best primers to cover drywall imperfections

Best Drywall Primer

If you’ve been planning to paint your drywall but don’t know what type of primer to start with, this article is for you.

Our job is to help you pick the best drywall primer on the market so you can have leverage, without having to spend countless hours poring over hundreds of resources – especially if you’re budget-minded.

So, relax, there is no cause for alarm if you’re clueless about what to do.

Essentially, keeping the best primer for drywall handy is the key to always taking care of the drywall in your home.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re a pro, amateur, or a novice painter, the topcoats will adhere firmly and won’t brittle anytime soon

For this reason, all you need is to arm yourself with a good drywall primer before going 1-on-1 with the project; else, you’ll find it difficult.

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Best Drywall Primer

Why You Need a Drywall Primer

best drywall primer

Shouldn’t DIYers be independent and able to tackle any DIY projects they want FAST and EASY? But, often, we sacrifice our credibility when we can enjoy so many benefits from using the ideal tools.

Below are a couple of reasons as to why you need the best primer to cover drywall imperfections.

1. It is cost-effective

Without primer, drywalls tends to eat up many paints. Wherefore, the material absorbs the paint causing it to vanish; you’d need to apply a good number of coats on it before you can get a substantial result.

The process is boring and too slow. On top of that, it’s a waste of resources.

Whereas, the best primer for new drywall doesn’t require you to paint repeatedly. It’s a cheaper alternative that prevents bleed-through and uneven coloring.

Moreover, it provides a bonding opportunity for the top coat of paint to adhere firmly within one or two coats.

This way, you can make do with the little money you have.

2. It is Efficient for color rework

If you’re about to repaint your drywall without a primer, painting over the existing color will result in a hideous color combination.

Nevertheless, a primer makes a smooth transition, as though they were no transition at all.

It ensures you get the correct color, as it offers a blank slate to start over. Furthermore, it particularly helpful when going from a darker color to a lighter one.

3. Restore and patched drywall

The core theme of every best drywall primer is to hide imperfections. Priming gets the surface back to square one (neutral white). Hence, imperfections like cracks, peels, pores, greasy, and crayon marks must have been sealed and cannot be seen.

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In short, Drywall primers were invented for drywall. On the contrary, skip primer; you’d be left with a mess on your hands.

Although, you can get away with it when repainting on painted, light-colored areas that are of either glossy or oil-based.

Best Primer For Drywall

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

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to work with latex paint or oil paint. It provides excellent adhesion, especially on dark topcoat colors.

It’s a premium stain blocker and a bond-provider that primes all surfaces. Also, it’s a multi-purpose primer that serves as a wood, plaster, concrete, tile, glass, and metal primers.

Not only it’s available as a traditional white primer, but also in a gray.

You can use it over stained or water-damaged drywall, and it will stick pretty hard without sanding –which makes the project easy-going.

Besides, it’s suitable for both interior and exterior applications. Thus, you aren’t restricted to drywalls only.

Furthermore, the product has a rust inhibitor, which makes it ideal on new metal surfaces.

With Zinsser, you can easily spot errors and make a quick adjustment, by wiping out the mistakes with soap and water.

Lastly, it works excellently for high pH surfaces like new concrete. And it covers approximately 100 sq—Ft. Per quart.

  • Highly resists mildew growth, peeling and blistering
  • Available in aerosol spray paint, for hard to reach spots
  • It doesn’t need sanding
  • It’s a general primer; works on any surface
  • It has low VOC; it’s eco-friendly
  • It’s harsh on tender surfaces

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

If you’re a DIY homeowner, KILZ Restoration is another model you’d want to try. It is both for pros and DIYers alike.

More precisely, if you’re having a trust issue, KILZ is a brand you can bank on. I’ve used a couple of their products to get the job done right; likewise, none was inferior.

Like the saying “for every problem, KILz has an answer to beautify your home” – and it’s not an exaggeration.

The product is a water-based primer that acts like an oil, shellac-based primer. Having said that, not only will it tackle tough stains and odors of any kind, but it also can be top-coated with oil-based or latex paints.

KILZ restoration coat in white and can cover about 300-400 sq. Ft per gallon. Also, you can apply the solution with an airless sprayer, brush, or roller.

Lastly, it works excellently on interior surfaces such as drywall, glass, painted metal, ceramic tile, plaster, wood, stucco, and brick

  • Efficient in blocking stains and odors
  • It’s Low VOC; environmentally friendly
  • It’s easy to clean up
  • Works on various surfaces
  • Easy to sand
  • It has a short shelf life
  • Not ideal for exterior projects

3. KILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Interior/Exterior Latex Primer

Thousands of remodeling contractors vouch KILZ Adhesion is an excellent problem-solver drywall primer to fix many surface coating headaches –and that’s why I brought it up.

KiLZ Adhesion is crucial if you want guarantees that the topcoats will adhere firmly on tough-to-paint surfaces.

KILZ Adhesion primer’s core theme is to increase painting possibilities by bonding to a wide variety of surfaces.

On the flip side, it sticks securely on slick surfaces, where traditional water or oil-based primer usually fails.

Fact! Hundreds of painting pros recommend KILZ Adhesion because it solves common painting problems such as moisture damage, stains on walls, odors, color changes, and more.

On top of that, it’s ideal for both interior and exterior surfaces and suitable for spray, brush, and roller.

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Moreover, it’ll work competently under any lacquers, epoxies, Xylene products, and other solvents. And covers up to 300 sq. ft. Per gallon.

  • It dries fast; within 30 minutes
  • Strong, secure bonding
  • Recoat within an hour
  • Suitable for interior and exterior use
  • Not FDA approved for food surfaces

4. 3M SHR-16-BB Patch Plus Primer Lightweight Spackling

If you give a 3M patch plus a shot, you’ll arrive at an incredible finish in a way never thought possible.

The product has the most recent technology in wall repairs, which is a combination of both the spackling compound and primer. For the same reason, it eliminates the need to prime before painting.

DO NOT be like other handymen who engage themselves in a torturing painting process, all in the name of restoring their drywall.

Instead, use 3M Patch plus, for it creates a quick-drying patch. Get ready to paint in 30 minutes. After an hour, it dries hard enough to hold a screw or nail.

After application, the repairs will remain invisible to the naked eye under the dried paint. Thus, giving you a superior finish that won’t shrink or crack anytime soon

  • No need to prime
  • It dries faster
  • Makes repairs 3X faster
  • It has excellent hiding power
  • It’s versatile; ensures professional-looking results
  • It’s somewhat firm to apply

5. XIM 11022 Primer Sealer Bonder

XIM puts you off your labor-intensive misery ones and for all.

So, don’t be left behind. Use XIM product to minimize surface flaws, at the same time, resist chips and fading on tons of surfaces.

The finish goes on smoothly, which provides an excellent base that blocks stains, discolorations, and odors.

XIM Primer is a necessity if you cherish long-lasting drywall makeover. It seals and bonds on many hard-to-coat surfaces.

Besides, the paint offers a smoother, more uniform paint finish for both interior and exterior items.

It takes only less than 3 hours to complete the project, yet it delivers maximum adhesion and durability. Also, you can work with oil-based or latex topcoats.

  • It has a low odor
  • It resists chips
  • Provides long-lasting protection
  • It’s ideal for quick project completion
  • Not suitable for lacquers, and two-component epoxies or urethanes

Drywall Primer Buyer’s Guide

best primers to cover drywall imperfections

Apart from the drywall primer reviews above, we also carried out thorough research to put together an actionable buyer’s guide that will assist you in finding the ideal primer for drywall. So, don’t miss a sentence in this section.

1. Select the right primer

Before opting for the best primer for new drywall, take a good look at the condition of your wall and the type of project you’re into.

First and foremost, if you have a messy wall, we recommend you choose a high-build primer (A.K.A) latex primer. They offer a thicker finish that seals up holes, gaps, and deep marks. Also, they’re ideal when repainting the wall.

Secondly, if you’re covering a stain or putting up wallpaper; Oil-based primers are the best pick. They are the stain-blocking solution that blocks smoke and soot damage, including pet urine smells.

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2. Coverage Length

Are you working on a small or large surface area?

If you’re handling a mini project, use a model that covers 100-200 sq ft per gallon. However, for heavy-duty projects, choose a primer that covers about 300-400 sq ft per gallon.

3. Dry time

The dry time should be 30-minutes. If it’s above 50-minutes, I urge you should reconsider.

4. Pricey primer or cheap primer?

People with a tight budget tend to settle for cheaper drywall primers, probably from unrecognized companies.

It might be a grave mistake, as most manufacturers provide less pigmented solutions, which may not stick for long. For this reason, you might end up buying multi cans for little projects.

Thus, pick a trustworthy brand that specializes in high-quality primers, regardless of the price.

How to Use a Primer on Drywall

Now, watch the short video below to learn how to use a primer on drywall. It’s actually much easier than you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Drywall Primer?

Drywall primer is a polyvinyl acrylic paint that serves as a base for foundation that allows you to apply new paint for proper adhesion.

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What is the ideal primer to use on new drywall?

For new drywall, opt for KILZ Adhesion, Rust-Oleum 2004 Zinsser Bulls Eye, and 3M SHR-16-BB Patch Plus Primer. They’re low-cost Acrylic primer that seals up new drywall efficiently.

For the most part, they’re low VOC paint you can apply with a spray gun, brush or roller.

How Many Coats of Primer on New Drywall

The number of coating depends on the product’s quality. A high-based primer may require one coat.

Once the first coast dries, confirm if there are any flaws or thin spots, before the second-coating the surface.

How Long Does It Take For Primer to Dry

It should be 30-40 minutes give or take, on the other hand, sanding and top coating commence after two hours.

Although some drywall primers can be a pain in the ass, as such, need about 24 hours of dry time before you can paint on them.

What primer should I use for drywall?

A PVA primer has a latex base and many professionals swear by it for drywall. It’s quite an economical product too and is great at sealing the porous surface of a wall. PVA primer also allows you to tint it before use so it will closely match the color of the paint you want to use on top of it.

Is there a difference between drywall primer and regular primer?

Drywall primer fulfills the same purpose that all primers do; it covers a surface that’s going to be painted, reducing the number of topcoats necessary to achieve a uniform look. Drywall primer is specifically meant for use on drywall, which is a porous material that’s covered in tiny holes.

Which brand primer is best for Wall?


  • KILZ L211101 Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Latex Primer and Sealer – Best Premium Option.
  • Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Interior and Exterior Primer – Best Overall Option.
  • KILZ Original Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior Oil-Based Primer and Sealer – Best Stainblocking Primer.

Do I need to prime over drywall mud?

Bare drywall, where the taped and mudded seams and fastener holes are still exposed, requires priming before painting. Drywall soaks up more than its share of paint. If you do not prepare the surface, you may find yourself applying too many coats of paint before the mudded seams stop showing through.

Will primer hide drywall imperfections?

The texture of your primer will significantly impact how well you’re able to cover drywall imperfections. If you’re looking for an incredibly smooth finish, using a high-build primer is a must. However, make sure you’re applying even layers of primer to avoid causing any blemishes or color changes.

Which primer is better Kilz or Zinsser?

Both products offer amazing coverage, but Zinsser is the winner as it’s able to cover much better. Meanwhile, Kilz allows some bleed-through, depending on the surface. You may need to apply a thicker coat for the product to cover better.

Is Kilz better than primer?

Oil-based products typically go on very smoothly but take longer to dry and have much stronger odor. Although it does not affect performance, you’ll notice that this primer appears more off-white than competitors products. Superior coverage combined with a cheaper price make Kilz the obvious winner.

Can Kilz 2 be used on new drywall?

Yes, Kilz 2 is a great for new drywall. It is not a PVA primer, which is specifically designed for new drywall, but it does a great job at priming new drywall.

Is kilz 2 a bonding primer?

KILZ® Adhesion Primer is a water-base, modified-acrylic primer specifically formulated to bond to a variety of ‘tough-to-paint’ surfaces.

What is the best adhesion primer?

The Best Adhesion Primer on the Market

  • Water-based:
  • Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3.
  • Tikkurila Otex Akva.
  • Crown PX4.
  • Whitsons.
  • Solvent-based.
  • Crown PX3.
  • Zinsser All-Coat Multi-Surface Primer.


Hopefully, our list of the best primer for new drywall has opened your eyes to see the various choices out there. And our drywall primer buyer’s guide has also made you understand some of the most critical things to consider when buying a primer.

Now is the time to make up your mind and pick any of the ones that most appeal to you on the list. Trust me, all the best drywall primers here are of higher quality and cost-effective.

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