Top Recommendation 24 Best Paint Primers For Wood In 2022

Are you planning on having best paint primers for wood for a new painting project in your house and not sure how to get the best out of it? Primers are the answer!

This mega guide answers every question you have on the uses of Primers and what not. Read this review to know more about:

  • What primers are?
  • The different types of primers that are available, and what their benefits are. 
  • The top recommended primers for each category. 
  • A buying guide for you, so that you know how to pick the best primer for your paints project!

So let’s get on with it, and get the best out of your painting project!

What are Paint Primers?

A primer is an undercoat put on surfaces to prepare them for painting. Primers ensure that the coating of paint sticks to the surface properly by increasing its adhesive qualities.

Other than increasing paint durability, primers are loved for their protective qualities. Paint Primers are created to adhere to working surfaces better and work as a binding layer.

Paint Primers are used on a range of surfaces. They are preferred more with porous surfaces like concrete or wood. 

Why Primers?

  • Creates An Even Dinish
  • Improves Final Color
  • Promotes Adhesion To Slick Surfaces
why primers photo -Best Paint Primers For Wood
Why primers photo with answers

Types of Paint Primers For Wood

Primers for wood come in a few different forms. High-quality latex primers, oil-based primers, corrosion-based paints, stain-blocking primers, and bonding primers.

These primers depend on the surface and the type of paint being used. High-Quality Latex Primers and Oil-Based primers are used chiefly on wooden surfaces.

While the other primers are preferred for surfaces like aluminum and other metals. In this article, we will focus on all kinds of wood primers together with their features.

Below we have listed all types of paint primers that are available for wood.

Spray Primer For Wood

  • Clear Primer For Wood
  • Sandable Primer For Wood
  • White Primer Paint For Wood
  • Oil Based Primer For Wood
  • Stain Blocking Primer For Wood
  • Water-Based Primer For Wood
  • Black Primer Paint For Wood

Important Qualities In Paint Primers

Even though a lot of paints claim to be self-primers, it is to be noted that this is highly misleading. A coat of primer is essential if you want to make that coat of paint durable and have an excellent finish.

Let’s check out some of the most crucial qualities of Paint Primers:


Paint Primers are best for their durability qualities. A coat of primers increases paint’s adhesive properties and helps it stick with the wooden surface much better.


Primers have one crucial quality in terms of being used with wood: blocking stains. A fresh coat of primer on the surface of the wood before applying paint can easily hide tannings or burned wood.


This is something that pain or even self-priming paints cannot accomplish. Primer helps to paint on top of previous paint and still gives out a pretty good color change that paint itself can’t provide. 

Perfect Finish

A coat of Primer on a surface helps smoothen out uneven surfaces. This helps to give out a flawless finish on the wooden surface. 

Important Benefits Of Using Primer On Wood

As previously mentioned in the article, Primers help to save you a lot of money. This we can say is the most significant benefit that it brings to the table. The durability of the paint you put on wood easily comes off in regular paint jobs.

However, applying an undercoat of primer ensures that the paint sticks to the surface better and doesn’t come off quickly. Primers also ensure that the coat of paint being applied has a good finish. 

It is essential to ensure that the paint on wood looks professional as it is supposed to add to the interior of your house. An uneven coat of paint can be a sore to the eyes of your guests and you. 

Primers work as an excellent sealant for the wood. They help keep the acid in wood from destroying the paint and restricting the wood tannins from getting exposed to the topcoat. 

If your wood has many stains on it, then primer would be a great way to hide it and achieve a smooth and even surface. Primers also help show the paint’s true color with lesser coats needed. This saves you a lot of money.

What Is The Best Way To Use Paint Primers On Wood?

Applying a good primer coating is important to achieve that smooth and uniform coating of paint. Here is the best way to use paint primer for wood.

Ingredients Required

The Process

Clean the Surface

It is necessary to clean the surface you are about to paint on before applying the primer. Use a cloth to remove all dust particles carefully.

Apply the First Coat of Primer

Thin down the primer and use a brush to gently apply the first coat of the primer to the wood.

Fine-Out the Surface

Next, use fine-grit sandpaper to even out the surface. This helps to make the surface smoother. 

Apply the Second Coat of Primer

Apply a second coat of the primer and then use sandpaper in it again once the primer has dried down. Once the surface has been smoothened, it is ready to apply a fresh coat of paint. 

Choose The Best Primer For Wood From Different Primer Types

You need to know the best primer type for the wooden surface you are to paint on. We will discuss in-depth to highlight all the features, including everything you require to know before choosing the best primer for the job. 

Spray Primer For Wood

Spray Primers come in aerosol form and are said to work better compared to normal primers when going through the nooks and crannies of the wood, making the surface stick to the more easily and providing a durable smoother paint. 

Spray Primers come in 3 different forms usually. The first is Latex Primers. A water-based primer spray compatible with other water-based paints, including acrylic-latex. 

Latex Primers dry faster than other primers—some of which you need to wait hours for to dry out. Oil-based primer sprays help to prevent wood tannins from getting exposed to the paint layer. They are also very durable and very resistant to paint peeling off. 

Lastly, we have shellac-based primer sprays that dry extremely fast, thanks to the shellac included in the composition. Shellac primer sprays are much more compatible with water-based paints as well as oil-based paints. 

Spray primers dry fast and achieve their tasks much quicker compared to other types of primers. Spray primers can reach every corner of a surface, making it more even, something you can’t do with a brushstroke of liquid primer. Also, it doesn’t require sanding, unlike other primers. 

Spray primers are much more expensive compared to other primers in the market.

Below we have listed some of the Top 3 best spray primers for wood.

Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye Spray Primer

Krylon K05131507 ColorMaster Paint + Primer

Tamiya TAM87042 87042 Surface Primer

The video is for using Zinsser Bulls Eye Spray Primer

Clear Primer For Wood

Clear Primers are gaining popularity with each passing day. It is a primer that is clear or transparent. These primers are much more popular on wood as you do not have to deal with white primers that can bring a change to the shade of color you are using to paint on top of the surface. 

Clear primers are also very likable as you are only required to use one coat of paint on top of it and do not need multiple coatings. Paint on a clear primer is the same throughout the surface, meaning you do not need to worry about the great finish you will have. 

Clear primers also work very well in blocking stains and odors from the surface you will paint on. This is your bet if you are looking for a good sealant. 

Clear Primers are stickier than other primers, ensuring that paint sticks pretty well with the surface. Other than that, transparent primers require you to use only one coat of paint on them, saving you a lot of paint and money.

Below we have listed some of the Top 3 best clear primers for wood.

Clear Bonding Primer

DecoArt DS17-9 Dads17-9 Multi Purpose Primer

Shabby Chic Multi Surface

Sandable Primer For Wood 

Sandable Primers are overcoats that give off a nice finish when you sand them using sandpaper. These primers give off a very nice topcoat finish. It helps to fill in all deformities on the wooden surface and can also be used on painted surfaces as well. 

Sandable Primers are very different from regular primers. Regular primers can also be sanded but must put much effort into achieving that. Sandable Primers tend to be much thinner and can easily be sanded to get a much more even finish. 

Easier to sand off compared to regular primers. We need to apply multiple coats to receive the desired effect. 

Below we have listed some of the Top 3 best sandable primers for wood.

Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler

POR-15 High Build Primer

Dupli-Color DAP1689 White General Purpose Sandable Primer

White Primer Paint For Wood 

Even though most primers are white, white primer paints are the most basic form of primers you can find on the market. They work as a filler and help to cover up all kinds of dents and cracks on wood. 

White primers also work well as sealants and allow them to absorb the extra moisture in wood and prevent them from swelling. White Primer Paints also provide a neutral color base for surfaces that already have paint on them and help hide wood tannins. 

This dramatically enables you to bring out the exact color shade you want on the surface when you are painting on it.

A neutral Color base absorbs moisture from the wood as a sealant. It requires sanding for a smoother texture. It also hides wood grains. 

Below we have listed some of the Top 3 best white primers paint for wood.

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

Rust-Oleum 3554 Zinsser High Hide Cover Stain Primer and Sealer

KILZ L211101 Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Latex Primer

Oil Based Primer For Wood

Oil Based Primers work to block the porous surface of the wood. They are allowing the paint to cover the surface much better. Oil-based primers are best used to prevent tannin leakages from wood and exposure on the top surface. 

Oil Based primers are primarily used on bare wood and also increase the longevity of the paint on the surface. Oil-based primers are also great at hiding stains and preventing them from showing off at the top surface. 

Works great to hide stains. Oil-based primers release volatile organic compounds that can harm people around them.

Oil-based primers are very hard to remove from brushes and surfaces they have fallen on. Requires reasonable amounts of thinners to remove the residues. 

Below we have listed some of the best oil-based primers for wood.

Zinsser 03504 Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer

Rust-Oleum Corporation GIDDS-800201 Oil Base Primer

KILZ Odorless Interior Oil-Base Primer

Stain Blocking Primer For Wood 

If you have tough stains on your wooden surface, you certainly need to go for a stain-blocking primer to prevent the stains from bleeding off to the top surface. 

Be it watermarks, tar, markers, smoke, or other marks on the surface of wood, a fresh coat of stain-blocking primer can easily hide the unwanted spots before painting on it. 

These primers also provide better adhesion between hard surfaces and paint. This ensures durability and longevity. 

HIdes unwanted stains on the working surface. No bad odor. Hides wood grains, you cannot get that wooden finish to your surface. 

Below we have listed some of the best stain-blocking primers for wood.

Rust-Oleum 3554 Zinsser High Hide Cover Stain Primer

Rust-Oleum Corporation 03959 Odorless OB Stain Blocker Primer

KILZ 2 Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer

Water Based Primer For Wood 

Water-based primers are much better than other marker primers. They provide a better opacity than the rest and have low VOC content. Water-based primers are popular due to their fast-drying abilities. They are also known as latex primers and are loved for being easily removable from brushes or unwanted surfaces once the job is done. 

Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) content can dry out quickly. It can be removed easily by washing with water. It cannot be used on Cedarwood. 

Below we have listed some of the best water-based primers for wood.

RUST-OLEUM 249019 Bullseye Interior/Exterior Water-Based Quart

Liquid Rubber Multi-Purpose Primer

Primer, Water, 1 qt, Gray, Interior/Exterior

Black Primer Paint For Wood 

If you are planning on using black paint on the surface of wood, then you certainly shouldn’t use white primers or primers that have a white color. White-colored primers prevent the actual black shade from coming out, and the color looks less bright. Black primer paints are a much better option for this and provide the perfect shade of undercoat for the top coat of paint. 

It helps to enhance the ideal dark shadow of the topcoat. It cannot be used with bright colors; it will darken their shade.

Below are the Top 3 best black primers paint for wood.

Custom Shop - Black Epoxy Primer

TotalBoat Rust Primer Converter

SEM 42003 Black High Build Primer

How To Choose The Correct Wood Primer (Buying Guide)

All primers are not created the same. They all have their specific uses and vary in a lot of ways. To choose the correct wood primer, you need to consider a few things beforehand. 

The Shade of Paint

Primers helps to enhance the coat of paint you will use on top of it. To ensure that a perfect shade is obtained. Use a primer that is neutral enough and will complement the color being used on top. 

For example, for brighter paints, it is based on white paint primers, and for dark paints, preferably black paint, you should go for black primers.

Stains on the Wooden Surface

Analyze the surface of the wood you are going to apply the paint on. Does it have any stains? If yes, you will need to get yourself a primer to help hide those stains appearing on the top surface. 

Stain-blocking primers are the best when it comes to this. If the wood isn’t stained, you can go for any regular latex or oil-based primer.

Working Surface

Applying primer on a non-uniform surface, or a working surface with many corners/edges, can be challenging. Traditional primers cannot reach such places. 

Therefore you’d need to choose a primer that can accomplish the task efficiently, for example, a primer spray. If your surface is even, you can go for any regular latex or oil-based primer.

The Paint Type

You must take note of the paint you will use on the working surface. If it is a water-based color, you should also go for a water-based primer.


It is best to check if the primer you are buying doesn’t contain a very high count of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Paints contain a lot of organic compounds in them, and it is very likely that it will release the compounds while it is being used or stored. 

VOCs can be really harmful for the human body and cause a number of serious health implications if you are left exposed to it for a long time. Health implications can be as serious as death and we are not joking! Do make sure that the paint or primer you are going to buy has a low VOC count.

Final Thoughts

Using primers might seem a very trivial matter to many people out there, but those who care about saving money and increasing the durability of the paint then they should not take primers lightly. 

That coat of paint ensures that the interior of your house looks good to the eyes of your guests, so it’s best to make sure that it comes out good. We hope this guide helps you determine the best paint primers for wood that you will need for your next paint job. So get your brushes, wood primer, and paint ready!

Do I have to apply a primer before painting?

Yes, applying a good coat of primer before painting is very important. Primers help increase adhesion between the surface and the paint, making sure the paint is durable.

How long does wood primer take to dry?

The drying rate of a primer depends on the primer being used. Water-based primers dry quickly as well as primer sprays. However, regular oil-based or white paint primers can take up to 4 hours to dry. Stain-blocking primers take around 45 minutes. 

Can I use white paint as a primer?

White paint cannot be used as a primer as it would be thin and won’t work as a great filler. It is best to use a proper primer on the surface. 

Can you use any paint and primer together?

No, there are certain types of primers for the many different forms of paints available in the market. For example, water-based paint bonds best with water-based primers. 

Which type of brush should I use?

The type of brush to apply the primer depends on the type of surface the primer is to be applied on.

How does one apply wood primer? 

Spray primers can just be sprayed on top of the working surface. On the other hand, regular wood primers need to be applied using a brush. Should apply at least two coats of primers before being painted.

Hope you will get everything about best primers for using in your wood!