Top 5 Best Primer For Covering Red Paint (2020 Review)

Are you looking for an awesome primer to cover up red paint?

You've come to the right place!

We've got all the answers to paint-specific and other home improvement questions here at the Pro Paint Corner!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn:

  • The best primers to use when covering red paint
  • How to properly prep your painting surface
  • Great tips for DIY repainting

And much more!

Top 5 Best Paint Rollers For Walls (2020 Review)

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 red paint.

Image Product

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Rust-Oleum Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer
  • Excellent stain blocking resistance
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
  • For use on drywall, wood, masonry, concrete, and more
  • Excellent stain blocking resistance
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
  • For use on drywall, wood, masonry, concrete, and more
View on Amazon

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KILZ 2 Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer
  • Easiest option
  • Great price
  • Dries fast
  • Easiest option
  • Great price
  • Dries fast
View on Amazon

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INSL-X Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer
  • Premium-quality acrylic-urethane primer-sealer
  • Covers up to 400 square feet per gallon
  • Bonds to most difficult surfaces
  • Premium-quality acrylic-urethane primer-sealer
  • Covers up to 400 square feet per gallon
  • Bonds to most difficult surfaces
View on Amazon

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KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain & Odor Blocking Interior Latex Primer/Sealer
  • Maximum stain & odor blocker
  • Sold in 1 gallon and 5-gallon sizes
  • Oil-based/shellac performance in a water-based formula
  • Maximum stain & odor blocker
  • Sold in 1 gallon and 5-gallon sizes
  • Oil-based/shellac performance in a water-based formula
View on Amazon

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Prestige Paints Interior Paint & Primer In One
  • High-quality
  • Semi-gloss
  • 100% acrylic latex
  • High-quality
  • Semi-gloss
  • 100% acrylic latex
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated 8/24/2020)

Our favorite is Rust-Oleum Gray Primer because it has excellent stain blocking resistance and is ideal for using over red paint. 

Order Rust-Oleum Gray Primer off of Amazon, and receive either 1-gallon or 31.5 oz. of the perfect primer at your doorstep.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

What Are Primers For Covering Red Paint?

Because red paint is such a bold color, it doesn't always want to cover up nicely when painted over. 

And depending on the new color you have chosen, you may have to use more than one coat of paint(and more than one coat of primer) when repainting to get the desired color to show. 

That's why we've recommended this list of primers that will work great when covering up red paint, so you have the advantage from the get-go when repainting dark colors.

What Are The Different Types of Primers For Covering Red Paint?

There are several different types of primers out there that can help you prepare a wall for a color change. Each type serves it's own purpose, but typically any of these types will do a good job prepping a wall to accept paint.

Latex Primer (water-based)

Latex primers typically work best in covering over the red paint.

Primer In One

If you are looking for a quick and cheap painting solution, you could always try 

Oil-based primer

Oil-based primers are the best option for covering up dark colors, but it could work, especially if you use a dark tinted oil-based primer. 

And remember, you shouldn't try to use an oil-based primer over a latex paint job--it will turn out bad.

Shellac

You could always try a shellac primer when repainting over red walls. Shellac typically dries harder, so it's ideal for woodwork like trim and furniture.

Read More >> How Do You Paint A Wall Like A Pro?

Did you know: Using a primer when you paint can actually save you money! This is because it creates a much better surface for your paint to adhere to, so you'll likely use less of it.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

How Do You Prepare A Red Wall With Primer?

Lightly sand

When priming over red walls, it's best to lightly sand the surface beforehand with a sanding pole and some 120 grit 

Spackle 

Chances are, even if the wall has been painted before, it still has blemishes that could be perfect by adding a small amount of blue dye to some spackle and using a flashlight to find all the small imperfections. 

After the spackle has dried, you can go ahead and sand it away with a sanding sponge.

Caulk

This is a great opportunity to re-caulk or 'spot caulk' the parts of your painting surface that need to be sealed in.

Prime Coat

Let the caulk and spackle dry, and then apply the first prime coat. If you're using a roller, you'll want to cut in the edges first with a paintbrush. And you may want to apply 2 coats of primer to be sure you cover up the previous paint.

Read More >> How Do You Get Primer Off Of Your Hands?

Sanding the primer

Use a sanding pole with 120 grit to lightly sand the primer before applying the final coat, especially when using a paint sprayer.

This will help the final coat adhere to the primer better, and it will also give the paint a smooth finish to the touch. 

Now you should be ready for the finish coat!

What To Look For In The Best Primers For Covering Red Paint?

Water-based

Water-based primers are said to be the best for covering up dark paint colors. 

High-quality

Higher-end paints have a thicker consistency that will cover up red better when you go to paint walls. 

Sure, you could always go to the hardware store or Home Depot and purchase a brand like Behr or something similar, but it's not going to work as good as brands from the paint store like Kilz, Rust-Oleum, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, etc.

Read More >> How Do You Paint A Wall Without Leaving Brush Strokes?

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Our Reviews Of The Best Primers For Covering Red Paint

Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is a great option for painting over red surfaces because its gray color improves the coverage of dark walls like red in your paint job. 

This colored paint primer is designed to cover up to 100 sq. ft. of the painting surface.

Not only does gray primer work for painting over red paint, but it also does a great job to bring out the red color of you want to use red paint for your new paint, and it blocks stains better than other primers.

Pros

  • Blocks out dark colors
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
  • Resists mold and mildew

Cons

  • Only comes in a 1-gallon can
  • Higher-quality options available
  • Gray might not work ideally with a lighter new color

If you are going for. the most economical product, then you might try something like this Kilz 2 primer either in a 1 quart, 1 gallon, or 5-gallon bucket to get the job done efficiently and economically.

You can use this primer-sealer on most interior/exterior surfaces like drywall, masonry, stucco, paneling, decking, brick, etc for an excellent first coat that will cover up any color if you apply enough.

Pros

  • Economically priced
  • Water-based (water-based is more effective on the color red)
  • Covers up to 300-400 square feet per gallon

Cons

  • 2+ coats of paint may be required for covering up the red
  • Cheaper quality
  • Not gray-colored

This super sturdy primer is ideal for covering up even glossy surfaces with a super water-resistant coat of primer that will leave your paint job impeccable.

Not only is Insl-x premium quality, but it also bonds to almost any surface(read the label for full instructions) so it's versatile for painting any project on the interior or exterior of your home or business effectively.

After painting, let the painted surface dry in an area free of moisture for the first 24 hours after painting. 

Pros

  • Covers up to 400 square feet per gallon
  • Premium-quality acrylic-urethane
  • Bonds to challenging surfaces

Cons

  • Not sold in 5-gallon quantity
  • Expensive
  • Super water-resistance not necessary on drywall projects

Want a higher-end option for covering up the bold red paint in your living room with a light color? 

Try this Kilz Restoration Maximum Stain and Odor Blocking Interior Latex Primer/Sealer that works with alkyd, oil and water-based topcoats

Pros

  • Maximum stain & odor blocker
  • Water-based formula that performs like oil-based/shellac
  • Covers 300-400 square feet per

Cons

  • Much more expensive
  • Not the highest quality option
  • Takes 1 hour to dry (other paints dry faster)

This Prestige Paints all-in-one paint that matches up with the Sherwin Williams color 'Agreeable Gray' is also another great option for covering up red paint, especially if you are looking to do it with just one type of paint.

Besides, if it's something you want to quickly cover up with paint, why not simplify and buy paint and primer all in one can? We think it's a good idea. 

Plus, the tinted primer's gray color should do a number on the dark color when compared to using a white primer.

Pros

Cons

  • Only sold in 1-gallon bucket
  • Not the highest quality option
  • Gray color not ideal for all repaint colors

Rust-Oleum Gray Primer is our top choice because it is designed specifically to block dark paint colors for the repaint. 

Using a neutral color like gray will blur out the red and make your final coat turn out just like you thought it would without any confusion or unexpected outcomes.

Plus, it's such a great value for the money. Find it at the lowest price on Amazon now!

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Final Thoughts On Best Primer To Cover Red Paint

Which Paint Should You Choose?

The paint you choose depends on your specific project and the quality you want to get out of it.

When choosing the right primer for the job, think about these important factors:

How big is the job?

Measure the square footage of the surface you are looking to paint, and that should give you a good idea of how much paint to buy.

Is the job indoor or outdoor?

If you are painting something that isn't going to be hit by the elements, then it's probably not necessary to purchase a super heavy-duty primer. For example, if it's drywall, you should choose the budget pick we have listed above. 

However, if you are looking for a drywall that looks impeccable, it's probably worth going with our top pick recommended for the job. 

What prep work needs to be done?

Materials like sandpaper, rollers, paintbrushes, masking tape, etc will add costs to your project, so remember to add them into the budget. 

Roll or spray?

Some projects are easier done when using an HVLP or HEA paint gun.

We recommend a cheap HVLP spray gun for outdoor projects like sheds, fences, etc that don't require a super smooth finish. 

And of course, HEA(high-efficiency airless) is perfect for painting large interior and exterior surfaces in short periods of time. 

Rolling on the paint is generally faster when repainting a room, however, because you would have to cover all surfaces in the room before painting to avoid overspray.

Questions?

Remember to ask us any paint related questions on our Pro Paint Corner page! We'll be happy to send you a quick response.

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols

I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

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Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols

I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

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