6 Best Primers for Interior Walls – Buying Review

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Wondering about giving your interior walls a new look this 2023? There are many factors and products that go before ensuring your walls look insta-worthy. And one of those important factors is PRIMERS!

Whether you are a professional painter or a DIY enthusiast like me, using the right primer is crucial for achieving a smooth, long-lasting finish. Moreover, primers also help in covering up those unsightly marks you struggle to cover and provide better adhesion for paints.

But the question arises, which is the best primer for interior walls in 2023? In this post, I’ll be sharing the top picks for the best primers on the market, as well as the rating criteria before picking up your primer can.

You should also read our guide, Do I Need Primer for Interior Walls Before Painting, for more information on priming your interior walls. 

The goal is to ensure your walls look the best. It’s time to grab your paint brushes, and let’s get started!


Best overall

ZINSSER White, Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Stain Blocking Primer/Sealer

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  • Extra durable
  • Multi-surface
  • Pocket-friendly
  • Primer and sealer


KILZ Adhesion Primer, Interior/Exterior

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  • Interior/exterior use
  • High adhesion
  • Excellent for glossy surfaces
  • Reduces sanding needs


INSL-X AP100009A-04 Prime All Multi-Surface Primer, White

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  • Multi-surface latex primer/ sealer
  • Powerful stain blocking
  • Strong adhesion and sealing
  • Low VOC


With the rising competition and a plethora of products out there, picking up the best one is a literal headache. When everyone is claiming to be the best, you certainly are unsure what to go for. 

With stringent rating criteria, we’ve evaluated the following factors before curating our list of best primers for interior walls. The list will save you from scrolling down unlimited options and being in two minds.

1. Durability 

You are probably not planning to paint your interiors in the near future. This means the primer should provide a durable base that will help the paint last longer and also helps to prevent the stains and imperfections from reappearing.

2. Cost Effective

It is good to stay within the budget of your project. Primers can vary widely in price. Opt for the one that is cost-effective yet provides good results and lasts for a long time.

3. Brand Reputation and Customer Reviews

We have also considered what people are saying about the primers to get valuable insights about the products. Brand reputation and customer reviews are a great way to see if the products live up to the manufacturer’s claims and if it’s reliable. 

8 BEST Primers for Interior Walls

Our rating criteria give you an idea about what we’ve considered before finalizing the list. But make sure to check every detail before picking up the one that suits your needs. All primers have their pros and cons and our top picks may not necessarily fall under the list of your project needs. Read the specs for each of the following to ensure a flawless finish for your job.

1. ZINSSER White, Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Stain Blocking Primer/Sealer – Best Overall

Key Features

  • Wins five stars for durability. 
  • Pocket-friendly. 
  • Suitable for multiple surfaces.
  • Stain-blocking primer.
  • Primer and sealer in one.

What do we like best?

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Stain Blocking Primer/Sealer is a versatile and high-performing primer that is perfect for any interior painting project. This primer is specially formulated to block stains, hide dark colors, and seal porous surfaces, making it an ideal choice for walls that have been previously painted or have stains that need to be covered.

One of the best things about this primer is its water-based formula, which makes it easy to clean up with just soap and water. It also has low VOC (volatile organic compounds) content, making it an eco-friendly choice for those who are concerned about the environment. Additionally, this primer is able to dry quickly, allowing you to paint over it in just one hour, which makes it perfect for those who are in a hurry to finish their projects.

The primer works on a variety of surfaces, including wood, drywall, and even metal, making it a versatile choice for any project. The best part is, it’s cheaper than other interior primers out there.

What needs to be improved?

Some people have been complaining about receiving dented or bent cans. There’s room for making their delivery systems secure, so people receive properly sealed cans. Another shortcoming is the need for multiple coats of primer for covering colored tiles or porous surfaces. 


  • Seals uniformly
  • Sticks to all surfaces without sanding
  • Dries in one hour
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Compliments any kind of top coat


  • Complaints received about leaked cans
  • May require multiple coats for porous or tiled surfaces

Note: For tiled and glossy surfaces, look out for the primer mentioned on number 4 on the list. 

2- KILZ Adhesion Primer, Interior/Exterior – Best Multi-Surface

Key Features

  • Bonds to most tough-to-paint surfaces
  • Reduces the need for sanding dense and glossy surfaces
  • Provides excellent adhesion for the top coat.
  • For both interior and exterior usage

What do we like best?

Say goodbye to the frustration of sanding tough-to-paint surfaces and embrace the convenience and reliability that Kilz Adhesion Primer offers. Kilz is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a high-performance solution that can handle any surface, dries quickly, and provides a secure base for your topcoat. 

Its exceptional bonding capabilities eliminate the need for sanding on dense and glossy surfaces. This versatile primer can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces, making it a suitable option for all your painting needs. Its ease of use makes it accessible for both professional painters and DIY enthusiasts alike, while its durability guarantees long-lasting protection for your surface

What needs to be improved?

While Kilz primer is an excellent choice for many painting projects, it’s important to consider a few potential drawbacks. Firstly, it is more expensive than some other options on the market. However, its exceptional bonding capabilities and quick drying time make it a worthwhile investment for those looking for a high-quality primer.

Secondly, Kilz primer may not be the best choice for floors that are exposed to prolonged water contact.


  • Easy to use
  • Durable and gives long lasting finish
  • Quickly dries up in one hour
  • Excellent coverage
  • Does not require sanding


  • Heavy on pocket
  • Not suitable for floors subject to prolonged water contact

3. INSL-X AP100009A-04 Prime All Multi-Surface Primer, White – Best Stain Blocking

Key Features

  • Multi-surface latex primer sealer
  • Powerful stain blocking
  • Strong adhesion and sealing properties
  • Low VOC

What do we like best?

INSL-X is a multi-surface latex primer sealer with a powerful stain-blocking formula. Its strong adhesion and sealing properties make it ideal for a variety of surfaces. Whether you’re painting drywall, wood, or concrete, INSL-X will adhere to the surface and create a long-lasting, durable base for your paint. 

The easy-to-clean formula saves you hours of scrubbing the primer of your brushes, rollers, and other tools. This primer is also easy to spread and has a quick drying time, so you can get your painting done faster. Its low VOC formulation makes it safe for both you and the environment. Plus, its mildew-resistant formula helps protect your walls from moisture and mold.

And the best part? The primer is pocket-friendly, making it accessible for all budgets.

What needs to be improved?

While the interior primer boasts many impressive features, there are a few areas that could use improvement. Firstly, some customers have reported that a few coats may be necessary when using the primer on wooden surfaces. This may result in increased time and material costs. Additionally, some users have found it difficult to open the lid of the primer container leading to frustration. 

It’s important to note that these drawbacks are not universal and may vary from customer to customer.


  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to spread
  • Pocket-friendly
  • Quick drying
  • Mildew resistant


  • May need a few coats for wooden surfaces
  • Some people found it hard to open the lid

Note: If you need to prime your wooden surfaces, use the primer mentioned on number 6 to gain maximum benefit. 

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

Key Features

  • Bonds to hard-to-coat surfaces
  • Excellent adhesion and sealing 
  • Cures in low temperatures and high humidity
  • Excellent enamel

What do we like best?

INSL-X Waterborne Primer is known for its ability to bond to hard-to-coat surfaces, including glossy surfaces like tiles. In addition, the primer offers excellent adhesion and sealing properties, ensuring a smooth and uniform surface to the paint to adhere to. This leads to a longer-lasting and more durable paint job.

Another advantage of this primer is its ability to cure in low temperatures and high humidity, making it a great choice for those working in challenging environments. It also offers excellent enamel holdout, providing a great base for an even topcoat finish.

This primer is also low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), making it a more environmentally friendly option. And when it comes time to clean up, the primer’s easy cleanup formula makes it a convenient choice.

What needs to be improved?

Other than many desirables, there is room for improvement in this primer in a couple of areas. One drawback of this primer is that it doesn’t perform well on laminated cabinets. This can be a problem for those looking to prime these surfaces.

Another issue with this primer is that it is slightly more expensive compared to other options on the market. This may be a concern for those who are working within a budget.


  • Low VOC
  • Easy cleanup
  • Easy to apply
  • Bonds to the most challenging surfaces – glossy surfaces
  • Quick drying time


  • Does not work well for laminated cabinets
  • Is a little overpriced

5. ZINSSER 1 qt 260925 White, Peel Stop Triple Thick Binding Primer

Key Features

  • Water-based primer/sealer 
  • interior/Exterior Uses
  • Tintable
  • Stops Peeling Paint

What do we like best?

Zinsser Peel Stop Triple Thick Bonding Primer is a water-based primer/sealer that can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces. It is tintable and has the ability to stop peeling paint while sealing weathered surfaces. Its outstanding flexibility and smoother finish is a great feature that makes this product on par. Moreover, it dries to the touch in 30 minutes while ready to put on a topcoat in two hours. Overall, it is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable and high-performance primer.

What needs to be improved?

While Zinsser Peel Stop Triple Thick Primer is an excellent primer overall, there are a few aspects that could be improved upon. Some people have found it to be challenging to work with. Additionally, depending on the condition of the surface being primed, Zinsser may require additional coats or alternative preparation methods for optimal coverage.


  • Seals weathered surfaces
  • Creates a smoother finish
  • Outstanding flexibility
  • Dries to touch in 30 minutes
  • Stops peeling paint


  • Challenging to work with
  • For optimal coverage you may incur additional costs

6. KILZ 3 Premium Primer, Interior/Exterior, 5 Gallon

Key Features

  • Interior/Exterior
  • Water-based formula
  • High hide stain blocker
  • Thick and creamy formula

What do we like best?

KILZ 3 Premium Primer is an excellent choice for both interior and exterior surfaces. Its water-based formula makes it easy to work with, and its high hide stain blocker ensures that stains and discolorations are thoroughly covered. Its low VOC  feature makes it eco-friendly. The thick and creamy formula provides excellent coverage while it’s easy to clean up with just soap and water.

For exterior use, KILZ 3 Premium Primer is extra durable, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas that are exposed to the elements. Its excellent adhesion also means that it can be used on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, and masonry. Additionally, it can be recoated in just one hour, which makes it a great option for those who are short on time.

What needs to be improved?

Despite its excellent features, there are still certain areas that you need to look into before investing. The primer is a great choice for light to medium stains, but heavy stains may bleed out of it. Additionally, the thick consistency of the primer may make it challenging and messy to work with, especially for those who are new to using primers. However, with proper technique and practice, these minor drawbacks can be overcome.


  • Low VOC
  • Easy to clean
  • Extra durable for exterior use
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Recoat in one hour


  • Not good for heavy stains
  • Thick consistency is challenging and messy to work with

Note: If you’re looking for a thick primer for an even finish, place your bets on number 5 in our list. 


Now that we’ve cherry-picked the best primers for you, it’s time to order them and get ready with your brushes. To make your wall priming steps smooth and effective, here are some tips to help you use primers for interior walls:

  • Before applying primer, make sure to clean the walls thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust, or grease. This will help the primer adhere better to the surface.
  • Using a quality roller or brush will help ensure an even application of the primer and will reduce drips and splatters.
  • Before applying paint, make sure to allow the primer to dry completely. This can take anywhere from several hours to a full day, depending on the primer and the conditions.
  • After the primer is dry, you can lightly sand the walls with fine-grit sandpaper to create an even smoother surface for painting.
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times.
  • Make sure to have good ventilation when using primers and paints in order to prevent inhaling the fumes and to have a better drying environment.
  • Always wear protective gear like a mask, gloves, and eye protection when using primers.
  • Using an excessive amount of primer will not make the surface smoother or better; it may actually cause unevenness and drips.


Even after listing our top picks, there are still certain factors you need to consider before investing your hard-earned cash, plus precious time on painting your walls. These factors will help you evaluate the best of the best primers for a smooth, durable, and professional finish. 

Make your walls wow-worthy with these tips.

The Wall and Primer Type

First things first, there are many kinds of primers like oil-based primers, latex primers, or pigmented primers. But they only make your painting job easy when you know which one to pick. 

It boils down to the type of walls and the job you have. For drywalls, a latex primer works best. If you use an oil-based primer for drywalls, it will raise the grain of your drywalls and give an uneven finish. However, oil-based primers do work for drywalls if you are planning to cover it with satin or put up wallpaper. 

If you have a bare wall that has never been painted before, the best primer for this is an oil-based primer. Because if you ever decide to put a wallpaper, an oil-based primer will prevent the wallpaper from making a permanent bond with the wallboard facing. But if you do not decide to go for wallpaper, you can always cover the oil-based primer with a latex primer. 

Shellac-based primers are the strongest and oldest types of primers used. They are versatile enough to be used over various materials like metal, wood, plaster, drywall, as well as plastic. The great catch-all is an interior-only primer and can be mixed with other primers like latex and oil. Moreover, shellac primers have a fast drying feature and dry within an hour. 

But the downside of shellac primers is the VOC fumes. You need to ensure your room is well-ventilated for the fumes to get evaporated and ensure it is safe to use. Shellac-based primers may dry fast but proper time is needed to clear away the fumes. 

Fast Drying

Primers that take up ages to dry can consume a lot of your time. Fast-drying primers are best suited if you are running short on time and want to finish the job ASAP. 

Some automotive spray guns or paint kits have multiple nozzles of different sizes. We recommend getting a kit with numerous nozzles to reduce your time and effort on the project.

Stained Walls

Stain-blocking primers are best for hard stains that can bleed through the walls, like water, grease, crayons, ink, markers, and smoke. Cover these stains with a stain-killing primer to prevent using multiple coats of paint.  

Darker Finish

Use a tinted primer if you are considering wallpapering your walls or use a darker color. This ensures a better finish as compared to using white primers.


Another factor to consider is adhesion. The primer should offer good gluing for the paint to stick to, especially with concrete surfaces where adhesion is a real problem and paint can crack and peel in a short time. So if you’re planning to paint a concrete wall, ensure your primer is compatible. 

VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Emissions

It’s up to you to decide if you need low-VOC primers. Primers with low or no VOC emissions can prevent strong odors and also reduce the environmental impact. But on the other hand, this benefit comes at the cost of some drawbacks like reduced performance, higher prices, and lack of compatibility. If you’re allergic to strong odors, low VOC is your go-to primer. 

Ease of Application

Make sure the primer you invest in is easy to apply and has a smooth consistency that makes it easy to spread and work with.


To sum up, choosing the right primer for your interior walls can make all the difference in the final result of your painting project. The six best primers for interior walls that we have listed in this blog are all high-quality options that will provide excellent adhesion, coverage, and durability. Whether you are looking to hide stains, create a smooth surface, or improve the overall look of your walls, these primers are sure to deliver. 

But remember, be sure to consider your specific needs and budget when making your selection, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. 

Happy painting!

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