9 Best Wood Primer in 2021

Are you tired of having the paint peel off after the simplest of rains? It gets annoying when you have to repaint your house repeatedly, just because the paint won’t stick.

Well, no more! It’s time for you to invest in the simplest of solutions, wood primer; this will help the paint stick in for a lifetime while also keeping the wood protected and strong.

With the market filled to the brim with so many companies, it sometimes gets difficult finding the best wood primer. For this reason, we’ve created a list of the top players in the market; these should give you the best use for your money.

But that’s not all; we’ve also added in a buying guide at the end to help you find a primer that fits you.

KILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer

Painting isn’t quite a smooth process; there’s quite a bit of hassle involved behind it. However, with the right tools, this process can be smoothened out quite a bit, and with the KILZ Premium Primer, smooth sailing is all you’ll get.

The primer base is a brilliant product, be it if for painting wood floor internally or externally. Plus, the water-based compound formula comes with a ton of advantages.

Furthermore, the water-based compound is capable of creating a seal on the wood surface. Thus the primer creates a surface covering up stains and imperfections; it also generates an impenetrable layer on top to protect the wood.

The primer also helps smoothen out the surface while also keeping excellent adhesion; thus, your paint should last a while.

Protection of the surfaces you paint on is a critical factor to consider, and the KILZ primer performs brilliantly in this scenario. We’ve already established that you’ll get a stainproof surface; apart from that, the primer also protects from mildew and mold.

Plus, the product’s versatile useability further suggests you can use one product for your home’s complete renovation needs.

The low VOC content of the primer makes using the primer for home-interiors use simpler and nonlethal. You won’t have to go through the hassle of emptying your house so that you can repaint a single room or work on a piece of furniture.

Moreover, the large 1-gallon cans cover a large surface area, approximately 300-400 sq feet, thus giving you more for less.

Pros

  • Extremely low VOC levels
  • One gallon covers around 300-400sq ft
  • Improved protection to surfaces covered with primer
  • Smoothens out surfaces for quick and even painting
  • Primers adhesive compound ensures the longevity of the paint

Cons

  • Can only cover minor stains
  • Compound is a bit thick and will require thinner

2. KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain and Odor Blocking Interior Latex Primer/Sealer

KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain and Odor Blocking Interior Latex Primer/Sealer

Another product from the KILZ factory is their Restoration Primer. This primer is designed mainly to cover up surfaces covered by a previous primer that couldn’t do its job. Like the previous KILZ product we talked about, this one, too, is built using a water-based compound, providing the primer with a lot of protective capabilities.

To start off, the  Restoration Primer is one of the best in the business when covering up stains. The sealer and stain-blocker tech introduced into the primers compound allows it to work on medium and heavy stain damage.

Plus, the products’ versatility allows you to use this primer on almost any surface, ranging from drywall, wood, plaster, brick, and much more.

Using this product is also relatively quicker and much more convenient. The primer’s quick-drying process should dry up to the touch within 30 minutes and hardens up for a recoat in just an hour.

Additionally, the primer’s effective pour sealing abilities smoothens out the surface you’re working on, easing down the painting process.

Another effective feature of this primer is the odor-free abilities it possesses. This makes the primer useable in both internal and external setting, making your life simpler. Plus, the added fact that these primers come in gallon cans and can cover around 300-400ft of the workable surface makes them quite the economical choice.

Pros

  • Economical product
  • Odor-Free for internal and external use
  • Deep stain sealing compound
  • Smoother surface for quick painting
  • Easy and quick to dry primer 

Cons

  • Doesn’t protect from mold and mildew
  • Requires quite a bit of prep

3. INSL-X SXA11009A-04 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer

INSL-X SXA11009A-04 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer

For those of you who just are done with having to repaint wooden surfaces time after time, you’ll need something that’ll really stick on. This situation is where the INSL-X Stix comes in; the primer provides a powerful bond with the surface it is being applied on.

Thus, ensuring that the paint sticks on even through the worst of conditions when you paint over it.

The premium-quality acrylic-urethane sealer compound is an astonishing performer. Plus, it’s not just wooden surfaces that this sealer works on; the sealer works on some of the toughest surfaces as well, such as glass, OVC, Glossy Tiles, and so much more.

Thus, unsurprisingly earning this product the tag of an all-rounder in the primer industry.

Since this material is mainly used keeping painting or repainting as the end goal, the surface not only stick, it must also be easy to paint on. And INSL-X’s Stix seems to match up to the task perfectly.

The enamel holdout of the compound allows for a smooth base. Helping ease in the top finishing coat that you’re looking forward to putting on. 

Plus, one of the best facts about this primer is that it’ll cure out at the lowest of temperature, up to 35°F. So, applying the primer outside your house shouldn’t be an issue at all. Although this primer has low VOC compounds, it doesn’t matter much if you’re applying the primer outside your house or inside.

Pros

  • High adhesive levels
  • Cures in temperatures as low as 35 °F
  • A versatile compound applicable to almost any surface
  • Extremely low VOC level
  • Washable using a simple soap and water cleaning

Cons

  • Can cover only 75-100sq ft on one gallon
  • Doesn’t provide the protective features other primers have

4. KILZ L211101 Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Latex Primer/Sealer

KILZ L211101 Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Latex Primer/Sealer

Going back to the KILZ primer, this company also has a primer that has been specifically designed for long-term painting purposes. Kilz’s Adhesion model is one of their toughest bonding purpose primers, which uses their unique latex formula.

Thus, the primer compound ensures that tough to coat surfaces are no longer an issue while painting.

This latex formula for the adhesion compound was mainly developed for sticking to surfaces on which a water-based or an oil-based primer would do no work. Surfaces such as PVC, Formica, Vinyl, Glass, etc., are prime examples.

However, this also proves how well the compound would work on regular surfaces, such as wood, concrete, and more.

The bond that you get from the primer is effectively strong enough to last you quite some time. Thus, this strong bond should help you completely cut off paint peeling problems for internal and external works. Its quick-drying process of 30mins and short recoat time of an hour further speeds up the painting process.

Along with being quick, painting on wooden work also becomes quite an easier process and improved process. A good coat of this primer should cover up cracks on pores on the wooden surface. Thus, ensuring a smooth and easy coat of your wooden workpieces, improving the quality of your work even if you’re a beginner.

Pros

  • Covers around 300sq ft with the one-gallon pack
  • Quick 30-minute drying with 1 hour recoating
  • Great for both the interior and exterior surfaces
  • Improved adhesion tech for one of the strongest bonds
  • Can be applied to multiple surfaces

Cons

  • Primer does not provide any protective properties
  • Bit stronger smell than the others

5. Rust-Oleum 2004 Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer

Rust-Oleum 2004 Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer

If you’re on the market for a product that can get multiple jobs done all at once, then the Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer is something you could look into. This is not a product specializing in only one aspect; rather, it ensures that the complete package does a thorough job. Thus, a go-to affordable product for your average painting jobs.

Made using a strong water-based formula gives the primer quite the protective capabilities. The primer can quite effectively resist the growth of mildew and mold, giving your wooden or concrete surfaces a small form of protection.

Plus, since this is a product that can be used internally and externally, it provides all-weather coverage.

It isn’t only wooden and concrete surfaces this primer is protecting; the primer compound formula also comes with a rust-inhibitor chemical. This rust inhibitor makes the primer an ideal product for metal surfaces, ensuring these surfaces remain rust-resistant and prevent it.

The product’s high versatility should allow you to use the primer on most surfaces at home, thus making it a great all-rounder product. Plus, the primer’s ability to effectively hide stains on your wall makes it the perfect product for quick home fixes.

This primer comes in cans of 1 quart, with each one covering over 100sq ft, giving you quite a bit of coverage.

Pros

  • Quite a large area coverage
  • Bang for the buck product for easy home usage
  • Comes with a large store of protective properties
  • Usable on multiple surfaces both internally and externally
  • Provides decent all-weather coverage

Cons

  • Not the optimal solution for specific problems
  • Takes quite some time to work on difficult surfaces

6. Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Latex

Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Latex

For those looking for a cheaper way out than having to buy both primer and paint, Rust-Oleum has the perfect solution. Rust-Oleums painter’s touch is a primer that comes with a brilliant combination of base colors.

These in themselves provide a top coat to whatever surface you’re painting, thus abolishing the need for extra paint on jobs that don’t require it.

The primer uses a latex-based formula with abundant adhesion, creating a coat usable in external and internal scenarios. It also becomes resistant to chipping off, so simple scratches to the surface won’t add any damages to your paint. Thus, providing a professional paint and primer job that’ll last you quite a bit of time.

One setback for this primer would be its long preparation process; this factor does set it back against its competitors. You’ll need to have the surface being painted on thoroughly sanded as well as have it washed with a degreaser and then dried up.

A little something you should put under consideration since you are getting quite the discount price-wise.

Although there is a long prep process involved, the primer in itself is extremely easy to apply. The primer can dry off within a quick 30 minutes, plus since it comes in such a wide range of colors, repainting may not be needed. Thus, you’re saving both money and time with this brilliant product.

Pros

  • Primer comes in a wide array of colors
  • Provides a layer of protection to the paint plus primer coat
  • Strong enough bond to support both internal and external works
  • Quick-drying time
  • Affordable and bang for buck pricing 

Cons

  • Long preparation time
  • Can only cover 30sq ft on one quart

7. Zinsser 03504 Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer

Zinsser 03504 Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer

If you’re looking for a product that’ll be able to hide the stains on your walls effectively, then the Zinsser Stain Cover is an amazing product. This primer/ sealer is adept at dealing with many staining related issues, be that from water, smoke, or nicotine.

Thus, allowing you to completely change the look of your wall or workpiece with a single coat.

The high-hiding oil-based formula blocks the stains present previously on the workpiece and helps create a seal. These seals created by the primer are incredibly strong and ensure that stains are not allowed to reappear on these surfaces. Thus, providing you with a long term solution to your staining problems.

Ease of use is also an issue that these sealer/primers tackle brilliantly; the high adhesion compound can sticking firmly to most surfaces. The compound further does not require the workpieces to be sanded before the primer is applied.

These cut down your work and helps cut down the amount of time needed to complete these tasks.

The ability of the primer to work perfectly on both interior and exteriors surfaces is a huge advantage. This feature means the primer can handle quite a few weather conditions without having to face much trouble. Thus, making the primer available for complete home projects.

Pros

  • Provides an extra level of shine to your workpieces
  • Adhesive compound is very strong
  • Work in both internal and external conditions
  • Completely blocks out very different types of stains
  • Quick and easy to apply without much prep

Cons

  • Oil Based so it will produce high levels of VOC
  • Drying time of the compound is one hour

8. KILZ Original Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior Oil-Based Primer/Sealer

KILZ Original Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior Oil-Based Primer/Sealer

The Orignal series by KlLZ is one of the highest recommended primers that you’ll currently find in the market. This original series uses the age-old oil-based formulas in its compounds, which provide you with that guaranteed quality other compounds can’t provide.

This version of the oil-based compound is mainly for covering up stains and preventing them.

Oil-base works like magic when covering up stains that would probably have been extremely hard to remove. Water, smoke, tannins, ink, grease, etc., are just a few in the long list of stains this primer can cover-up.

But the primer doesn’t stop here; not only can you cover up the stains, but you can also effectively remove the odors they may produce. 

Furthermore, the compound’s adhesive bond is strong enough to stick onto almost any type of surface. Starting from the basics like drywall, wood, concrete to the more complicated surfaces like wallpaper, brick, metal, and much more can be covered using this primer.

The immense versatility o the product, paired with the effectiveness, truly makes this purchase one you can make without a second thought. That’s not all; the primer with only one gallon is further able to cover around 300-400sq ft of surface.

Thus you can get away with having to purchase a single type of primer at a low cost while also covering your entire house.

Pros

  • Easy to apply and only takes 30 minutes to dry
  • Strong adhesive bond works effectively on most surfaces
  • Can cover 300-400sq ft with only one gallon
  • Covers up stains and creates an easy clean surface
  • Kills off any odor forming stains

Cons

  • This product is only for interior surfaces
  • Oil-Based products produce high VOC

9. Rust-Oleum Corporation, White Rust-Oleum 293163

Rust-Oleum Corporation, White Rust-Oleum 293163

It doesn’t make sense having to purchase a large tin can of primers for small projects and some basic touch-ups. If you feel the same and are looking for a solution, Rust-oleum seems to have it. This innovative company has seen this opportunity and has developed a product that’ll allow you to spray-on primer onto your workpiece.

The 13-ounce can is able to cover most surfaces quite effectively and also with ease. Since the primer uses an oil-based compound, it can stick onto any surface without requiring any sanding.

Plus, the oil-based compound is versatile enough to stick on to most surfaces, such as wood, concrete, drywall, etc., due to the high adhesive capabilities.

Such high adhesive capabilities allow the primer to be used both for internal and external uses. Thus, you can get quite a bit of weatherproofing by applying this primer to your workpieces. However, this primer’s primary task is to perform as a stain sealant that it performs brilliantly at, covering up the toughest of stains.

Additionally, this compound is also one of the quickest in the market. The spray-on primer requires a mere 5 minutes to dry up and another 30 minutes to be ready for recoating. Thus, if you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to cover-up or touch up your workpiece, then this is the best you can get.

Pros

  • Oil Based compound with good adhesive strength
  • Quick and easy to use
  • One of the quickest dry to touch times of 5 minutes
  • Capable of effectively blocking and resisting stains
  • Provides you value for money 

Cons

  • Only for simple and touch up based work
  • Can only cover 10sq ft of area with one can

What to Look for Before you Buy?

Different types of material and different types of projects have different needs, so your primer needs will vary accordingly. To make sure you get the right kind, we’ve written down this buying guide that should make choosing the right product accurate and straightforward.

Use

The type of primer that’ll fit you best will completely rely on the type of work you want your primer to handle. Primers are breakable into three basic types of uses: adhesion, stain cover-up, and protection.

Wood Primer
  • Adhesion

This deals with primers binding properties. It looks into how strong the primer can bond with the work surfaces and the level of tricky surfaces it can handle. Make sure to look into this carefully, as it determines the primer’s versatility and looks into how effective the primer will stand in the long run.

Most primers can handle surfaces like wood, stone, concrete, cement, and other high grit surfaces quite easily. However, smooth and slippery surfaces are very difficult for most primers to stick on. For such surfaces, you’ll have to consider a special type of primer that can handle the slipperiness presented by tiles, vinyl, glossy metal, etc.

  • Stain Coverage

It is one of the most basic levels of expectations that is kept from any primer. People rely on the primer to be able to cover up previous stains on their work/painting surfaces. Most primers are capable enough of doing a rudimentary job of covering up the simple stains, such as those from pencils, markers, etc.

However, you’ll need a primer that is a bit more advanced and up for the task of covering up much more difficult stains. Stains like watermarks, smoke stains, tannins, and more are some of the most difficult to deal with.

These stains appear even when multiple coats of regular primer is applied, which is why we recommend going for a primer that is specifically capable of dealing with them.

  • Protection

This is another factor that is expected from primers. Primers aren’t only there to provide you with a surface that can easily take up a new top-coat. Instead, these are compounds that also protect the applied surfaces from multiple types of issues.

Mold and mildew are common problems occurring on surfaces that are in constant contact with water. The primer acts as a surface layer preventing any of these issues from forming onto your workpieces.

Wood Primer

If your home walls are constantly facing these issues, make sure you purchase the right primer to get rid of mold and mildew effectively.

Other Features

Additionally, look for primers that also come with other additional capabilities. Features like odor removal and easy cleaning abilities are recommended features to have in the primers compound. These ensure that the primer is capable of providng the best value for your money.

Internal/External Usability

Where you’ll be applying the primer will also be a determinant to the primer type you’ll need to complete your job/project. You must be aware of where the workpiece will be kept.

For example, suppose your dining table requires a primer coating. In that case, the table is likely to stay inside throughout its life so that you won’t have much trouble here.

For interior primers, an oil-based or a latex-based compound type should perform splendidly. Even though these take a longer time to dry off, being inside and undisturbed, you shouldn’t have much of an issue. Plus, the results that these primers will be able to provide will be splendid themselves.

Wood Primer

On the other hand, external paint jobs require a primer that is up to handling the changing weather. In such a case, the water-based primer provides the best output. The primer’s quick-drying abilities make it relatively easy for a quick paint job while ensuring a lasting paint job that ensures no chipping.

Preparation and Drying Time

If you’re in a hurry or you need to get a large number of walls/workpieces painted in a short amount of time, then this is a factor that you’ll have to keep in consideration.

The lower both preparation and drying times can be, the more effective the product will be. Therefore, careful selection is required to choose the quickest product with the highest quality output. Our recommendation would be to go for latex-based or water-based compounds.

These compounds can stick to most surfaces without additional preparation; sanding and smoothing out of the work surface are not required. Thus, cutting out the necessary amount of time needed.

Plus, these compounds have a quick drying time of only thirty minutes and a recoating time of an hour, making them the most efficient applicator.

Types of Primers

When choosing a primer for the paint job, you’ll be presented with three categories to choose from. These three basic categories revolve around oil-based, latex, and pigmented shellac primer. Figuring out which one to choose is another task in itself; to help you out, we’ll briefly describe each type to make your life simpler.

Oil Based Primers

For a versatile primer that can be used on multiple surfaces, the oil-based primer proves as the perfect product. These primers function well on wooden surfaces; they also provide support when painting on metals and walls.

Moreover, these can be used ideally for outside and inside painting requirements, performing exceptionally as a universal primer.

These paints are especially well-performing on wooden surfaces. They seal up porous wood types, making them easier to paint and giving them further protection.

Wood Primer

However, these oil-based primers take a much longer time to dry up and produce very harmful fumes. You must be extremely careful while using these primers; it’s always great to have someone with experience with you while using these primers.

Latex Primers

The latex-based primers are based on a water-based compound rather than the previous oil type compounds. Thus, the product you get is a far more flexible and quick-drying compound than the oil-based types.

However, unlike oil-types, latex-based compounds aren’t much versatile on the wood type segment; the primer works best mainly for softwoods.

Other than wood, the primer seemingly works great for other surfaces like bricks, concrete walls, and galvanized metals. The compound being water-soluble; thus, the primers are super easy to clean as well.

Plus, the primers produce very low VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels, making them a healthier alternative to other primers.

Shellac Primers

If you’re looking for something that’ll get the job done, then it’s time you look at a classic; the Shellac Primer compounds. This compound performs magnificently on wooden surfaces, sealing in the pours and making them easier to paint. Furthermore, the compound further prevents wood tannins from bleeding into the new paint.

Shellac Primers are also quite quick at drying; and also have a sticky adhesive, thus preventing any of the paint from peeling off easily. Although they work exceptionally on wood, the primer has a small list of other compounds that it works with. These primers also give out especially large amounts of VOC fumes.

Finally, if you're looking for a formula for treated wood exclusively, look at this now.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many coats of primer are recommended on wooden works?

Well, the answer to this question will primarily depend on the type of primer compound you are using. Oil, latex, and water; each compound base has its consistency and should be utilized accordingly.

Furthermore, it also depends on the brand being used, which will be a determinant when deciding on the number of coats required. However, the best results seem to have come on average from evenly spread two layers of coats.

The first layer works into the wooden workpiece’s open pores, while the second layer smoothens the primer coating.

2. What is the best primer I can use on wood?

The most traditional primers designed on an oil-based compound are capable of performing exceptionally on wooden surfaces. Not only are these compounds viable for internal and external usage, but they also work on a multitude of wooden surfaces.

Additionally, there’s also the fact that the oil-based primer is an exceptional pore sealer, making it great at covering up stains. Furthermore, the oil-based compound creates a protective cover over it for easy cleaning. However, you will have to go through the slow drying and high VOC process to get these results.

3. How am I supposed to prep wood for use on a primer?

Prepping wood before applying a primer is relatively simple; however, it is quite tedious and time-consuming. So get ready to throw in the next few hours of your life to get the best results.

First, you’ll have to start by sanding the wooden workpiece. Through sanding, you not only want to smoothen off the wood’s surface, but you also want to ensure the wooden surface is clean and free of any grease.

Next, clear off the entire wooden board of all dust and scraps; once that complete, the wooden piece should be ready for a primer coating.

4. What happens if I paint on wooden pieces without coating them with a primer?

Any primer’s main task is to provide a surface for your paint to work on, something that it can smoothly and effectively stick to. Not applying the primer means the paint has no surface to stick on, causing the paint to peel off easily within some time of application.

Moreover, the primer works on any wooden surface to effectively smoothen it out. Thus, this application provides a smooth surface for the paint to be applied, removing any inconsistency from the surface. The painted colors are now able to turn out more vibrant and vivid.

5. Is wall primer useable on wooden work?

Primer comes in many types; most primers can cover multiple surface types without much of an issue, so you shouldn’t worry about it. However, suppose it is explicitly mentioned that the primer you’re using is only specific for walls. In that case, you may have to make a decision.

The primer will work on the wooden surface; however, the quality it will be providing will not be up to the mark.

Final Words

Primers are a tricky purchase; they all look the same and perform approximately the same task, so it might get difficult to differentiate between them in the short run. However, in the long term, you’ll be able to see which primer performed well and which didn’t.

So, make sure to purchase only the best wood primer to ensure long-living paintwork on your wooden projects.

Oh! Sometimes you may need to clean your deck beforehand for the best results. In that case, do check out this guide.

Adios!

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