5 Best Primer For Bare Wood Reviews and Buying Guide [2022]

If you are looking forward to painting the bare wooden floor surfaces in your house or anywhere, buying wood primers would be a good decision. Primers need to be applied to the surface before painting it.  Primers allow the paint to stick better to the wooden surface, which provides an even and beautiful finish. 

Applying a layer of primer on the surface eliminates the problem of peeling paint. Moreover, this step will reduce the number of layers of paint required. There are a wide variety of primers for wood available in the market. Before buying any primer, one has to make sure that it fits your requirements. 

Given below are the reviews of the best primer for bare wood. Besides that, to help you find the primer that will be most appropriate for your needs, consider the buying guide’s points. 

5 Best Primer For Bare Wood Reviews

1. KILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer, White, 1-gallon – Best Overall

KILZ is one of the trustworthy brands which offer best-in-class primers. This primer is a versatile primer suitable for both indoors and outdoors.

Its stain-blocking technique can cover even the toughest stains or old paint on the wood. 

The moisture-blocking virtue of this primer saves the wood from problems like mildew and mold.

Therefore, it can be used in humid places as well, like bathrooms and laundry. The overall finish provided by this primer is outstanding.

Technical features and performance 

This primer provides a brilliant adhesive. After applying this primer, the process of painting becomes easier. It is great not only for new wood surfaces but also for old and painted wooden surfaces. Due to the absence of COV, there is hardly any odor and safe to work with. 

It is ideal for humid regions. With proper consistency and texture, it is easy to spread and apply. One gallon of this primer can cover an area of up to three hundred to four hundred square feet. It can dry within one hour and can be recoated. 

Is this product recommended?

With the high-performance and great finish it provides, this is a primer that is highly recommended. Based on the numerous buyers’ experiences, it is clear that this premier can even make the most damaged wooden surfaces look brand new. Therefore, it is a great choice.


Pretty simple to use.
Great value for money.
Good adhesive property.
Dries up very quickly. 


It needs to be stirred repeatedly.

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2. KILZ L211101 Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Latex Primer/Sealer, White, 1-Gallon, 1 Gallon, 4 l – Best Budget

Are you having trouble painting a hard-to-paint wooden surface? If yes, then this primer is the solution.

This is highly adhesive, and the paint will easily stick to the surface. It is more efficient than other oil-based primers. 

This is a great bonding primer that is available at a reasonable price. No matter what kind of surface you are using it on, this will give smooth and uniform results. Hence, making it one of the best bare wood primers. 

Technical features and performance 

This primer can be applied using any tool of your choice, spray gun, brush, or roller. However, there are some rules to keep in mind.

In the case of a roller, it should be ⅜ to ½ inch for smooth surfaces and other, ½ to ¾ inch. If you are using a spray gun, its PSI should range from 2500 to 3200, while the tip should be 0.015 to 0.021 inches. 

With its perfect consistency, it is easy to spread. One gallon of this primer can cover a wide area of 300 square feet. It is dry to touch within half an hour of applying, and you can recoat it after an hour of applying. 

Is this product recommended?

This primer has many perks. It is highly durable and straightforward to apply. The performance of this bonding primer is outstanding.

According to the buyers, the packaging is done properly to make sure that there is no leakage. Thus, the buyers advise others to invest in their product. 


Great reliability.
Pretty simple to use.
Does not have a strong odor.
Highly adhesive.


Not the best at stain-blocking.

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3. INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer, 1 Gallon, White – Best for Walls and Doors

This premium acrylic primer is a great product. Whether you have any prior experience of priming or not, you will find it extremely easy to apply. Even if you do not have a spray gun, you can apply it using a brush. 

Just make sure that the surface is properly clean and free from any loose dust particles or grease before you apply the primer. Following the proper instruction will result in an even and perfect finishing. 

Technical features and performance?

Whether you are working with glossy tiles, pre-coated wooden surfaces, or any other, this acrylic primer will efficiently coat any surface. Not only that, once the coating and painting process is completed, cleaning them is also easy. 

This dries up and is ready to coat again after three to four hours. If you need to cover around three hundred to four hundred square feet of the area, then one gallon of this primer will suffice. It is most suitable for doors and walls. 

Is this product recommended?

The feedback given by multiple users suggests that this product is just what it promises. The buyers loved the result this primer provided and would suggest it to others as well. Therefore, it is a product you can buy without any hesitation. 


Good texture.
Easy to apply on wooden surfaces. 
Low volatility.
It can be cleaned with just soap and water.


Durability is low.
Stains remain visible.

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4. Rust-Oleum 2004 Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer, 1 Quart, 946 ml, White – Best Waterproofer

The fourth on the list, this primer is packed with many brilliant features. It is one of the best in the aspect of durability. This is a latex primer but offers the perks of both oil-based and water-based primers. 

It is also available for ease of use in an aerosol spray paint formula to apply in hard to access areas through a paintbrush or a roller. Moreover, it gives impressive results with a latex or oil overcoat. 

Technical features and performance 

It has all the features one would expect in a durable primer. This primer is protected against rust. With its moisture-blocking virtue, it is also effective against mildew and mold. Moreover, the stain-resistant feature keeps the surface free from grease oil or any other form of stain. 

It is quick to dry and recoated after one or two hours of applying. The area which one quart of this primer can cover is 100 square feet. The finishing of this primer neither scrapes nor peels easily. 

Is this product recommended? 

There is no doubt that it is a highly recommended primer. Reputed for its dependability, it also has simple instructions that will yield a significant result when followed correctly. Moreover, it is less volatile, and hence you do not need to wear a mask while applying this primer to save yourself from the harmful odor.


Highly reliable.
The price is appropriate. 
Almost negligible odor. 
Pretty simple to use. 


It may require three or more layers.
Packaging could be better.

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5. Zinsser 03504 Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer, 1-Quart, White – Most Weather Resistant

Last but not least, this primer is ideal for both exterior and interior priming. The finish it offers is shiny and flat. The unevenness of the wooden surface can be successfully leveled by using this primer. 

If you want to cover up some stains on the old wooden surface, this primer will be able to do this effortlessly. It is specially made for wooden surfaces and acts as an excellent adhesive for the paints. 

Technical features and performance

This primer is not only great at hiding stains but also acts as a water seal. This inhibits the contact of moisture to the wooden surface and hence acts as a protection against mildew. Its consistency is balanced and easy to apply. 

The time taken by this oil-based primer is an hour. Sand and clean the surface thoroughly before applying the primer so that when it is applied, there is no unevenness or bubbles. Also, its performance is outstanding. 

Is this product recommended?

The reviews of this product indicate that this primer works perfectly. The stain-resistant and moisture-resistant nature of this primer make it suitable for regularly exposed surfaces to water, grease, etc. Hence, this is a primer worth buying. 


Brilliant adhesive. 
The price is feasible. 
Moisture and stain-resistant. 


It emits an intense odor.

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Buyer’s Guide

In the buying guide, we discuss the key factors which are vital to consider while choosing a primer for your wooden surfaces. These factors play a leading role in finding you a product that is best primer for wood according to your needs. 

1. Type Of Primer 

There are mainly three types of primers, namely, oil-based, latex, and shellac primer. Every primer is designed for different purposes. Oil-based primers are great in durability.

They remain unaffected by any change in temperatures. Due to their non-stain virtue, they are great for wooden surfaces that are constantly exposed to human contact, especially little children. 

This type of primer’s major setback is that it can take more than a day to dry and are not easy to clean. Moreover, they are highly volatile and have a strong odor that can be harmful to health in large quantities. Thus, you require to wear sufficient protective gear while working with it. 

Latex primers or acrylic are more versatile than oil-based primers that mean it can be used on multiple surfaces. Due to the absence of any volatile compound, it emits no odor and is easy to work with. Time taken to dry completely is only three to four hours.

The major drawback of acrylic primers is that they are not very efficient in covering up stains. You have to make sure that the surface you are applying primer on is free from strain and is even. 

Shellac primers are great for indoor purposes. It has the perks of both oil-based and latex primers. It is simple to use, dries up quickly, and a smooth finishing. It can be coated on already painted or stained surfaces as well.

However, it is volatile, and you might need to put on a mask while applying it. Every primer has some pros and cons. It can be hard to say which one of them is the best wood primer. This decision depends on what specifications you want in your primer. 

2. Variety Of Wood

The primer you should buy also depends on what kind of wooden surface you are planning to paint. Different types of wood act differently with primers.

Hence, it is necessary to research what kind of primer you should buy for the wood of your choice. For instance, some woods that are easy to paint are redwood, white pine, cedar, etc.

3. Time-Taken To Dry 

Time taken to dry varies from primer to primer. Some can take more than twenty-four hours to dry, while some just take a few hours. However, the ones that require more time offer greater durability than the others.

It completely depends on your requirements. For instance, if you need the paint indoors and want to finish your work quickly, then a quickly-drying primer is advisable.

4. Stain-Resistant

Stain-resistant is an essential property of a primer. Ensure that the primer you choose has this property. Due to this feature, the paint remains new-looking even after a long period.

Also, it makes the surface easy to clean with just soap and water. Hence, you do not need to spend hours of time and effort cleaning the surface. 

5. Price 

There are many primers available in the market, and it can be hard to identify which ones are good. It is not always necessary that an expensive primer will be the best.

The best way to make sure that you are not spending too much money on a primer that is not worth it is by deciding what virtues you want in your primer. 

Decide whether you want an oil-based or water-based primer and compatible with the kind of wood you have. Collate different primers with the same feature and analyze the customers’ feedback to find which one offers great value for money. This way, you will get a list of primers that are apt for your needs and also at the best price.

How To Apply A Primer In The Correct Way?

Primer is an essential step in the procedure of painting. However, it will only be fruitful when priming is done in the right way.

To apply a coat of prime in the right manner, you not only need the right tools but also need to prep the surface which is supposed to be primed. 

The first step in priming is making sure that the surface is ready to be primed by cleaning it. Use sandpaper to scrape the surface. Remove the dust particles, grease, oil or any other impurity from the surface to make it even.

You can even wash the surface if you find it convenient. However, then you need to make sure that the surface is completely dry before putting the primer. Once the surface is completely clean, you can apply the layer of prime. 

There are three ways through which you can apply the prime, brush, roller or spray gun. Using a roller or brush ensures a more accurate and even coat.

However, these tools make the process time-taking and tedious. Also, they create a lot of mess. Spray gun, on the other hand, is simpler to use. Although, then you will have to do coating more than once. 

The kind of brush, size of the roller and pressure or tip of the spray gun, which is suitable for the prime, is usually mentioned in the specification of the product.

Make sure that the tools you have are according to the information provided by the manufacturer. Apply the primer and let it dry for an hour or more, depending on the primer you are using before your recoat or paint.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What kind of primers are recommended for new and for painted woods?

A1. Many people are unfamiliar with the fact that new and painted wooden surfaces require different types of primers. A brand new wooden surface free from any stain is less problematic, and any kind of primer will work well with it. A high-grade oil-based or latex primer will give you optimum results. 

Woods that have already been painted or have stains require more preparation. You need to ensure that the old paint is properly scraped off and the surface is completely clean. After this, apply a coat of best-in-class oil-based primer for an outstanding finish once the painting process is complete.

Q2. How to prepare the surface before applying the primer?

A2. Irrespective of what tools you are using to apply the primer, the first step should always be preparing the wooden surface for it. Only then you can expect to have favorable results. First, scrape off the old paint from the surface if present. Use a medium-grit sanding paper to get rid of any other impurity present on the surface. 

Clean the surface meticulously using a cloth or wash it if you find it convenient. This will remove all the debris and other loose particles. If you are washing the surface, make sure the surface is dry before applying the primer. This process will ensure that the primer sticks properly to the wood and makes the coating uniform throughout.

Q3. Why is priming necessary?

A3. Applying a layer of primer before painting serves various purposes. Primer builds a blockage between the paint and the wood, which prevents moisture from reaching the wood. This increases the life of the wood as moisture has many deteriorating effects like mold, mildew, etc. 

Priming evens out the surface of the wood. Therefore, when you apply the paint, it gives a smooth and crack-free finish. Primer also hides stains or old paint, which might be visible when only paint is used. Thus, a primer is necessary before painting on wooden surfaces. 

Q4. How to choose the colour of the primer?

A4. Primers are usually available in two colours, grey and white. People often think that the colour of the primer is not important. Although, the colour of the primer should be as per the colour of the paint you are going to use. 

If you are going to topcoat the primer with a dark colour, then a grey colour primer is advisable. On the other hand, for a bright colour, you should go for the primer with white colour. If you do not use the right primer, then the paint finishing will look faded no matter how many layers of paint you add.

Q5. Is tinting the primer beneficial?

A5. Tinting the primer refers to the process of adding the same colour as your top coating so that you do not require to apply more than one coating of paint to hide the primer. You can tint the primer by adding some of the topcoats to it. Although, for this, the primer should be white.

Start by adding one part of paint to four parts or primer and stir well. Also, remember that the paint and primer are similar, that latex primer should only be mixed with latex paint and similarly for oil-based. This will give you a mixture with a slight hint of the colour of the paint. Using this process, the paint will look more vibrant and accurate. Thus, tinting the primer will be very helpful.


Many paints for wood advertise that they do not require a primer prep. However, a primer is crucial if you want a professional-looking and uniform finish on the wooden surfaces. Thanks to the plenty of options to choose from, there is a primer for everyone. 

Hence, one should not avoid buying a primer. We hope that the information provided in this article was helpful for you. Remember to keep the key factors mentioned in the buying guide to find the best primer for bare wood for yourself.

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