to clean the surface. This step is a must before you open the drywall primer can. Priming over the dust will harm the overall look of the drywall.
Remember to brush the corners with a brush, so that no dust remains on the surface.
Step 3: Apply the First coat
Now, take the can opener and open the primer can. If you do not have any specific opener, use a hard metal bar to open the cover.
Soak the paintbrush into the primer can and apply primer on the drywall just like painting. Paintbrush is handy for precision, so use this in the corners and connection points. With the paint roller, you will start doing the priming job real fast but this is not for precision.
So, after you precisely apply the primer on the corners, take the paint roller to prime drywall. Some people use paint sprayer as well to apply primer, but we don't recommend doing so.
How many coats you need to apply will depend on the consistency of the product and surface situation.
PVA Primer vs Regular Primer
These both types of primers enjoy different features and have different areas of application. Here are a few difference in primers depending on the usage criteria, internal and external coating, number of layers and much more. Stay connected and understand all the considerable difference between the two primers in detail.
Regular primers are very useful for blocking stains of ink, water and others. These primers seal the porous surface and better cover the body. However, PVA makes carpenter glue effective but does not fill the surface. It can be a better base for paint, but it isn’t an effective stain blocker.
Regular primer tries to prevent solvent absorption prematurely. However, water can drip internally and can cause wrapping, mold or dry rot. On the other hand, PVA primers have a grade-2 water-resistant nature and can sustain stickiness for several soaking and drying cycles without failing.
The number of Coating Layers
For a regular primer, two coating layers are recommended for better results. Usually, the wall soaks the first layer and the second layer use to replenish and hide stains and patches on the wall. While the PVA primer is a combo of paint and primer both and can seal the sheetrock drywall in just one coat, it is cost-friendly.
Regular primer is an undercoating material used for better adhesion of paints and increases durability and adhesion of paints. On the other hand, PVA is to seal drywalls. Furthermore, its material fills the porous drywall better than a regular primer and paint one at less cost.
You can use regular primer only on the internal coating layer to provide adhesion and remove the stain, and it doesn’t have a significant role on the upper layer as it does not stick on the oily paint layer. In comparison, PVA can be on internal coating and external coating as well. It adheres to the outer oily layer, too and provides the new coat of paint bond.
Regular primer uses mostly for sealing sap streaks and knots. It is also suitable for raw wood, depending on the type of paint you use. However, PVA is not an effective wood sealer and has limited application such as primer ply etc.
It is usually to cover patches and block stains in the drywall. It is a uniform surface for your paint to stick. At the same time, PVA primer forms a soft, even layer on drywall. This Latex-based material is more useful for bare drywall pores and provides better adhesion. PVA is not able to block stains and is not sufficient for wood sealer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Drywall Primer to Dry?
The label of the can should answer this question. If not, you can wait for a day for a perfect dry.
Generally, primers dry out within 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the manufacturers and models.
Read Our Take On Best Sandpaper For Wood & Drywall
What is The Best Primer to Cover Drywall Imperfections?
You can use our best pick for new drywall if you need to cover a significant amount of surface. If not, try the small repair pack for covering imperfections of drywall. Both work great!
Can You use Drywall Primer on Wood?
No, you should not use drywall primer on wood. Drywall and wood are two different materials and the primers for the surfaces are also different.
Yes, you can use drywall primers on wood but that will not serve your purpose. So, you should not waste drywall primers on wood.
Can I Spray Primer?
Yes, why not? You can spray primer with a sprayer. Spraying the primer can do your job faster than ever when you need to cover a lot of surfaces. Purchasing a sprayer does not worth it when you need just a room to prime.
Can You use Primer for Hiding Crack?
No, primer is not for hiding crack. Even if you try to, you’ll see crack marks on the surface after applying the primer and paint. So, it is recommended to use a drywall joint compound or to hide crack or holes of the drywall.
Where to Buy Primer for Drywall Online
There are a lot of options available on the internet nowadays to purchase drywall primers but we did not find a better option than Amazon.
Amazon has a whole bunch of products sold by internationally famous sellers and their purchasing and return policy is also a thing that needs mentioning.
If Amazon does not ship to your location, you can check Alibaba, Ali Express or eBay for a successful purchase.
Now that we've listed our top 10 primers you should watch out for in this year. We'll suggest our recommended product to make your choice as we would.
Judging on the benefits and practical use of these primers, we'll recommend the best drywall primer, which is the KILZ L211101 Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Latex Primer. This product stands out among other precisely because of its affordability in the market.
Its unique latex feature enhances the adhesive nature of the primer, which makes it almost two times stronger and more effective than others. Also, the drywall primer is capable enough to spread through a wide range of surfaces.
It works on all types of surfaces that you might think of, seals any holes/cracks, and prepares your surfaces perfectly before painting them with Latex or oil-based paint.
Some of our readers were asking for Sherwin Williams Drywall Primer Review. We're already working on the review and will include once we get the data.