10 Best Undercoat Paint Reviews and Comparison

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One of the most powerful tools in any pro painter’s arsenal is what goes underneath the paint undercoat. It is an excellent problem-solver that’s less like paint and more like glue. If you are new to painting this term can confuse you. An undercoat is a base layer that is normally used to give a neutral base for you to paint your colour onto. The foremost reason for using an undercoat is to provide an even surface to paint on to, such as to cover a strong base color or a patchy surface, so that it takes fewer coats to cover and does not have an effect on the look of your chosen color.

The undercoat makes the surface even for a smooth application of the topcoat, moreover, it gives the topcoat a richer, more lively appearance. The undercoat provides an additional layer of protection so that no moisture can reach the substrate, it also prevents problems which may occur in the future, such as rust, mould, and rot. Additionally, the undercoat can act as a barrier against damage such as dents, knocks, and scratches.

You can start by identifying the type of primer needed for your project. Make use of oil-based primers for wood, latex based primers for drywall and shellac primer for metal surfaces or for covering water or rust stains. After that, clean the surface you will be priming. Make sure cobwebs or any dust is removed as well as run over the walls with a damp kitchen towel to remove any excess dirt. Make sure to let the walls dry before painting.

With numerous choices available in the market, it might become the most challenging task for you to choose the right one. So to make life easier, 10 best undercoats are listed.

1.     Dulux Trade Undercoat

Dulux Paints is on the on the top in our list for Undercoat paints, speaks for itself. Being a solvent based undercoat, it provides an excellent finish. The manufacturers claim it as the ideal foundation for Dulux Trade High Gloss, fully compliant undercoat for interior and exterior metal and wood. It is appropriate for use on correctly prepared and primed interior and exterior surfaces where a solvent-based, high quality, durable high gloss system is required. It is available in brilliant white color so, can be used under any colour. It provides the best coverage approximately 17 square meters per liter under normal conditions. To achieve the best results with Dulux Trade Undercoat, make sure surfaces to be painted are sound, clean and dry (new surfaces particularly must be fully dry).  Apply 1 coat of Dulux Trade Undercoat, and allow a minimum of 6 to 16 hours for the undercoat to dry before applying the gloss finish.

Key Benefits 
– Best opacity.
– Excellent flow out of brush marks.
– Provides good build and obliteration.
– Retains good cling to sharp edges.
– Can be used to provide surface obliteration over strong colours or poor surfaces.

2.     KILZ General Purpose Interior Latex Primer/Sealer

Having a well-established reputation spanning over four decades, Kilz paint has been in the business of covering up mold, mildew, rust stains, and unfortunate color choices in millions of homes. Kilz is a water-based latex primer and sealer. comes in one-quart, one-gallon, and five-gallon sizes, Kilz is available pre-tinted in white, but it can be tinted to any color of your choice.

Kilz is not meant to be the ultimate finish coat. Its sheen is a dull flat-matte comparable to any other type of primer. The means that Kilz’ sheen is not the smooth, suede-like type of flat finish you may find with a flat interior wall paint. Instead, its chalky finish is intended as a base for other paints. Tinted Kilz is only developed to bring this lower base coat closer to, or even exactly matching, the top finish coat, as a result reducing the number of color coats needed.

Since Kilz is water-based, it has a very slight smell and is comparable to the smell of regular acrylic-latex interior paints. Because of this tolerable smell, Kilz is beneficial to working in even small, enclosed spaces.

Key Benefits 

  • Helps block stains
  • Seals porous surfaces
  • Promotes adhesion
  • Helps block and seal odours
  • Hides previous colours
  • Provides a mildew resistant finish

3.     Rust-Oleum 286258 Primer


Looking for a “silver bullet” primer that can cover everything unwanted? Use the one contractors keep in their vans: Rust-Oleum  Zinsser1-2-3 Primer. As the exclusive, water-based primer-sealer, nothing is better at permanently blocking stains, odors and wood knots. Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 Gray Primer is an all-purpose, high performance, water-based primer for interior and exterior residential, commercial and industrial uses. Apply under rich, dark topcoat colors to improve hide, coverage and get the right color in fewer coats. Dried film is mildew resistant.

Key Benefits 

  • Shellac-base primer-sealer
  • For interior and spot exterior use
  • Greatest stain sealer
  • Seals knots and sap streaks
  • Seals pet, smoke and musty odours
  • Sticks to all surfaces without sanding
  • Lightning fast dry can recoat in 45 minutes

4.     Valspar Bonding Primer-Sealer for Difficult Surfaces


Valspar Bonding Primer is a one-step primer and sealer coat for difficult stubborn or surfaces, both porous and glossy. This primer is exceptionally thick, making it difficult to handle, so use sparingly. Although the product’s thickness is inescapable since most bonding primers rely on thick viscosity to help paint adhere to regular surfaces like drywall and problem surfaces like metal and plastic. Bonding primers are also the way to begin if you have it in mind to paint melamine, tile, or laminate. This bonding primer is thick and will handle more or less any kind of material. Compared to other bonding primers, this product is less expensive than others. It adheres to and seals glossy surfaces without sanding. Moreover a surface preparation, the product is also manufactured to block stains and cover up knot holes in wood. Since it is a latex primer, it washes up with warm water. It can be used on brick, veneer stone, natural stone,  new and old drywall, plaster, painted wood, bare wood, wood paneling, PVC, all types of metal including aluminum, ceramic tile, porcelain tile, glass, and some weathered paint. However this product can cover up many issues on a surface, all mildew must first be completely removed.

Key Benefits 

  • Heavy-duty stain blocker
  • Superior hide
  • Seals glossy surfaces
  • Improves topcoat glide, adhesion and durability
  • Covers and seals wood knots
  • Sandable for smooth finish
  • Tintable for dramatic colour changes
  • Mildew-resistant finish

5.      XIM Sealer Primer Bonder

Intended to cover even tough to paint surfaces, this solvent-based primer provides high-quality adhesion, no need to sand clean and dull surfaces. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications and can be used on fiberglass, plastic, glass, Formica, many metals and plastics and tile. Additionally, it can be used with alkyd or latex topcoats and is formulated so it meets all State and Federal VOC requirements in the U.S. However it’s not suggested for use with lacquers, urethane or some epoxies, it can be used with a variety of other paints.

Key Benefits 

  • Clear Bonding Primer/Sealer
  • Interior or Exterior use
  • Accepts Alkyd Topcoats
  • Recommended for Tough-To-Paint surfaces Glass, Tile, Formica, Metals, as well as many Plastics, Wood and other construction materials

6.     Insel-X Stix Bonding SXA11099

With the capability to bond to just about any surface, this American made product has made space in many painter’s arsenals of supplies. The reason behind it is because it comes in one-gallon cans, it goes on smoothly and leaves a quality durable layer that can be painted over effortlessly. Moreover,  It dries quickly and can be used on wood, polyurethane, fibreglass and other surfaces too. Also, it’s a low-odor, low-VOC product that bonds to hard-to-paint surfaces and dries within 30-minutes and is able to be re-coated in 4-hours approximately. And because it covers around 300-400 square feet per gallon, it’s good for a number of different projects.

Key Benefits 

  • This product adds a great value
  • Approximately covers 400-500 sq. Ft. Per gallon
  • High hiding Acrylic Satin enamel
  • Water-based coating
  • For cabinets, shelving, furniture, window trim
  • Ideal for kitchen and bathroom cabinets
  • Superior adhesion
  • Good for re-coating Formica and countertops

7.     Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primer

Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primers ensure the most excellent possible finish coat adhesion and an appearance by providing the proper foundation for every finish coat. Fresh Start offers a variety of products with the right features for every job. Fresh Start premium primers are available in both latex and oil-based formulations to ensure the best possible results by providing the pro


per foundation for each finish coat. They combine the excellent adhesion and sealing desired in an interior primer with the additional benefits of being low odour and quick drying. Selected from specialty products that solve problems with stains, moisture damage, and other common issues.

Key Benefits 

  • Excellent Adhesion And Sealing For Interior Surfaces
  • Quick Drying
  • Easy Application
  • Low VOC, Low Odor
  • Mildew Resistant

8.     Zinsser Bullseye 1 2 3 All-Purpose

This all-purpose spray-on primer can be used for a huge variety of surfaces, It can be painted over with just about any paint and can be utilized for both indoor and outdoor applications. Furthermore, it can be used on wood, drywall, brick, stucco, and even concrete. It is a user-friendly product and is ideal for spot priming or for smaller-size projects.

Key Benefits

  • water-based, primer-sealer stain blocker and bond coat
  • Sticks to all surfaces for interior and exterior applications
  • Use under or over any oil or water-based paint
  • Tintable to mid-tone and deep-tone colours
  • Hides bright colors and patterns in a single coat
  • Improves hide dark colour topcoats
  • Rust inhibitor can be used to prime ferrous metal

9.     Kilz Complete High-Adhesion

It’s an oil-based primer which not only prepares interior and exterior walls for painting but also acts as a blocking agent for severe stains and a sealer as well. It also provides high-adhesion to just about any surface, which used on plaster, stucco, masonry, and brick and can even be used on aged wood. After drying, it creates a mildew resistant film that can be used underneath either oil or latex-based paints. However, it’s not recommended for flooring, suitable on a variety of walls and goes on smoothly with a roller, sprayer or a brush.

Key Benefits

  • blocking stains
  • sealing porous surfaces
  • promoting adhesion
  • blocking and sealing out odors
  • hiding previous colors
  • providing a mildew-resistant finish

10.         Zinsser Interior/Exterior Sealer-1

This primer is designed to be a high-hide formula that has the ability to cover most stains including nicotine stains, water, and smoke stains, and provide a stable base surface for paint. Also, it’s a good product for using on new construction or for priming small projects. When it’s applied to a surface, it dries quickly and provides a nice undercoat for oil, water-based or latex paints. Moreover, it can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces and is easy-to-sand once it’s dry. No matter if it’s used as a primer, stain blocker or sealer, it’s a product that’s extremely to be useful to any painter.

Key Benefits

  • Tintable to all pastel, mid-tone and deep-tone shades
  • Interior and exterior
  • Sticks to all surfaces without sanding
  • Seals water, smoke and nicotine stains
  • Our best exterior wood sealer
  • Blocks cedar and redwood bleed
  • Touch dry in 35 minutes
  • Recoatable in 2 hours

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