Top 5 Best Oil Based Primer For Interior and Exterior Use

Primer is something that acts as a supporting layer to your newly painted wall. It adheres to the coating of paint to the wall perfectly and makes it pretty long-lasting. Not only that, but applying primer also makes the paint look even better than raw paint.

You may get confused while getting a primer for your requirement because there are various types and versions as well. For this, you must know about the best oil-based primer available in the marketplace.

Getting a primer can be a tricky job for beginners. Because, you should know in-depth about the surface type, compatibility with the paint, and the formulation of the compound. That is why we shall be discussing the ins and outs of the oil-based primer which is applicable for oil-based paints only.

Top 5 Best Oil Based Primer for your painting projects

Let us get to know about the features and application protocols of the best oil-based primers available to be purchased.

1. Zinsser Cover Stain Primer

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The Zinsser oil spray primer is a good value for money product. It is highly suitable for wooden surfaces. This primer can restore keep the surface glossy for a long time. Besides, it creates a shiny layer just on the paint or raw surface to give it a lustrous outlook.

This primer is suitable for both interior and exterior usage. You need not buy multiple primers from different brands for completing the finishing.

It comes with a lot of size variations. These are 1 gallon, 5 gallon, quart, 13, and 16 oz spray versions. The bigger containers are highly compatible for large projects such as the finishing f the walls, ceilings, or decks. On the other hand, 13 and 16 oz spray primers are good for short projects, DIYs, etc. Nevertheless, all of these outputs the same result.

After properly applying the primer to a surface, you will be getting a dry surface within an hour. As a result, you do not have to leave the space if you have a smell sensitivity. The quick-drying feature makes it suitable for small and DIY projects. Besides, the walls and ceiling become readily usable after a quick dry from this primer.

You can apply it on sensitive painted surfaces to block the appearance of stains. It creates a strong adhesive coating with the paint to protect it from exterior stains.

The dark colors caused by degrading paintwork can be stopped by applying this primer smoothly on the surface. Moreover, the oil-based primer creates a slightly thick layer on the surface which makes it impenetrable from exterior impacts. 

It effectively blocks the cedar and redwood bleed to cause a hamper to the paintwork of the wall. Besides, the tannin bleed caused by the wood extraction also gets reduced because the primer simply blocks the tiny ones with its strong adhesion.

Considering you have someone who smokes inside the house. Then worry not, the primer will defend the paintwork from accumulating the nicotine or smoke stains as well. You will also get rid of leaking water from small spores.

The oil-based primer works well if your house is located in a humid and shallow geographical area. It prevents the transmission and leaking of water from the outside to the inside. A dual coating of primer in both interior and exterior will save your house from water leakage permanently.

It can stick on all types of surfaces without needing any extra adhesion. This makes it quite flexible to work on most of the available surfaces without any difficulty.

This primer is highly compatible with surfaces that have been previously damaged by smoke, or water. Besides, it is applicable on painted drywall, cured plaster, and cement coatings. Pine fir, cedar, redwood, and plywood are also good to go. Metal surfaces such as aluminum, iron, steel, and copper have no side effects from this primer.

  • High compatibility
  • No damaging effect
  • No harmful effect to animals or the environment
  • Easy to apply
  • Quick-drying
  • Cannot be applied for protection against the heavy water flow
  • Degrades being exposed to water for a long time

2. Rust-Oleum 7582838 Professional Primer Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 7582838 Professional Primer Spray Paint
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The Professional Primer spray paint from Rust-Oleum comes with a better formulation than those of enamel coatings. It has a better effectivity due to the strong adhesion feature than the enamel, especially on metallic surfaces.

Metal furniture or walls or fence are highly contagious to forming rust. This primer spray creates an impermeable membrane on the metal. This prevents the water to clog and react with the iron. As a really, no rust is allowed to form when the Rust-Oleum primer is applied to the meta.

It is compatible with all oil-based and enamel paintings. You can apply it on surfaces with oil-based painting without any hesitation. Because the formulation of the chemical compound has no negative effect on the original paintwork. It simply creates a not reactive transparent coating on the surface with strong adhesion.

Again, apart from the metal surface, this oil-based primer can also be applied on various common surfaces as well. Such as non-ferrous metal, wood, PVC, concrete, masonry, etc. This gives you the flexibility to purchase it for any common surface.

This oil-based primer comes with a Gray shade. Therefore, it becomes suitable to be applied on the metals with the original shade. The primer itself shall give a glossy-looking metallic texture on the surface which enhances its overall outlook and makes it look premium.

It has a High-quality chemical formulation straight from the factory. You do not need to add any extra specimen to make it further strong. Therefore it becomes a durable oil-based primer that maintains consistent and corrosion-resistant color. It gives twice the protection to the surface from the elements used in the paint alone.

A 15ounce of sprayer can be applied on 14 square ft of the surface area easily. This high coverage of the primer will help you save money and time as well. Moreover, It dries only in 15 minutes when kept in the aired area. You need not worry about leaving the area untouched for a lot of time. And, it becomes instantly ready for indoor or outdoor topcoat application.

The spray container is designed to spray at any angle. You can easily maneuver the spray container to reach in tight spots and spray primer conveniently. This spray container has a tip designed to output 50% more primer than those of conventional sprays. As a result, the coverage area increases and helps to spread the primer equally on every inch of the target.

Your house or furniture will get enough protection from abrasion, fading, chipping, or dulling. It helps to keep the original shiny phase and thus increase the quality of the outlook.

  • Easy and quick application
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Blends well on the metal surfaces
  • High coverage area
  • Dries very quickly
  • Cannot be intolerable for someone with smell sensitivity
  • Cannot work well on heavy water exposure

3. Rust-Oleum 3954 Zinsser Odorless Primer and Stain Blocker

Rust-Oleum 3954 Zinsser Odorless Primer and Stain Blocker
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Another fine finishing product from the famous Rust-Oleum the Zinsser series is renowned for producing high-quality oil and water-based primers for saving different surfaces use in house construction.

The 3954 Zinsser Primer is oil-based, making it suitable with every type of oil-based paint in the world. It is good to know the type of paint you have used or used before purchasing this product.

It comes with smaller sprayer versions and bigger container versions for heavy uses. You will get 13 ounces of primer spray for DIYs and small projects, the quart for moderate application, and 5 gallons of container for heavy application. It gives you the flexibility to choose the best-suited one for your project.

This primer has been formulated to result in white and bright finishing. It produces no yellowish dull texture after drying. As a result, it delivers a shiny and original glossy pattern of the paint without degrading the quality at all.

The most common damages to the painting and surfaces in the regular house are caused by smoke, fire, and water stains. This primer comes with strong adhesion to seal off the gaps and create a tough layer of protection from all these. Therefore, the non-reactive similar base product prevents the coating from all types of external damages permanently.

Many people have trouble with the strong odors of paints and primers. But, this oil-based primer creates no uncomfortable odor or smells. As a result, anyone with smell sensitivity can work with it conveniently.

It is not extremely thick like those of conventional primers. The modern and advanced chemical formulation makes it comparatively thin enough to control the application easily. Besides, the thinner volume of this primer makes it sprayable ass well. Apart from the brand’s sprayer version, you can make your customized sprayer container to apply it without any difficulty.

This is a low-VOC primer specially designed to seal and prevent tough stains in indoor areas with the presence of humans.

The Zinsser 3954 oil-based primer dries only within 30min applications. After 2 hours of settling the primer, the coating becomes ready for fur coating by paints. It adheres to the 2nd layer of paint very strongly to prevent damage from external impacts.

Its chemical formulation makes it cleanable very easily. The common Xylol and mineral spirits or paint removers are good enough to clean the messed-up area while applying.

This primer can withstand temperatures anywhere between 10 to 32 degrees celsius. Therefore, you can apply it on most of the summer days quite easily. Besides, the range is up to 85% which makes it applicable on any regular day.

The 5-gallon version of the Zinsser 3954 has a coverage range of 100 square ft. This high coverage area can help you complete the house project with minimal expenditure and maximum effectiveness.

  • Does not create any yellowish shade
  • No heavy odor or smell
  • Strong adhesion with the surface
  • Compatible with most of the indoor surface
  • Can be cleaned easily
  • Not suitable for extremely humid areas
  • Harmful for human skin

4. Rust-Oleum 272479 Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Plus Spray Primer

Rust-Oleum 272479 Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Plus Spray Primer
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The Bulls Eye series from the Rust-Oleum can be a good option for white lovers. Because this primer delivers a bright white layer of coating to the surfaces. This gives a classic and premium paintable white outlook to the surface.

It is compatible with interior and exterior uses. Therefore, you need not buy separate primers for interior or exterior uses. The chemical formulation of this primer is strong enough to withstand the harsh environmental impacts of the exterior surface.

The advanced formulation makes it compatible with all types of surfaces such as wood, metal, or concrete. If your house has multiple types of surfaces to be painted then this primer can get the job done easily. Moreover, it is also made to serve all purposes. This means, you may or may not paint further after its application. It gives you the flexibility to choose the options.

You can apply it directly on the surface. Because it has a strong adhesion towards any type of surface. It allows covering the stains caused by water, fire, and smoke. And then you can start painting afresh.

On the other hand, this primer can also be applied to any oil-based paint directly. You do not have to peel off or remove the existing painting to apply it. This will save your time and labor of the work.

It has an extremely quick-dry feature. Being exposed to air the coating of primer becomes dried within minutes. And, after only 30 min of application, the coating becomes ready for topcoat for further paint or others.

The quick-drying feature shall allow you to continue and continue your project within a very short amount of time. You need not wait overnight and for 6-7hours to let the primer dry and make the surface ready for coating.

This primer’s spray container has a high output tip for spraying conveniently at any angle. You can spray at any tight spots without any hassle. It does not require much actuation force to be pressed while spraying. Therefore, you can continuously spray without experiencing any type of fatigue at your fingertip.

Its high concentration formula can cover the stains and spots with a single spray only. You do not have to apply it multiple times to fully seal or cover the stains caused by water, smoke or fire, etc.

The 13oz sprayer version is highly suitable for small projects and DIYs. It can also be used to seal or cover up the stains in small areas. Besides, it prevents dripping and spilling to create a mess.

  • Easy application
  • Dries instantly
  • Suitable for small projects
  • Supports all types of surface
  • Easily maneuverable
  • Causes skin irritation
  • Not bio-degradable

5. KILZ Odorless Interior Oil-Base Primer

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KILZ is a famous company renowned for its high-quality finishing products for 40 years. This oil-based primer is suitable for only interior purposes. The metal, wood, and concrete surfaces are compatible with this primer.

It has no lingering odor to create discomfort to the user. Therefore, if you have smell sensitive issue then it can be a perfect option for you.

The advanced chemical formulation of this primer can create tough adhesion to the surfaces. Such as brick, wood, painted metal, glossy surfaces, drywall, paneling, wallpaper, masonry, etc can be coated with this primer. Therefore, considering you have a house with multiple types of surfaces. Then you need only this primer to get the entire job done easily.

It can create a strong base coat ready to be applied with both latex and oil-based paints. This primer coating does not wear off easily. And, it holds the paint very strongly.

You can cover up to 300 square feet of surface area with only one gallon of this primer. This high coverage feature will give you a high-quality coating with minimal expenditure.

The chemical formulation of this product makes it sprayable. Because, of the low concentration and thin viscosity, the primer can be sprayed through any spraying container. As a result, you can use its spraying type ability to complete any DIY or small projects. For bigger projects, you can use a common paintbrush, roller, or airless sprayer machine to get the job done.

Its quick-drying makes it more choosable. The single layer of coating of this primer gets dry only in 30min or less. This makes the area usable in a short time. Moreover, the surface becomes ready for recoating by paint after 2 hours of air drying. Therefore, you need not wait a long time to complete the finishing project.

This advanced primer is designed to block water stains, smoke stains, ink, tannin stains, and grease stains. On the other hand, it can also be used for sealing pet and smoke odors.

The KILZ primer gives a bright and white texture that completely covers all types of stains with a single layer of coating. Its matte white texture can be easily recoated with different colors of paints without any sort of hassle.

  • Can be sprayed or applied by brush
  • Strong coating with an opaque covering
  • Very high coverage area
  • Effective for most types of surface
  • Can seal and hide all types of stains
  • Not suitable for exterior uses
  • Not eco-friendly

Things you should mark while getting the best oil-based primer

Not all primers can be suitable for your use and pain types. That is why you should know these points beforehand before picking the primer for finishing projects.

Type of the base of the Primer

Generally, there are two types of primers available in the market. These are oil-based primers and water-based primers. These have different types of compatibility with the paint types. Oil-based primers are slightly overpriced but give a strong coating. On the other hand, water-based primers are only supported by water-based paints. It can dry fast and are cheaper.

Compatibility with the surface type

Oil-based primers are high;y selective and sensitive toward the surface types. Nowadays, many companies are bringing up primers compatible with all types of surfaces. Such as wood, metal, and concrete. These primers are slightly expensive than those of selective primers. Therefore, the primer should be chosen carefully depending upon the work type and budget as well.

Ability to withstand interior and exterior environment

Many primers are designed for only interior usage only. It cannot withstand the impacts of the exterior atmosphere. But, there are some primers that are formulated to tackle the harsh environmental impacts of the exterior atmosphere.

Quantity of the primer

Depending on the work type and load the quantity of the primer should be picked. Some brands come up with a 5,1 gallon, quart, and sprayer version of the similar primer series. Therefore, you should be getting the quantity depending upon your workload.

If it is a heavy work type then 5 or 1 gallon of primer should be picked because of their high coverage. For DIY and small projects, sprayer versions of the primers can be chosen.

Odor or smell

Many people highly smell sensitive. They cannot tolerate the intense smell of the chemicals used in the primers. Therefore, it is better to elect the odorless versions of the primers.

Stain Coverage ability

High-quality primers can cover up all types of regular stains with a single layer of coatings. Low-quality primers cannot do so. You must pick the primer with guaranteed single-layer stain coverage for the best result.


For a good finishing of a building, good quality primer is a must. For beginners, it can be challenging to pick the best oil-based primer that will sort out their work. That is why it is mandatory to know the ins and outs of the best oil-based primer.

Considering for a small project or DIY work, the sprayer version of primers such as the Rust-Oleum Zinsser 03504, 13 oz can be a good choice overall. On the contrary, for large finishing projects such as painting a newly built house, the KILZ primer should be picked because of its high coverage area at a low price.

About Emon Hawlader

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