Top 10 Best Primer To Cover Drywall Imperfections - Buyer's Guide

Drywall imperfections no matter how small they are can be really irritating. Who doesn’t like perfectly smooth and beautifully finished painted walls? But if you have kids or live in areas with too much moisture you are bound to get drywall dents, dings or imperfections. Some of the imperfections are also due to bad drywall installations or paint jobs.

If you are looking for the best primer to cover drywall imperfections then look no further because here we are reviewing the best primer so that you can get rid of annoying and irritating drywall imperfections.

Best Primer To Cover Drywall Imperfections

Before moving further, let us tell you that we have been reviewing different products for a while, for example, "Best Washing Machine For Cloth Diapers". You can also check our Buyer's Guide for more reviews like that.


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Introduction

A primer is key to creating a perfect surface for your final coat. Primer can cover any imperfections in your drywall, which is important if you are trying to get a perfect, smooth finish for your walls. You can choose from a variety of primers, depending on what you are looking for. For example, you can find latex primers, water-based primers, and oil-based primers.

Some people may think that paint will cover up imperfections in the drywall or plaster, but they will be disappointed to find out that they need a primer. In order to get the paint to last longer and give a smooth finish, a primer is a must. Paint alone will chafe and peel in a matter of weeks. The wall will have a lot of little holes and imperfections for the paint to pull from.

So without any further ado, let's get started with the review of the best primer to cover drywall imperfections that are currently available on the market for you to buy.

Best Primer To Cover Drywall Imperfections

As there are multiple options available you can easily get overwhelmed and choose the wrong one. But don’t worry we have got you covered. Following are the Top 10 best primers to cover drywall imperfections available in the market with all their features and specifications.

1. Rust-Oleum 276087 Mold Killing Primer

Rust-Oleum 276087 Mold Killing Primer

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Features

  •   Paint Type: Watercolor
  •   Surface Recommendation: Metal, non-porous surfaces 
  •   Color: White 
  •   Usage: Interior/Exterior
  •   Special Feature: Mold-killing

If you are allergic to mold and fungi growth and find them growing in nooks and corners of your houses, the Rust-Oleum 276087 Mold Killing Primer must be your no 1 choice.

They are specially designed to kill mold, mildew, moss, fungi, and odor-causing bacteria and resist their growth for a long time. This is due to the presence of an EPA registered antimicrobial component. 

Other than this special quality, these primers can work and adhere to some of the most difficult non-porous interior and exterior surfaces like metal, doors, chalky siding, masonry, etc

These primers also have a very less drying time of 30 min and are ready for recoating, making the whole process quick and efficient. As the primer is a water-based formula, it doesn’t require sanding after drying and can be simply cleaned by a soap and water mixture. 

The coverage of the primer is also good i.e. 160 sq ft with requiring two to three recoats. As the areas where fungi and molds grow are usually low ventilated areas thus these primers are also formulated to be odorless and produce less toxic fumes while working.

They also cover the stains of previous growth considerably but may require more coats as they are thinner inconsistency. Thus it is the best drywall primer for imperfections caused by molds and mildews.

Pros

  • Effective in killing molds/mildews
  • Less time for drying
  • Low odor

Cons

  • Old cans tend to solidify
  • Thin coverage
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2. Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye 1-2-3 All Surface Primer

Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye 1-2-3 All Surface Primer

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Features

  • Paint Type: Water-Based, Acrylic
  • Surface Recommendation: Tile, Metal
  • Color: White
  • Usage : Interior/Exterior
  • Finish Type: Matte

They are also water-based primer thus are easy to clean up and doesn’t require sanding after drying.

The primer is specially formulated to be good in adhering to all surfaces including the difficult ones like concrete, wood, masonry, metal, and glossy surfaces. This makes them the best bonding primer for exterior and interior use.    

The primer’s drying time is 35 minutes which is also quite less and can be recoated after an hour. Thus, the whole renovating process will not take too much time and can be finished quickly.

It gives a smooth result and prevents peeling, blistering, and mildew growth for a long time. The coverage area of the primer is 87-112 sq. ft. per quart which is less than the previous one but the features this primer provides are far more. 

These primers are mostly used in exterior difficult surfaces thus have a potent odor and require safety equipment such as mask and ventilation to not cause any damage. 

This best primer to cover drywall imperfections has an amazing stain-blocking quality and is much thicker inconsistency. This means that it requires fewer recoats to cover the imperfections. The primer's life can also be increased by mixing it with any oil or latex topcoat.

All in all, as the name indicates Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye 1-2-3 All Surface Primer is a bull’s eye to perfection and the best drywall primer for imperfections.               

Pros

  • Multi surfaces adherence
  • No sanding is required
  • Easy to use
  • Fewer recoats required
  • Holds up exceptionally well

Cons

  • Potent fumes
  • Can’t use it as a filling

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3. Zinsser 2300 Problem Surface Sealer

Zinsser 2300 Problem Surface Sealer

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Features

  • Paint Type: Water Based, Acrylic
  • Surface Recommendation: Porous surfaces including drywall, cement, plaster, spackling, stucco, uncoated wallpapers 
  • Color: Clear 
  • Usage: Interior
  • Special Feature: ‎sealer 
  • Finish Type: Matte

The Zinsser 2300 Problem Surface Sealer is a very good water-based product that can be used to cover drywall imperfections and makes difficult substances into flat, hard, and ready-to-paint surfaces. Like all other water-based primers, it can be easily clean and does not require the hassle of sanding. Thus, saving a lot of time and hard work.

The primer works excellent on porous surfaces and does an amazing job in covering scratches after tearing wallpapers. It has a sealing formula that penetrates quickly in the pores of surfaces and sticks to them nicely. This results in smooth finish walls which can be readily painted or textured. 

With a drying time of 30 minutes, the primer can be recoated after 3 hours. The whole process takes less time as compared to some others.

The primer is also odorless and can be easily used in non-ventilated areas, without causing any damage. This in turn saves money for buying extra safety equipment and conserving time as well.

The coverage of the primer is 2250sqft which is also very adequate and thus is a very budget-friendly primer.  The finished primer turns into a clear coating and results in a hard and flat wall ready for topcoat. All in all, it is the best primer to cover cracks and many drywall imperfections.

Pros

  • Odorless
  • Good surface area coverage
  • Budget-friendly
  • Quick-drying time.

Cons

  • Not good for spots
  • Not for preventing molds
  • Not good for the exterior.


4. INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer

INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer

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Features

  • Paint Type: Enamel, Acrylic
  • Surface Recommendation: Walls, Wood, Ceramic, Vinyl
  • Color: White
  • Usage : Interior/Exterior
  • Finish Type: Matte

The INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer is one of the best interior primers with multi-surface adherence quality

In order to achieve the best results, the surfaces like ceramic tiles, glossy Surfaces, PVC plastic should be sanded or scuffed first. The primer is then applied using a soft bristle brush for even and smooth coverage.

Stix primer is an ideal primer to be used on non-ferrous metals and surfaces where the temperature would present a problem. This works amazingly in as low as 35° where conventional primers may not work.

The coverage of this best primer to cover drywall imperfections is also very good with 300-400 sq ft per gallon. This is quite adequate as compared to some of the other best primers available in the market.

As it is also a water-based primer it doesn’t require sanding after drying but can be easily cleaned using soap and water. However, the drying time is considerably more as compared to others as the consistency is quite thick. It may take up to 2-3 hrs for recoating but once dried forms an extremely hard film.

Thus, it is the best bonding primer for the most challenging surfaces and results in a long-lasting smooth finish.

Pros

  • Good for difficult surfaces
  • Does not require sanding 
  • Good coverage area
  • Can cure in low temperature

Cons

  • Long drying time
  • Can peel if touched before curing

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5. KILZ Restoration L200201 Primer

KILZ Restoration L200201 Primer

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Features

  • Paint Type: Oil
  • Surface Recommendation: Drywall 
  • Color: White
  • Usage: Interior
  • Special Feature: Stain-resistant, Odor-blocking
  • Finish Type: Matte

KILZ Restoration L200201 Primer is a water-based primer but is designed to work as an oil-based product. It not only works as a primer but also acts as a good sealer and stain blocker. Thus, it is the best drywall primer for imperfections ranging from minor to major ones.                         

The primer works as an amazing stain covering product. It can hide many forms of tough stains including medium to heavy water damage, rust, smoke, nicotine, grease, tannin, pet stains, and more.

As a primer to interior surfaces, it works wonders with a topcoat of latex or oil-based paints. It is used on properly prepared surfaces, such as brick, ceramic tile, drywall, glass, masonry, painted metal, plaster, stucco, and wood. The surfaces should be cleaned and scraped off before applying the primer. 

The Coverage area is approximately 300-400 sq ft/gallon which is great. As it is a water-based primer it can be easily cleaned with soap and water after drying to get a smooth and flat finish for repainting. But the oil-based sheen is seen after it dries completely.

As it is also a good sealer it seals off the odors of smoke, fire, nicotine, food, and pets resulting in refreshing interiors.

It gets dry to the touch in 30 minutes and is ready to recoat in 1 hour. Thus it is not only the best high build primer for new drywall but also acts as the best sealer and stain covering agent.     

Pros

  • Best stain blocking agent
  • Good odor blocker
  • Less drying time

Cons

  • Requires clean and prepared surfaces before applying. 
  • Has a bad smell.


6. Sheetrock 544822 First Coat Primer

Sheetrock 544822 First Coat Primer

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Features

  • Drying time: 30 minutes
  • Works as a primer and sealer.
  • Color: Off-white.
  • Recommended surfaces: Plaster, Concrete, Painted Surfaces, New Drywall
  • Finish: Matt

Sheetrock 544822 First Coat Primer is an excellent sealer and can be mixed with wall and ceiling sprays to minimize the difference in the surface textures.

Often the gypsum panel face paper and the finished joint compound cause a difference in surface texture which are quite noticeable after applying oil topcoats. The drywall imperfections caused by the differences between the porosities and surface textures can be easily fixed by this primer. 

The primer also enhances the hardness, bond, and whiteness of the topcoats. It dries to a white finish in less than 30 minutes and prepares the wall for topcoats in less time. Thus it is highly effective and economical.

With a low odor and sealing qualities, it can be easily used in areas with less ventilation like bathrooms, basements, etc. In order to get the best out of this primer, always use the best quality of paints available in the market.

The coverage area of this best primer to cover drywall imperfections is 180-200 sqft approximately. As they are used mainly in joint areas thus they can cover many rooms and large areas. 

All of these qualities make it an excellent thick primer to hide imperfections caused by joints and different textures.

Pros

  • Used as a sealer and primer.
  • Ensures the paint lay on evenly.
  • Effortless to use.
  • Less odor

Cons

  • Costly

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7. MAD DOG 210560 MDPDB100 Primer

MAD DOG 210560 MDPDB100 Primer

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Features

  • Base material: Water
  • Color: Light grey
  • Usage : Interior/Exterior
  • Stain clean up: Soap and Water
  • Recommended Surface type: Drywall/Wood/Masonry/Metal/Other substrates

MAD DOG 210560 MDPDB100 Primer is one of the best primers for rust and cracks filling. It is a breathable formula that can extend and contract with the temperature and thus prevents the further occurrence of cracks.  

The primer is used for Interior/Exterior surfaces to get smooth walls and bridges. It is an excellent sealer and readily covers Seams, Cracks, Flashings, Fasteners, and Drains.

Its best feature is that it permanently resists the peeling of paint and cracking surfaces in the future. This increases the lifespan of top paints for up to 20 years.

The High build formula can dry to touch in 10 min and can adhere to any surface. But they are temperature sensitive and if the weather conditions are too much humid they may take longer to dry.

It can be directly applied to rust, mold, and mildews and resist their occurrence in the future. But areas that are prone to water are not fit for them as it is not water-resistant. 

As a Sealer, it can cover stains from water, smoke, ink, pencil, grease, etc., and provide a glossy finish. Thus it is the best high build primer for new drywall as well as the old ones with imperfections.

Pros

  • Outstanding durability
  • Increases the life span of topcoat
  • Resist peeling of paint for many years
  • Clean easily with soap and water
  • Super low VOC
  • Provides shine to topcoat
  • Low odor

Cons

  • Weather dependent 
  • It May take up to 5 days to recoat the top paint
  • Not for use on floors, decks, and walking surfaces
  • Not water resistant 
  • Takes longer drying time 


8. KILZ Odorless Interior Oil-Base Primer

KILZ Odorless Interior Oil-Base Primer

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Features

  • Paint type: Oil
  • Surface recommendation: Drywall, furniture, paneling, wallpaper, masonry, brick, and painted metal
  • Usage: Interior
  • Finish: Gloss 
  • Special feature: Stain-resistant, Odor-blocking, Low-odor

This best primer to cover drywall imperfections is an all-rounder. It has the qualities of an amazing low odor primer, outstanding sealer, and excellent stain blocker. 

As a low odor primer, it is fit to be used in low ventilated interior surfaces without causing health hazards. Even the low smell during painting gets quickly dispersed after drying. 

As a stain blocker, it can cover many types of stains like water, smoke, tannin, ink, pencil, marker, and grease. This is due to the fact that it is an oil-based formula. This also helps in preventing future occurrence of water stains.

As an oil-based primer, it needs sanding after drying to get a smooth and flat finish. The KILZ Odorless Interior Oil-Base Primer acts as an amazing sealing agent and can mask odors of pet and smoke, resulting in refreshing interiors and exteriors.

Before applying the primers coat you should always prepare the surface properly by sanding and dusting to get a smooth finish. The surfaces should be free from any dust, mold, and mildews for better results. The primer can then be easily applied on a variety of surfaces like brick, painted metal, glossy surfaces, drywall, paneling, wallpaper, masonry, plaster, and wood.

The primer can cover approximately 300 sqft/ gallon which is good enough for apartments, offices, and shops. KILZ Odorless also has a low drying time of 30 minutes and can be ready for recoating in an hour. 

KILZ Odorless creates an excellent flat and smooth surface for recoating by latex or oil-based paint. This is the best high build primer for new drywall as well as covering imperfections.                  

Pros

  • Covers difficult stains 
  • Seals odors of pet, nicotine, and smoke 
  • The color is very subtle
  • No lingering odor

Cons

  • Not for flooring 
  • Cannot be used on mold and mildews
  • The surface needs to be prepared before the application of primer.

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9. Rust-Oleum 249729 Smart Prime Primer

Rust-Oleum 249729 Smart Prime Primer

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Features

  • Paint type: Oil
  • Surface recommendation: Wood, Plaster, Concrete, Gloss Enamels, Hardboard, and Glass
  • Color: White
  • Usage : Interior/exterior
  • Special feature: Water stain resistant
  • Finish: Smooth

It is a highly advanced formula available in the market. From LEED certification to zero VOC, it has everything. The Zinsser smart prime is a next-generation water-based primer that is equipped with the performance of an oil-based primer. Hence it can be easily coated with oil or latex paints and will a finish like no one else. 

The primer is usually used for professional and commercial applications and has a smooth finish. Thus they are highly durable and can be used on many interior or exterior surfaces.

Smart Prime is an amazing stain-blocking primer and can provide good coverage to many drywall imperfections. It can easily cover water stains as well as other difficult stains. This is due to the oil-based quality which blocks the water stains from reoccurring.

The power of fast-drying makes it exceptional and quick to use. With just 30 minutes to dry and 2 hr to cure the job can be finished in no time with much ease.

The most amazing feature of this primer is its “zero VOC”. This indicates that Rust-Oleum 249729 Smart Prime Primer is fit to be used in any indoor area where there is no ventilation. Zero VOC means that the primer produces no volatile fumes that can cause allergic reactions or sinus problems to sensitive people or infants. 

Thus the convenience, exceptional results, and smooth finish make it the best paint to hide drywall imperfections in any indoor or outdoor surface.

Pros

  • Odorless 
  • Zero VOC
  • LEED certification

Cons

  • Can be very thick
  • May require more recoats for stains.

 

10. Zinsser 260925 Peel Stop Triple Thick Primer

Zinsser 260925 Peel Stop Triple Thick Primer

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Features

  • Paint type: Watercolor
  • Surface recommendation: Wood, metal, concrete
  • Color: White
  • Usage: Interior/exterior
  • Special feature: Peeling blockage
  • Finish: Smooth

Zinsser 260925 Peel Stop Triple Thick Primer is the best for using inside your house. It can be easily used by amateurs for their in-house renovations. 

The primer can be applied directly on the peeling walls and does not require any preparations beforehand. Thus it is the best interior primer.  This high-performance primer has a low-VOC and thus can be used in low ventilated areas. 

The drying time is also very low i.e. 30 min and is ready for recoating in 2hrs. The coverage is 12-50sqft which is not much as compared to others but for in house small repairs, it is considerable enough.

The water-based primer works as an excellent binding agent that prevents future peeling of the treated walls. The weathered surfaces are transformed into smooth and flat walls with a white finish that is fit for the further topcoat It also works wonders in preventing topcoats from flaking, scraping, or scratching.

As a sealer, this best primer to cover drywall imperfections can easily adhere to any difficult surface making them easy to finish and work. thus further finishing and painting can be easily done.

The primer is amazing in covering many imperfections like mold, water damage. It can also work as an excellent odor-blocking primer and can mask the odors of smoke, nicotine. All in all, it is the best bonding primer available in the market.

Pros

  • Good sealer
  • best peeler blockage
  • Good odor blocker
  • Low drying time
  • Good for amateurs

Cons

  • Low coverage area

Guide to find Best Primer To Cover Drywall Imperfections

There are three things to consider before actually buying the best primer to cover drywall imperfections.

1. Quantity

How much primer is needed to cover the imperfection is the most important factor before buying. It won't be a smart choice if you keep rushing back to purchase an extra amount because you run out of primer. Thus you must work out how much primer is needed beforehand. In order to find out the quantity, you should consider the following

  • Measure the area you want to cover. Ideally, one gallon covers 200ft². 
  • Find out how much recoating you’ll need.

2. Budget

Some high-quality primers are very costly. So while shopping for the best primer for drywall watch out for the budget you have.

3. Moisture Resistant

If the drywall imperfection is in your bathroom, kitchen, or areas with moisture and water, the primer must be moisture resistant. This makes sure that the paint remains intact on the walls even after water seepage. The moisture-resistant feature of the primer thus increases the life span and finish of your paint and results in fewer drywall imperfections.  

4. Mildew Resistant

Drywall imperfections are not always just scratches and bubbles. They can also be the growth of molds, mildew, or fungi on your walls due to moisture in the surroundings. These can be really fatal and harmful for people who are allergic to spores or small infants. Thus you should choose primers with a mold-resistant feature in them. 

There are some areas where mold or fungi growth is a common occurrence. If you live in these areas then select such primers with mildew resistance features. These primers will allow less absorption of water vapors thus resisting their growth. 

5. Stain Blocking

If the imperfection of your drywall is staining you should consider primers that have a stain-blocking feature.

6. All-purpose or Specialized

Depending on the type of wall there are primers available in the market. The surfaces to which the primers are specific are mentioned on the package. Thus you should search whether you want a specialized primer or an all-purpose one that will be good enough.

7. Primer Color

Primers usually come in white or beige colors. But if you want a specific shade to match the paint colors, there are different options available. It depends upon the shade of drywall. If the shade is light color then you can select the white and beige primer and the final paint color of the wall will be flawless. But if you already have darker shade drywall then light shade primer will cause more imperfections on the final result.

8. Quality

As the market is overwhelmed by different quality primers, you should choose them wisely. Cheap primers may be under budget but may not be good in the finish. thus always looking for the best quality primer in the market.

9. Base Material

The base materials of the primer can be different e.g. water-base, oil base, latex base, and shellac base material. Different base material provides different result in finishing. You choose any primer base according to your liking.

10. Thickness

The thickness of the primer is also very important. a thick primer is used to fill in holes, bubbles, and gaps. While the thinner primer is usually used to fill cracks. Thus depending upon the imperfections, choose the primers wisely. 

How to Fix Drywall Imperfections

An Imperfection of the drywall can be tiny cracks, holes, bubbles, scratches, ridges, dents, or molds. All of these can be fixed by various methods. Some of them are as follows

Primer

Primers are coatings that help to cover some minor imperfections such as cracks, ridges, small holes, etc. They usually require a second coat of paint or any other texture over them to give the final smooth finish. However, they don’t cover the major dents and holes of your walls.

Drywall texturing

Another method to cover the drywall imperfection is to finish your wall with textures. There are multiple options available in the market for texturing your wall using different paints. You can also do some DIY textures using simple paints and utensils. The texture makes it harder to find the imperfection and gives a good finish.

Skim coating

Skim coating is also an option to cover your drywall imperfections. They are a thin layer of joint compound that makes the wall smooth and give a perfect finish. Skim coating also requires a second coat of paint or texture to give the best results.

Use Matte or dark color paint

The imperfections are visible more on light color paints. This is because they reflect lights against them. By using matt or dark color paints, the reflection of light is reduced and thus results in less visibility of drywall imperfections.

Color washing

Color washing uses two colors to create an illusion. The two colors will reflect light in different angles and thus mask the drywall imperfection very well. This technique is widely used now a day and gives a very modern finish to your wall.


Conclusion

It is important to cover drywall imperfections before reapplying any paint or texture to the walls. For people who want to renovate their newly bought house or fix damaged drywalls of their current home, primers are their best friends. The walls that are prepared with primers have a smoother finish and resist imperfections longer than without primer walls.

In this article, you can find the best primer to cover drywall imperfections under your budget. As the primers discussed are all different with different qualities, you should choose the one that best fits your requirement.

To buy the best drywall primer for imperfections, you should consider the following features

  • Product Specifications
  • Their drying time
  • The imperfection you want to cover
  • The quality of the primer
  • Its thickness
  • The quantity of the primer required
  • Budget 

FAQs

When to use primers?

The drywall imperfections can be minor or major. Depending upon the size and type of imperfections you can find out what type of fixing method you can choose. If the imperfections are very big, they will require more filling, and skim coating is the best for it. Whereas, minor imperfections can be fixed easily by using good quality primers. 

How to hide drywall imperfections with paint?

You can easily hide the drywall imperfections with the paints if you follow the below instructions.

  • First, clean the surface by using a microfiber cloth/ sandpaper or any cleaner. 
  • Then, apply the primer via a roller or brush. 
  • After that, wait for the primer to dry completely. it may require another coat of primer to completely cover the imperfections. You can recoat until the wall is smooth and flat. 
  • The oil-based primers get hard after drying and may require sanding to get a smooth finish.
  • Apply the paint of your choice upon the prepared drywall.

Will primer hide drywall imperfections?

Yes, it depends upon the thickness of the primer. Usually, the thicker the Primer, the better the results. With a thick primer, you can cover holes, caps, and the bubbles messing with your drywall.

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