Top 5 Best Primers to Cover Dark Paint (2020 Review)

Are you trying to find the best primer to cover dark paint?

Changing the color of a room is a great way to change the feeling of your home, but you need to find the right primer to successfully change colors without needing 5 layers of paint.

That's exactly why we created this guide to help you find the best primer for your next home improvement project!

Best Primer to Cover Dark Paint

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn the following:

  • Which primers you should use over dark paint
  • What to look for in a primer to cover dark paint colors
  • Why it’s important to prime your walls before adding new paint for a light color
  • And much more!

Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the best primer to cover dark paint.

Image Product

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KILZ Original Interior Primer
  • Dries in 30 minutes
  • Covers stains from water or smoke
  • Improves paint adhesion
  • Dries in 30 minutes
  • Covers stains from water or smoke
  • Improves paint adhesion
View on Amazon

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Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer
  • Can be used over oil or latex topcoats
  • Improves coverage of bright topcoats
  • Sticks without sanding
  • Can be used over oil or latex topcoats
  • Improves coverage of bright topcoats
  • Sticks without sanding
View on Amazon

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KILZ Premium Primer
  • More durable than the original formula
  • Thicker consistency for a better seal
  • Resistant to humidity
  • More durable than the original formula
  • Thicker consistency for a better seal
  • Resistant to humidity
View on Amazon

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KILZ Kitchen & Bath Interior Primer
  • Especially resistant to temperature and moisture
  • Prevents mildew growth between paint and primer layers
  • Latex formula can be cleaned up with soap and water
  • Especially resistant to temperature and moisture
  • Prevents mildew growth between paint and primer layers
  • Latex formula can be cleaned up with soap and water
View on Amazon

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KILZ Restoration Interior Primer
  • Water-based primer with oil-based performance
  • Designed to counter most kinds of heavy stains
  • Blocks odors
  • Water-based primer with oil-based performance
  • Designed to counter most kinds of heavy stains
  • Blocks odors
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated 5/1/2020)

We have chosen the KILZ Original Interior Primer as our top pick.

This primer is versatile and relatively affordable compared to some of the more specialized varieties on this list. It works well for dark walls regardless of paint color. It's the preferred pick for most DIY repainting jobs in this category.

Featuring the perfect combination of value for money, ease of application, and coverage, the KILZ Original Interior Primer is the perfect choice for most customers looking to paint over dark walls for their next painting project.

If you’re wondering just how good this primer is, take a look at the short video down below to get a demonstration.

Top 5 Best Primers to Cover Dark Paint

In a hurry? Check out our Top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these primers for dark paints!

  1. KILZ Original Interior Primer (Best Overall)
  2. Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer (Best Budget)
  3. KILZ Premium Primer (Best High-End)
  4. KILZ Kitchen & Bath Interior Primer
  5. KILZ Restoration Interior Primer
Did you know: Dark walls are better for hiding imperfections on the walls surface than dark ones.  This is because white colors allow the eye to see small shadows created by surface imperfections.

What Are Primers to Cover Dark Paint?

primer is a type of coating that is meant to be applied before a paint job. The primer protects the material that you are painting. It's essential because it prevents degrading due to the the effects of the paint.

Primers are also used to make a surface more uniform prior to painting. They tend to be much thicker than actual paints so they can accomplish this task.

Finally, a primer will also make paint much more durable. That makes it less likely to peel off because it will allow it to adhere to the surface much better.

What To Look For In The Best Primers for Dark Paint?

If you’re looking for the best primers for dark paint, you’ll want them to be relatively dark. White primer isn't as effective at covering up dark colors on drywall and may require more coats of paint. 

You also need to look for qualities like increased thickness. Higher thickness will make it easier to even out the surface before you paint on it.

The best primers will also be easier to apply since you don’t want to spend your time applying three different coats of primer and then having to put a layer of paint over it.

Our Reviews Of The Best Primers for Dark Paint

Pick #1: KILZ Original Interior Primer (Best Overall)

KILZ Original Interior Primer is our top pick. 

This product is more affordable than the more specialized primers that KILZ offers without having to sacrifice performance.

This fast-drying primer is designed to dry in 30 minutes and to be ready to re-coat after an hour.

While it may not block the heaviest stains, this coat of primer is made to cover up light to moderate stains and odors.

It can even be used on glossy surfaces. The KILZ Original Primer is also designed to improve the adhesion of paint. This ensures that you can use less paint to cover the same area.

Pros

  • Dries fast
  • Great price
  • Covers about 350 square feet per gallon

Cons

  • Relatively thick
  • Leaves behind brush marks

Pick #2: Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer (Best Budget)

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer is our best budget pick!

It's a great choice because it performs better than you would expect just by looking at the price.

This primer is suitable for both interior and exterior use. The added versatility gives it an edge over some of its competitors.

The grey color of this primer means that it can cover dark paint well while still allowing for bright colors to be painted over it.

The Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is also perfect for covering up stains. It can even be used over oil and latex topcoats without any trouble.

Pros

  • The grey color is perfect for covering dark layers
  • Works with oil and latex topcoats
  • Suitable for exterior and interior applications

Cons

  • Takes more coats than more expensive primers
  • Doesn’t handle moisture or humidity well

Pick #3: KILZ Premium Primer (Best High-End)

If you’re looking for a slightly more effective primer at a slightly higher price, the KILZ Premium Primer line is the best choice.

While it may not be as effective at covering stains as the Restoration primer, KILZ Premium is a lot like an improved version of our top pick: KILZ Original.

Along with improved stain-blocking capabilities, the KILZ Premium Primer is a lot more resistant to moisture. This makes it ideal for use in rooms like the kitchen.

This primer can also be used interchangeably on interior and exterior surfaces. This flexibility of use ensures you don’t need separate primers for both.

Pros

  • Moisture resistance
  • Interior/exterior application
  • Mildew-cide prevents the growth of mildew

Cons

  • Price
  • Sometimes requires multiple coats

KILZ Kitchen & Bath Interior Primer is the most specialized primer on this list.

It is ideal for customers who would like to repaint their kitchen or bathroom.

This formula is designed to be even more resistant to humidity and moisture than the KILZ Premium primer.

To make it even more suitable for bathroom use, the Kitchen & Bath Primer is designed to resist high temperatures, so you’ll be able to take hot showers without any trouble.

Like most other KILZ primers, it will take one hour to be ready for recoating.

Pros

  • Resistant to high temperatures and humidity
  • Viscous and thick
  • Ready to be recoated in an hour

Cons

  • Relatively pricey
  • Less coverage than other KILZ primers

KILZ Restoration Interior Primer was formerly known as KILZ MAX.

This is the most expensive primer that KILZ offers, but it is designed for serious work on walls that are pitted, stained, and worse.

This water-based primer features performance that is comparable to oil-based alternatives without any of the downsides. 

KILZ Restoration can even cover up rust, heavy water damage, and more. Finally, the formula can be used with rollers, brushes, and paint sprayers.

Pros

  • Can cover stains
  • Can be applied multiple ways
  • Comparable to oil-based primers

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Strong odor

KILZ Original Interior Primer is still our top pick because it's a great all-around primer. 

While the rest of these options are somewhat specialized, the KILZ Original Primer is useful in nearly any type of situation.

The reasonable price of this primer makes it even more attractive, especially if you’re on a budget. 

Unlike other primers in its price range, KILZ Original is effective and easy to use.

This primer is particularly effective if you’re trying to cover up dark colors, which is relatively rare in its price range.

Plus, it’s an excellent value for the money! Check the low price now on Amazon.

Final Thoughts On The Best Primers for Dark Paint

There are plenty of options available for primers that can cover dark paint, and the best one will depend on your exact needs. The best paint bought at your local Home Depot or paint store won't make your home improvement project any better if you don't understand their proper use.

Your dark colored wall will only be able to transform into your ideal new color through the use of high-quality products used appropriately.

From the more specialized KILZ Kitchen & Bath formula to the more affordable Rust-Oleum Bulls Eye 1-2-3, every choice on this list has a purpose. If you just need something that offers good value for money, KILZ Original is a great choice.

Read More >> Top 5 Interior Paint Primers

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Richard Saunders

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