If you have ever tried your hands at painting your home or furniture, you know the extraordinary benefits of a primer coat. For a perfect finish and long life of interior paint, it is essential to use the best interior primer.
The advantages of a good quality primer are almost uncountable, and that’s why priming surfaces before painting has been in practice for ages. It can dramatically boost your paint’s performance and make the final results highly appealing. Thus, if you are planning to paint your interiors, you must invest in a good quality primer.
With so many options available in the market, choosing just the right primer for you might become a bewildering task. So, to help you choose the best interior primer for your home here is our best interior primer guide.
After considering all the important factors, characteristics of primers, and related crucial reviews, here is the list of the best interior paint primer for you:-
Top 10 Best Interior Primers 2020
If you have ever painted your walls, chances are you are already introduced to Kilz. The brand has been producing painting materials for over forty years, and this premium primer is another great item among their huge range of products.
This water-based primer has a powerful stain-blocking formula that would seal the surface of your walls and hide all the blemishing stains or former colors. It works like glue for your paint and wall and effectively increases the adhesive strength of your paint.
It is made to produce a fruitful result for your painting endeavors and hide all the unwanted imperfections. Its mildew protection formula would give long-lasting durability to your paint and won’t let anything hurt your walls.
Besides that, it is a versatile primer that you can use in your interiors, exteriors, drywall, plaster, wooden surfaces, panels, masonry, or brocks. Plus, it is also compatible with high humidity areas, and you can use it in your bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms.
This incredible primer has a high-coverage feature, and with a one-gallon bucket, you can cover almost 300-400 sq ft of surface area. Not to forget, you get it at an economical price range as compared with other primer variants.
Lastly, if you want to keep your family healthy and safe from toxic emissions, you should invest in this reliable primer as it has no VOCs or undesirable odors.
Note – If you have really heavy stains on your walls, you can go for the KILZ Max primer, which is a more powerful product.
Kilz high adhesion primer is a premium product that works like superglue for your paint. It gives a super strong adhesion to your paint and prevents any kind of immediate chipping or removal of paint.
Kilz is a reliable and popular brand known for its high-quality products. This versatile latex primer can be used on simple walls as well as challenging surfaces such as Kynar, PVC, Formica, vinyl, glass, tile, glazed brick, chalky paints, glossy finishes, fiberglass, or metals! Plus, you can use it under several solvents such as epoxies, lacquers, Xylene, or other solvents.
One outstanding feature that sets it apart is its coverage range. With one gallon of this white primer, you can cover up to 300 sq ft of area and use it with a brush, roller, or spray.
On top of that, it is a quick-drying solution and dries within 30 minutes of application. Plus, you can apply the next after just an hour!
Note – After using the primer, it is highly advised to use good quality latex or oil-based paint for long-lasting finishings.
If you’re looking for a primer that performs all the high-quality functions and comes in an easily affordable price range, then Kilz has the right product for you.
This multi-surface primer can block all the mild to medium stains and hide imperfections of your surfaces such as scratches, ink markers, pencils, moisture stains, or previous colors. It has a special mildew protection film to protect your walls against mildew formation.
You can use this versatile concoction of primer, sealer, and stain blocker on several types of surfaces such as brick, painted metal, glossy surfaces, drywall, paneling, stucco, masonry, plaster, or wood. Plus, its single gallon has excellent coverage of 300-400 sq ft on your interiors or exteriors.
Lastly, just like other Kilz primers, it has a super quick drying timing of 30 minutes, and you can apply the next cat after an hour!
All these features and an excellent combination of high customer ratings and a pocket-friendly price range makes this primer a highly recommended product.
Note – This primer is adequate for mild to medium stains. If you have heavy stains, you should go for the Kilz Premium Primer.
If you are tired of molds, mildews, fungi, or other bacterias on your walls, then we recommend this best interior paint primer with a powerful mold protection feature – Rus Oleum’s Mold Killing Primer. It is highly appreciated by users and is one of the most acclaimed products on the list.
This primer is precisely designed to kill the existing mold, mildew, moss, fungi, and odor-causing bacteria from surfaces and restrict their growth. It has an EPA registered antimicrobial solution that makes it highly effective against all types of molds.
Next, it is a water-based primer that you can easily clean with soap and water. Hence, it saves you from the unwanted efforts of cleaning brushes and rollers with thinners after painting.
It’s one quart will cover around 160 ft of your area and will rapidly dry up within 30 minutes. Not to forget, its cost falls within the medium price range even after being packed with such exclusive features.
After applying the primer, you can use any good quality topcoat for a flawless finish. However, Zinsser perma-white is the most compatible one.
Bathrooms and kitchens are the high-humidity areas of a household. Constant moisture and humidity often damage the walls and surfaces. They even cause the paint to peel off and promote the formation of mildews or other bacterial-fungal organisms.
To solve this problem, you need a premium primer that is specially built for bathrooms and kitchens.
As the name suggests, this Kitchen and Bathr latex Primer form Kilz is particularly designed for high-moisture areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, powder rooms, and laundry rooms. Its mildew-resistant film will kill all the existing bacterias and prevent their growth in the future.
This water-based white primer hides all the color changes, light to medium stains, and simultaneously gives high-adhesion power to your paint. Besides that, it seals all the porous surfaces and gives you a flat surface to apply the topcoat.
Apart from that, it is a low odor and low VOC primer that does not emit any harmful fumes. It will not pollute the air inside your home like other VOC-including products and is thus safe for indoor usage.
On top of that, it is highly versatile, and you can apply it on new drywall, plaster, paneling, stucco, wood, brick, masonry, painted metal, or several other surfaces.
Finally, just like other variants from Kilz, it dries in a jiffy and becomes ready for a second coat after just an hour.
If you have highly stubborn and heavy stains on your walls, then you definitely need a Kilz Restoration Stain and Odor-Blocking Primer.
It is a water-based primer and sealer that works as an oil-based solution. It is innovatively formulated to remove the heaviest of stains and is efficient against all types of medium to heavy stains such as water damage, rust, smoke, nicotine, grease, tannin, ink, pencil, felt marker, pet stains, etc.
Along with hiding stains, it also seals the strong foul odors such as fire, smoke, or pets. You can use it on interiors as well as exteriors and on any type of surfaces such as brick, ceramic tile, drywall, glass, masonry, painted metal, plaster, stucco, and wood.
Plus, with one gallon, you can cover a 300-400 sq ft area. These brilliant features make it a tough contender on our list of the best interior primers.
Note – To get the best results, mix the solution well, and properly prepare the surface by cleaning and sanding before applying the primer.
Are you planning to paint your furniture and look for the most effective primer for wooden surfaces? Then Rust-Oleum’s Marine Wood and Fiberglass Primer is the most suitable product for you.
This primer is specially formulated for priming wooden and fiberglass surfaces. Its innovative formula offers a smooth, highly-adhesive, and corrosion-resistant base layer to all wooden surfaces.
This useful primer also hides previous colors or light rust stains and provides maximum protection to your wood. It also has a fast-drying formula that dries within an hour, and lastly, a single quartet of this primer would cover around 100 sq ft of surface.
Note – It is not for application below the waterline.
Paint and Primer in One is an innovative alternative to the traditional method of separate priming and topcoat. These two-in-one solutions have a combination of primers and paints that simultaneously provide a strong base and colorful layer to your surfaces.
This Prestige Interior Paint and Primer in One is an ultra-premium primer solution. Its mountain gray color will make your rooms and walls look exceptionally modern and sophisticated. On top of that, you can apply it to your living rooms, family rooms, offices, bedrooms, or hallways and it will provide a dazzling semi-glossy look everywhere.
Its washable formula makes it easy to clean-up, and you can clean it with soap and water in no time. Plus, it is highly durable and has low VOC content which makes it ideal for the health of your family.
To conclude, it is easy to apply and saves a lot of extra time required in separate priming and color procedures.
This is another premium-quality product by Rust-Oleum that is designed to make your walls look incredible.
Its “mildew-resistant formula” and “mold and mildew shield” protect your walls from unwanted mildews or other types of fungal or bacterial formations. Hence, giving an extra-long life to your walls and topcoats.
Along with that, it is a multi-surface primer, and you can apply it on all types of walls or surfaces before the topcoat. Not just paints, if you’re looking for some primer solution that you can apply before pasting wallpapers on your walls, this one is highly recommended. This primer provides high-adhesion and a smooth layer to your walls.
In addition to that, its low odor and easy to clean formula makes it a top-quality desired product and one of the best interior paint primers.
The first remarkable feature of this two-in-one primer is its appealing Dahlia color. It will give a refreshing feel to your interiors. Plus, you can also choose your favorite color and packet-size option from the huge list.
Next, it is a concoction of primer and paint, possessing the qualities of both. It will hide all the blemishes and give a uniform and beautiful finish to your walls.
Because of its striking color and durable adhesive strength, you can use it on all types of surfaces and areas. It will make your living room, bedroom, or office look equally adorable.
Finally, it’s a low VOC solution and won’t emit any toxic gas or fume.
Factors To Consider While Choosing The Best Interior Primer
Primers are the most essential part of any painting procedure. The list of their benefits is way too long and so are their manufacturing brands in the market.
A good primer can dramatically enhance your outcome while a poor one can reduce the quality of your topcoat and not provide the desired durability. Plus, they are prepared for different purposes and with different specialized formulas.
Thus, choosing the best interior primer that fulfills all your requirements is a complicated task.
To help you out, here is a list of some significant factors that you should look into in an interior primer –
1. Type Of Surface
The first factor is very obvious- The surface you’re planning to paint; what primer would suit the best depends very much on the material of the surface.
For instance, some varieties of primers are particularly made for ceilings and walls, and you might not use them on a plastic surface. Similarly, a primer that is best for wooden surfaces can not produce the desired results for drywall or a metallic exterior.
Furthermore, if the new color that you’re going to apply is similar to the previous one, then you might not need a primer and you can directly apply the paint. But if there is a difference in shades or overall color, you definitely need a strong primer for that.
Besides that, there are different primers for different kinds of wooden surfaces. So, we recommend that if you are a novice in painting, you should consult the local vendor before buying one.
In a nutshell, the primer you need depends principally on the surface that you’re going to apply it on.
2. Type Of Primer
After the type of surface that you desire to paint, the next factor is the type of primer you can use.
In general, there are three basic types of primers with their specific qualities, advantages, and disadvantages. These primers and their properties are described below-
This type of primers or paints is the classic ones that have been in use for decades. They are highly versatile and you can use them on numerous surfaces such as walls with previous paints, or wood, steel, glass, or at the interior or exterior of your homes.
These primers efficiently seal the surfaces and provide long-lasting adhesive power to the topcoat. Plus, they are preferred for their stain-hiding capabilities and can hide all types of light, medium, or heavy stains.
The two major drawbacks of oil-based primers or paints are that they take a longer time to dry and produce harmful VOCs. These VOC or volatile organic compounds are toxic and can make the inner air polluted and harmful. Thus, you need to take extra care while disposing of them.
Plus, you have to use thinners or chemicals to clean your brushes after them.
b. Water-based Or Latex Primers
Water-based primers are formulated to withdraw the drawbacks of the oil-based ones. They are less brittle and do not peel off or crack easily. In addition to that, they are highly versatile and you can use them on all types of surfaces including metals.
Latex primers are ideal for drywalls as they smoothen the surface and the patches made after repair. They can also hide light to medium stains and offer the desired finish. As they are water-soluble, these primers don’t take much time while cleaning.
Lastly, they have a low or no- VOC formula and are ideal for a healthy environment.
The only drawback of these primers is that they have lesser potential in terms of stain-hiding than the oil-based or shellac-based primers.
c. Shellac Primer
Shellac solutions have a long history of usage. They are great for interior paintings because of their unparalleled stain-hiding abilities. They can hide all types of heavy stains including water or smoke damage.
Shellacs efficiently seal the surfaces and prevent bleeding of stains. You can apply them on several types of surfaces including plastic. Plus, they have fast drying and high-adhesion features as well.
Their disadvantages are that they are not as versatile as oil or latex ones and produce toxic fumes. Besides that, they are hard to clean and you will need strong alcohol solutions to clean applicators.
3. Stain-Hiding Power
A primary reason why we use primers is to hide previous colors or stains. Thus, stain-hiding power is an essential factor that you must weigh in while buying a primer.
The capability of hiding stains depends on the type and the quality of a primer. You should choose one depending upon the type of stains you are struggling with, or the difference of shade or color in the previous and new color.
In most of the primers, this capability is already mentioned and you won’t have to meet much confusion.
As it is also discussed in the previous factors, primers are designed for specific purposes and work best if applied on their specialized surfaces.
For example, some primers are devised for high humid areas such as bathrooms or kitchens. If you use a primer not intended for bathrooms, it will not give you the desired durability and fail to sustain the high moisture.
Similarly, if your walls suffer from mildews, molds, or other such formations, you should use a primer specifically designed for that purpose only. In that case, a stain- hiding primer might not kill the existing mildews, and applying it would go futile.
So, before application, fix your exact expectations from a primer and choose the one that is made for you only.
5. Other Important Factors
Along with the above given important factors, here are some other crucial factors that you should never forget while choosing the best interior primer for you –
1. Color– Primers are generally white but might have other shades as well. The primer-and-paint-in-one solutions also have a range of color variants. A mismatched color might affect your topcoat’s look, so you must check the color before application.
2. VOC content – VOCs are harmful emissions and long exposure to such fumes might result in a health hazard. Plus, they are also harmful to the environment. So, try to go for zero or at least low VOC primers or paints.
3. Odor resistance – Primers also perform as odor controllers and dismiss the foul odors such as smoke or pets from the walls. You can consider this factor if you have such walls or areas.
What Is A Primer, And Why Is It Mandatory?
Many homeowners are often confused about what actually a primer is and why it is so crucial during painting. If you are also curious about the significance of primers then here is the definition and the importance of a primer for you –
A primer is a paint-like-solution that works as a foundation and is applied before the topcoat. It is just like paint in appearance but is more like glue in actuality. It works as an adhesive layer between the paint and the surface.
For any type of painting, the first element you need is a smooth surface. If there are any dents, cracks, stains, or infections on the wall, then it does not matter what kind of paint you use, your finishings would look disastrous. Similarly, if your paint lacks adhesive power, it would start peeling off and all your investments will end up being fruitless.
To protect you from all these problems, there is a single superheroic solution – the best interior primer.
For further information, here are some of the major benefits of priming your surface –
1. Smooth surface – Primers act as a base for the painting process. They eliminate all the imperfections of the surface and prepare a stable layer for you for carrying on the project.
2. High-adhesion – Primers work as glue and help your paint to stick properly to the surface. They extend the longevity of paints and prevent peeling or cracking.
3. Hide stains – If your walls have previous stains of ink, coffee, marker, smoke, etc., a primer layer will hide them all and result in a fresh and stainless finish.
4. Better finish – A primer coat helps in elevating the quality of the final finish and enhances the vibrance and performance of the topcoat.
Best Interior Primers – Conclusion
In a nutshell, primers are unquestionably one of the most important elements of the whole painting process. If you apply them properly, they can make your efforts produce a better outcome which would otherwise go in vain when neglected. Hence, you must take special care before buying primers for you.
Our guide to the best interior primer has provided you all the essential knowledge about choosing a suitable primer. Now, it is your turn to select one according to your budget, requirements, and your style.
FAQs on Interior Primer
Q1. Do I Have To Sand The Surface Even If I’m Using A Primer Before Painting?
Yes. Even if you use the best interior paint primer, you won’t get the expected finish unless the surface is clean, smooth, and has no residue of dirt, grease, or dust.u003cbru003eSo, it is mandatory to thoroughly sand the surface before applying a primer.
Q2. Can I Mix A Primer Into The Topcoat?
You should not mix a primer into a topcoat, rather, the opposite. If you’re painting new drywall, you can mix a small amount of topcoat color into the primer. It would highlight the finish of the final coat and make your walls look much more lively and refreshing.
Q3. How To Dispose Of A Primer?
Paints or primers, especially oil-based ones are harmful to the environment and you must take care while you dispose of them. You must not throw them away like ordinary waste and should prefer saving, donating, or recycling them.u003cbru003eIf you have water-based primers, you should dump them after drying them up. For the oil-based ones, you should go to a local hazardous waste collection site.
Sandra is a senior writer at MrsFixit and all-around handy gal. When she’s not busy writing for us you’ll most likely find her buying, renovating, and flipping houses… or relaxing in the backyard with her dog banjo.