Top 5 Best Paint Primer For Drywall (2020 Review)

Are you looking for the perfect paint primer for drywall?

You've come to the right place!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn:

  • When you should use a paint primer 
  • What specifically to look for in a primer for drywall
  • How to choose a quality paint primer

And much more!

Top 5 Best Paint Primer For Drywall (2020 Review)

Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use a paint primer for drywall!

Image Product

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Rust-Oleum Corporation Drywall Primer
  • Quick-dry
  • Low odor
  • Seals & hides all seams
  • Quick-dry
  • Low odor
  • Seals & hides all seams
View on Amazon

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Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 Primer
  • Works on all surfaces
  • Easy clean up
  • Mildew resistant
  • Works on all surfaces
  • Easy clean up
  • Mildew resistant
View on Amazon

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KILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Primer/Sealer
  • Bonds to almost any surface
  • Reduces need for sanding
  • Paintable in 1 hour
  • Bonds to almost any surface
  • Reduces need for sanding
  • Paintable in 1 hour
View on Amazon

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KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain & Odor Blocking Interior Primer/Sealer
  • Blocks stains
  • Great for remodels
  • Sands easily
  • Blocks stains
  • Great for remodels
  • Sands easily
View on Amazon

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KILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Primer/Sealer
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Low-VOC
  • Stainblocker
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Low-VOC
  • Stainblocker
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated 8/13/2020)

Our top pick for the best primer has to be this Rust-Oleum Drywall Primer because it's specifically designed to use on drywall.

It's a simple water-based formula that's super easy to clean up and it's ideal for sealing brand new drywall.

If you're looking for a simple to use, a fast-drying primer for a brand new piece of drywall, this is by far the best drywall primer out there!

When Should You Use A Paint Primer For Drywall?

The short answer is: always!

Fresh drywall is especially difficult to cover if you don't prime because the surface of it is highly porous, which means there are tons of tiny holes and imperfections that will show through in the topcoat of your paint if you don't prime!

So, before you even touch that paint can make sure you prep your wall by removing any dust or debris and then throw at least one coat of primer on that wall.

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

What Specifically Should You Look For In A Primer For Drywall?

Are primers for drywall any different than other primers?

Yes and no.

Like I mentioned above, priming drywall is important because the surface of the drywall is porous and new. Which means it needs a little help to accept a coat of paint.

However, the difference with priming drywall is you want to find a primer that's got enough adherence (a.k.a stickiness) to cover things like drywall mud or spackle.

Drywall mud can create an uneven surface, and if you don't prime over it you run the risk of not creating that smooth finish you're looking for.

So, when looking for a primer specifically for drywall (and especially fresh drywall) you want to look for high adhesion and high build primers. We've got a few of those on the list below.

But if you're working with drywall that you're repainting or restoring, you might need to go one step further and get a stain-blocking primer/sealer that will truly create a fresh surface for you to paint on.

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

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.

How To Choose A High-Quality Paint Primer For Drywall?

Choosing a high-quality paint primer for your drywall ultimately comes down to answering a few key questions:

  1. What is the current state of the surface you're priming? (Damaged/stained/fresh etc.)
  2. Are you rolling it on or using a paint sprayer to apply?
  3. What kind of paint are you going to use on top of this primer?

Answering these 3 questions will help guide you in the right direction when selecting a primer.

For example, if you're working on a fresh patch of drywall and you plan to use a paint sprayer to apply it, you'll want to look for a latex primer/sealer that isn't necessarily stain-blocking because, chances are, you're probably not going to have any stains to paint over.

So, if you want to see which primer is best for you, keep reading to see more about our top 5 drywall primers.

Read More >> What Are The Ultimate Interior Primers On The Market?

Our Reviews Of The Best Paint Primer For Drywall

This low-VOC, water-based primer takes the cake when it comes to priming drywall because it does an excellent job sealing new drywall.

Plus, it won't rais the nap on new drywall and it creates a beautifully smooth finish in an hour flat!

If you're looking for an amazing, fast-drying drywall primer, this is your new best friend.

Pros

  • Quick-dry
  • Low odor
  • Seals & hides all seams

Cons

  • Some Amazon customers had issues with broken or battered deliveries (but that's probably Amazon's fault, not Rust-Oleum's.)

This is one of my all-time favorite primers for pretty much any surface, including drywall.

Not only is the Bulls-Eye a fantastic primer, but it is also super easy to clean and it's excellent for fresh surfaces like new drywall or new concrete. 

It's great if you're working with fresh interior walls, just keep in mind it's not intended to be a stain blocker.

These are truly some quality roller covers for rough surfaces and unline non-perforated covers they won't soak up all of your paint.

Plus they are reusable and the perforations lead to an easier clean up as well!

Pros

  • Works on all surfaces
  • Easy cleanup
  • Mildew resistant

Cons

  • Sometimes requires a few coats for full coverage (depending on the surface)
  • Doesn't block odor

If you're looking for a heavy-duty primer/sealer to add to your arsenal, this KILZ Adhesion Interior Primer truly takes the cake.

While it comes at a heftier price point, this stuff will go a long way because of the sheer amount of coverage it has to offer.

This stuff works like magic, and when they say "Adhesion" they mean it!

While it might be overkill for something like drywall, it's just an excellent choice for a high-build primer on porous surfaces like brick or fresh drywall because it fills in all those tiny holes and creates an ultra-smooth surface that works with any paint out there.

So if you're looking for a high bonding primer to put under a top coat of oil-based paint or chalk paint, this is some of the best stuff out there to create a beautiful layer of new paint.

Pros

  • Bonds to almost any surface
  • Reduces need for sanding
  • Paintable in 1 hour

Cons

  • Pretty pricey for a gallon
  • Not stain-blocking

This stuff (formerly known as KILZ MAX) is a fantastic water-based drywall primer/sealer that is a fantastic stain-blocking primer.

The best part is not only will this stuff perform like magic, but it also works with either latex paint or oil-based paint too.

Most people say they were able to create amazing results after the first coat with their drywall.

If you're working on fresh interior walls and you don't want to have to put on a billion coats of primer to get the smooth finish you're looking for, this stuff is a great choice.

But even if you need to prime drywall that's stained or has other solvents on it, this stuff is still going to get the job done!

Pros

  • Blocks stains
  • Great for remodels
  • Sands easily

Cons

  • On the pricey side

This amazing USA made primer is truly a workhorse.

Not only does it work on interior walls, but it's excellent for exterior walls as well as a latex primer/sealer.

It provides an amazing undercoat for all sorts of paints and topcoats regardless of where you're working, which is why it's under the KILZ "Premium" label.

It's also a high-quality primer to use for repainting, and one gallon of this stuff will cover anywhere from 300 to 400 square feet!

Plus, the stain blocking on this is like no other, with some reporting that it even covers crayon marks and blocks cat urine smells.

Pros

  • Excellent adhesion
  • Low-VOC
  • Stain-blocker

Cons

  • Some customers needed more than one coat of primer to cover dark paint colors

Our top choice still has to be the Corporation Drywall Primer by Rust-Oleum because...well...it's specifically designed for drywall!

This stuff is made to fill in the porous surface of fresh drywall and create a beautifully smooth surface for whatever topcoat you plan to apply.

They're just excellent value for the money, and you can get them easily from Amazon now.

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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