Articles and Buying Guides

Kilz Primer Benefits

Kilz Primer

What is Kilz?

Kilz is a heavy-duty primer that's used to cover and seal preexisting problem areas. 

What is Kilz used for?

Kilz works to trap and seal odors, block stains, or even fill in porous surfaces. By doing so, it leaves a smooth base for fresh paint to go on smoothly and look its best.  

How does Kilz work?

Kilz is a fast-drying primer and sealer. It works by minimizing the effects of surface differences, such as texture, and it blocks and seals odors and stains.  Once Kilz primer is used, a smooth finish will be your base before adding a topcoat of paint. Kilz primer sets your projects up to have the cleanest, smoothest finish possible. 

Why Use Kilz Primer?

There are six main benefits of priming with Kilz, including blocking stains, sealing porous surfaces, promoting adhesion, blocking and sealing out odors, hiding previous colors, and providing a mildew-resistant finish. To find out when to use Kilz and what type of Kilz primer is best for your project, check out the list of Kilz primers below. There's a Kilz for every job! 

Helps Block Stains and Seals Porous Surfaces
Promotes Adhesion and Helps block and seal odors
Hides Previous Colors and provides a mildew resistant finish

What type of Kilz primer should I use?

Kilz Premium

What Kilz Primer to Use for Blocking Stains

Creating a barrier to prevent stains from bleeding through will keep new paint true to color.  Many primers are created to cover stains, but Kilz uses water-based and oil-based primer that can seal out almost any stain, blocking it completely. 

Because there are light, moderate, and severe stains, Kilz has formulated multiple primers to ensure each type of stain can be covered easily and successfully. For light to moderate stains, it's recommend to use Kilz Premium. For more severe stains, try using Kilz Max. 

Here are some examples of light to moderate stains:

  • Scuff marks
  • Pencil, ink pen, crayon
  • Light felt marker
  • Minor Water stains
  • Minor Grease stains
  • Minor Rust
  • Light smoke and nicotine
  • Pet stains

Here are some examples of more severe stains:

  • Permanent marker
  • Major water stains
  • Grease
  • Major rust and ferrous stains
  • Nicotine
  • Stains from fire damage, soot and charring
  • Pet stains
  • Graffiti

Kilz 2 Latex

What Kilz Primer to Use for Drywall

Priming porous surfaces will really bring out the color and sheen of your new paint job. It evens out the surface to get a more professional look every time. Without priming a porous surface, it will soak up too much of the paint, leaving an uneven look that will be less than desirable. In addition, you'll be using more overall paint to reach desired coverage leading to a higher bill.

Porous surfaces include:

  • Concrete
  • New wood
  • Drywall

Kilz Complete

What Kilz Primer to Use for Promoting Adhesion

It's a well-known fact that paint doesn't stick to all surface types the same, but do you know which types are harder to paint? Here's a list of surfaces that can be hard to cover with paint:

  • Slick
  • Glossy
  • Aluminum
  • PVC
  • Ceramic tile
  • Glass

Without proper priming to provide adhesion, paint may peel, flake, crack or blister. Don't forget to properly prepare the surface before you prime. This will help ensure the best possible outcome.

Kilz Original

What Kilz Primer to Use for Pet Odors

Odors... they can pop up anywhere, at anytime. Whether you purchased a fixer-upper or you're renovating your own home, you want odors gone! But how? 

With Kilz, it's easy to not only block out odors, but seal them so they don't come back EVER! Odor carrying molecules can penetrate the dry film of paint. By priming the surface before painting, odors are block and sealed, so they can't seep out later. 

Block and seal out odors from:

  • Pets
  • Smoke damage
  • Food prep
  • Musty smells

KILZ MAX® is the ultimate water-based stain and odor blocker! It's a great solution for medium to severe odors, including major odors from smoke damage or pets.

Kilz Max

What Kilz Primer Will Cover Dark Colors?

When painting with new colors, it's wise to use a primer first, especially when painting over dark or very bright colors. Using a primer first helps to make sure you reach the desired final color, but it will also require fewer coats of paint. That's less time spent painting! 

If you are making a change that seems drastic, such as dark red or black to a light, pale color, try tinting the Kilz primer before painting. Doing so will not only cover the previous wall color more easily, but it will help transition the color of your wall. This also means fewer overall coats of paint! 

Use fewer coats of paint by doing the following:

  • Always prime first when covering very dark or bright colors
  • Try using a tinted primer
  • Make sure you have the right primer for easy coverage

Kilz Kitchen & Bath

What Kilz Primer to Use for Mold?

Mildew is a common issue in smaller areas where excessive moisture is present, such as bathrooms. While painting over mildew and mold will cover the problem, it only disguises it for a very short period. It doesn't fully rid the room of mold or mildew. For best results covering mold or mildew, follow these steps:

  • Clean the affected area
  • Allow to dry completely
  • Prime with Kilz
  • Paint with a mildew resistant finish

By cleaning the affected area first, you are completely removing the mold and mildew, so it can't return. Remember to let it dry fully before painting, so you don't end of with the same results. Using a Kilz Primer that has a mildew resistant finish, as well as a final paint color that is also mildew resistant will ensure your wall stays clean and fresh in the future. 


How many coats of Kilz will I need?

Usually one coat of Kilz will be enough to cover any texture issues, stains, previous colors, and odors. For darker colors, it is recommended to use two coats of Kilz. It will also be helpful to tint your Kilz primer, which can speed up the process too. 

How long between coats will I need to wait?

Kilz primer will dry to the touch in 30 minutes and can be recoated in approximately one hour. It makes an excellent base, leaving the surface well prepared for a smooth finish.


How to save overall time and money when painting:

  • Start with a clean wall
  • Tape around any areas not requiring paint
  • Trim out your wall first
  • Use a roller for the rest
  • Wash your roller first to get rid of fuzziness
  • Prime your area
  • Try a tinted primer for even faster coverage
  • Use a paint color that is the correct finish (Rooms with moisture like a bathroom require a different kind of paint!)

No matter what type of primer you need for your next project, you'll save time and money by priming first. A primed surface covers easier, more quickly, and it will end up requiring a lot less paint!

And remember, painting can be fun, so enjoy it. After all, it's the most cost-effective way to really transform a room!