Best Oil Based Primer In 2024 For Your Paint Job – Reviews

When it comes to primers, there are a lot of options on the market. And if you’re looking for the best oil based primer, there are only a few options that stand out.

However, there are a few key things to look for when shopping for the best oil based primer. The first is that it should be durable and long-lasting. You don’t want to have to reapply it every few months.

Secondly, it should be able to withstand high temperatures. This is in case you use this primer in your kitchen. In that case, you’ll be cooking with oil, so you don’t want the primer to break down and start smoking.

Lastly, it should be easy to apply and have a smooth finish. You don’t want something that’s going to leave your walls looking patchy.

#1. KILZ Original Oil-Based Primer

We think the best oil based primer goes to the KILZ Original Formula.

This formula hasn’t changed over many years and works wonders on all types of surfaces, helping your paint stick better and helping to achieve a more true paint color.

The result is you just use less paint which saves you money in the long run.

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Best Oil Based Primer

#1. KILZ Original Oil-Based Primer

If you are on the market for the best oil based primer, we think the KILZ Original Formula is one of your better options. It definitely helps your paint stick better and for longer periods of time.

We really like the KILZ Original Oil-Based Primer because it does a very good job of blocking most stains such as water, smoke, and ink stains.

Although it is only recommended to use this primer on interior surfaces, we think it is durable and tough enough to even tackle outdoor projects. Finally, just know that it seals odors quite well, it sands easily, and it dries to the touch in 30 minutes. And KILZ is definitely a name we trust in the primer industry.

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#2. Diamond Brite Paint Oil Base Enamel Primer

For those who want the best oil based enamel primer that is basically industrial strength, you should definitely check out the Diamond Brite Paint Oil Based Primer.

This stuff works on interior and exterior surfaces on pretty much any material whether it is wood, plastic, or metal.

In particular, it is very good at handling rust and great at reducing abrasions and chemical damage. In other words, this stuff works great on metal. Finally, it provides an extremely high-quality mildew-resistant finish with a high hide. It also has great stain removal. It is very good to use in high-traffic areas and dries hard.

It comes in different colors and is excellent for use on wood, concrete, plaster, masonry, hardboard, and metal. Overall, this primer resists scuffs, fading, cracking, and peeling.

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#3.Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Spray Primer

If you just want a fast and easy oil based primer, the Zinsser Bulls Eye is probably the way to go. This is basically an all-purpose primer for all surfaces. We consider it the best oil based primer in terms of convenience and versatility. It does a great job in that it seals uniformly and sticks to the surface without the need for sanding.

It’s also quite nice to know that this stuff dries to the touch in just 5 minutes and is ready to recoat in just 30 minutes. Just keep in mind that it is quite thin for a primer. So you may want to recoat a few times. Nevertheless, it is still very good to use just for touch-ups. It also does a good job of sealing water and smoke stains with low odor.

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#4.Zehrung Z-Prime Plus Oil Based Primer

The Zehrung Z-Prime Plus is a nice oil based primer that many people probably haven’t heard about simply because it doesn’t have many reviews online. We find it to be a pretty awesome oil based stain block primer that works on pretty much any surface both indoors and outdoors.

It offers superior protection for your paint during bad weather and definitely makes it so that it is much harder for your paint to fade in color over time. Also, you get to use less paint to achieve the same effect by using this primer first. Finally, we think that the price-to-performance ratio is quite high.

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#5.Zinsser Cover Stain Oil Primer Sealer

The Zinsser Cover Stain Oil Based Primer is an industry classic and is the best oil based primer for those who want a high hiding formula that really works wonders in blocking out stains from water and smoke.

Some other nice selling points are that it sticks to all surfaces without the need to sand. It dries very quickly and you can use it with pretty much any topcoat.

Also, we find that it works quite well for small-scale projects all the way up to large projects. And of course on any surface both indoors and outdoors. Lastly, it dries pretty darn fast for a primer that is quite thick and provides enamel undercoating performance.

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FAQ on oil primers

Do I need to add an oil-based primer before painting?

One common question when it comes to painting is whether or not you need to add a primer. In general, you will need to add a primer if you are painting over a dark color, making a drastic color change, or painting new wood or drywall.

Adding a primer can help achieve an even paint job and can also help the paint adhere better to the surface. If you skip the primer, you may find that the paint chips and peels more easily. You may also find that the color is not as true as it could be without a primer.

If you are still unsure whether or not to use a primer before painting, consider this: it is always better to err on the side of caution and add a primer.

What are the different types of primers?

Oil-based primers come in a variety of types designed for different purposes. Some common types of oil-based primers include:

  • Stain blocking primer: This type of primer is designed to block out stains from things like smoke, grease, and water damage. It is ideal for use on surfaces that have been previously painted or varnished.
  • Bonding primer: This type of primer helps to create a strong bond between the surface and the paint. It is often used on bare wood or metal surfaces.
  • High adhesion primer: This type of primer is specially formulated to adhere well to difficult surfaces such as glossy paint or vinyl.

Note that amongst the above three primers, there are three different types of primers, oil based, latex, and pigmented shellac primers.

  • Oil-based primers have been around for a long time and are a popular choice for many homeowners. There are several different types of oil-based primers on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
  • Latex primers also known as latex paint are a popular choice for many homeowners because they are easy to apply and clean up. However, latex primers don’t always provide the best coverage, especially on porous surfaces.
  • Pigmented shellac primer is another type of oil-based primer that is known for its excellent coverage. However, this type of primer can be difficult to work with and can often leave behind streaks or brush marks.

Final words on the best oil based primer

All three of the primers are effective at blocking stains, covering dark colors, and creating a smooth surface for paint. However, they each have different advantages.

KILZ Original Oil-Based Primer is a good choice for previously painted surfaces.

Diamond Brite Paint Oil Base Primer is a good choice for sealing porous surfaces

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Spray Primer is a good choice for difficult-to-reach areas as it is a spray and you do not need to use a brush.

The last two oil-based primers that were tested, Zehrung Z-Prime Plus Oil Based Primer and Zinsser Cover Stain Oil Primer Sealer, performed similarly with a few exceptions. The Zehrung primer required less time to dry and had fewer fumes than the Zinsser primer.

The Zinsser primer was easier to apply and provided better coverage. Overall, either of these primers would be a good choice for use on interior or exterior surfaces.


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