In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn:
- The best primers for latex paint
- How to prep your project like a boss before priming
- Painting tips for the next time you prime
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 primers for latex paint!
KILZ Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer
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Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 Plus Spray Primer
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INSL-X Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer
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Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Latex
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Prestige Paints Interior Paint And Primer In One
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Rust-Oleum Advanced Synthetic Shellac Primer
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated On June 4, 2021
Our top pick in Kilz because it is sold in a very affordable 5-gallon paint bucket that will give you a sufficient amount of paint for the job.
Throw your old paint out and purchase a bucket of Kilz because it will give your project a consistent base coat to bring out the best in the paint color you have chosen.
Top 6 Primers For Latex Paint
In a hurry? Check out our top 6 primers for latex paints! Keep reading to discover more about our top picks.
What Are Primers For Latex Paint?
In most cases, you should prime before you paint.
Primer is the first coat of paint that preps the surface for colored paint.
In the modern world, latex primers are the ideal paint for drywall for several reasons. So what makes latex paint so good for painting walls? Qualities like:
- Fast drying
- Easy to clean
- Less cracking and peeling
- Not flammable
- Low odor
As you can see, compared to oil-based paints, latex paint is the better option in most cases.
The only advantages oil paint has is better adhesion to more difficult surfaces and one-coat hiding abilities. Oil paint also rolls on a little bit smoother, but that doesn't mean you should use it!
Most times when rolling a color with latex paint, it's necessary to use two coats, but that isn't always the case.
It also depends on what color you are painting with, and what color you are painting over. If you are painting over a light color, it will generally require less primer to finish the job.
Wait for 30 minutes to an hour to see how the paint shows up on the surface. It can sometimes be deceiving when the paint is still wet because it will still show through, but the color will often solidify after it is dry.
Read More >> How Do You Get Primer Off Your Hands?
What Are The Different Types of Primer For Latex Paint?
Latex primer will work perfectly over oil-based paint or an unfinished surface to give the latex paint a fit surface to bond to.
Although it isn't recommended, you can always use latex paint over an oil-based primer. What you don't want to try is using oil-based paint over latex paint, as it won't bond very well.
Shellac primers can be great for painting over trim and smaller projects because it dries hard and blocks stains. You can use latex paint over shellac primer for great results, but be sure to lightly sand and clean before doing so.
You won't always need to whip out a brush or roller for doing a quick paint job. Sometimes it's better to purchase a spray can to apply a quick coat without the inconvenience of cleanup.
Paint And Primer
The quick and cheap solution is to use a paint and primer because you only have to purchase one product for your painting necessity.
Just remember when choosing an 'all-in-one' product that you aren't choosing the highest quality of paint for the job.
Read More >> What Are The Best Primers To Cover Dark Paint?
How Does Primer For Latex Paint Work?
Prep for applying primer
Before you prime, it's always great to clean and vacuum the area you are working in.
This applies especially when spraying the paint. Any dust that is left on the ground will be swept up into the paint job leaving ugly specs.
So make sure you vacuum thoroughly around the area you are painting.
Another important point is that you should ensure that the area you are painting(if it's a structure) doesn't need additional framing or electrical work.
Cover any small holes or imperfections in the drywall with a putty knife and spackle.
And just to clarify, this is after the drywall has mudded (drywall mudding is a little bit more complicated to make it look nice, so you may want to hire a professional if you don't know what you are doing).
Caulking is optional on interior work, but it helps make trim work blend into the paint job better.
If you are painting an outside project like siding, you should seal in all the cracks with caulk before painting to keep the water out.
If you are using a paint sprayer you will get better results if you sand the primer with a sanding pole before applying the final coat of latex.
On porous surfaces like outdoor decks/bare wood or siding, you may want to give the surface a good power washing beforehand to free up any loose debris that will flake off after the paint has been applied.
Now it's time for the undercoat. You can apply primer with a paintbrush, paint roller, or paint sprayer. When painting walls, one coat of primer probably isn't going to be enough.
For the best results, you'll want to apply two coats of primer.
After the primer is applied, it's time to prep the primed surface for the final coat of paint.
This includes using direct light to find any small imperfections and spot-spackling over them.
There is even a blue dye that you can mix in with the spackle to help you from missing spackle spots when sanding over them with a sanding sponge.
A pole sander will help you get the surface super smooth for the final coat. It can be tough on the arms, but the more you sand, the better your paint job will turn out in the end.
Spot caulking is always a great idea after applying the prime coat to help your finish coat look impeccable.
After you have carefully prepped, sanded, and cleaned the surface and its surrounding areas, you are now ready for the final coat of paint.
Below is a video that shows you some common mistakes made by DIY painters when applying primer.
Read More >> How Do You Paint A Wall Like A Pro?
What To Look For In The Best Primer For Latex Paint?
Although it could work, it is not recommended to use latex paint over wallpaper.
Buying in bulk is wise and always gets you a better price on what you are purchasing.
Chances are that you are going to be painting with latex more than once, especially if you own a house.
You don't want a primer that sucks. Use our recommended list when choosing a primer to be sure of the quality.
Some primers are ideal for interior use, and others are better for exterior use because they will block out the elements better.
Our Reviews Of The Best Primer For Latex Paint
Not only does this latex primer work on drywall, but it also works on surfaces like painted metal, brick, masonry, plaster, wood, stucco, paneling, and more.
Purchase this 5-gallon bucket of primer because chances are you will eventually use all of it, even if you are initially painting something small.
Painting small projects? You may want to just use a spray paint can.
This Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 spray can is a great solution for your small projects like coffee tables, trim pieces, etc because it is cheap and easy to apply plus it takes just one coat to cover the surface you are painting.
Purchase this can of Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye because it's not always necessary to purchase a full 1-gallon bucket of paint if you are painting something small.
INSL-X is our premium option, which means you are going to be paying more for a product that works significantly better than other products on this list.
Recommended for painting bathrooms an exterior surfaces that are exposed to water regularly.
Pick #4: Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Latex
This is a simple white primer that comes at a great price and is ideal when painting things like interior walls and interior/exterior surfaces like wood, plaster, masonry, metal, etc.
Apply Rustoleum Painter's Touch Latex Primer followed by two coats of paint for a perfect turnout. This is the right primer for the job if you are looking for the most practical product.
Prep your surface first by sanding with 180/200 grit sandpaper, clean with a degreasing agent, and then apply the primer after the surface is dry.
Throw away your old paint and primes and purchase a gallon of Prestige Paints Interior Paint And Primer for an excellent finish on your next painting project.
A tinted primer like this 'Proper Gray' color is the way to go for a quick painting solution.
If you want a super sturdy surface to paint your latex onto, you might try a shellac primer like Rust-Oleum Advanced Synthetic Shellac Primer.
This is a stain-blocking primer that adds value to whatever it is that you are painting, and it is ideal for painting wood surfaces like trim work and furniture because it seals in knots, sap, and tannin.
This Rust-Oleum Advanced Synthetic Shellac Primer paint is advertised to stick to all surfaces, block odors, and cover stains sufficiently for a high-quality paint finish that will last you for the years to come.
Our Top Pick: KILZ Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Latex Primer/Sealer
Kilz 5-gallon multi-purpose primer is our top pick because of its economical price and recommendable quality.
Working on a large project? You're going to want the Kilz 5-gallon bucket of paint because it will provide you with enough pain to get the job done.
And not only will you have enough paint, but after you are done using the plastic 5-gallon bucket, you can rinse it out and have a multi-purpose bucket for future jobs.
Plus, it's such a great value for the money. Find it at the lowest price on Amazon now!
Final Thoughts On The Best Primer For Latex Paint
Which Primer Should You Choose?
The primer you choose depends on what you want out of your project. Use primer that best fits. If you are painting something small, use spray paint. Painting something large, buy a 5-gallon bucket no doubt.
And if you are painting outside, be sure you purchase a primer and paint that is super water-resistant if you want the best results.
Paint and primer all in one?
Paint and primer is a good choice if you are looking to simply cover something up with paint. Again, it all depends on the quality you are looking for.
And if we're being completely honest, some repaint jobs don't need to be primed again before painting.
Always Choose Quality Over Quantity
The quality of the paint you choose does matter. Quality paint is easier to apply, and it also performs better over time.
But that isn't to say that you can't buy quality paint for a decent price. And you'll always get a better price when buying the 5-gallon bucket compared to a 1-gallon.
For example, you could try Behr paint from the local Home Depot, but we don't recommend it because it is difficult to work with and is a cheap quality finish.
Professional painters will almost always apply two coats of primer on new paint projects, and when repainting they may just lightly sand and paint one coat of primer, depending on what color the paint is, type of primer, wall material, etc.