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Kilz vs Others

I am having to paint my upstairs. The house was built in the 50's and has wood strips on the walls and ceiling. I am wanting to paint them to brighten the room. The wood is stained but there is not a glossy cover on it. I am trying to see the difference between Kilz, Zinnser, BM or SW, etc. I am planning on using an oil base sealer with a latex BM top coat.

I recently used some Behr paint in my bedroom and had to subsequently use chemical stripper to get it off because it was peeling like sunburn skin. I found out that Kilz and Behr are made by the same parent company...

Any advice on what to use would be helpful.


A. Spruce
Re: Kilz vs Others

The original Kilz works pretty good. It is messy because it's an oil base sealer/primer. Kilz 2 is the latex version and IMHO doesn't work too well, you're better off going with either the original or a different brand.

Zinnser makes some great primers. The blue label works well on most surfaces, but if you've got some stubborn stains or odors, then you want the red label which is a pigmented shellac (alcohol clean-up, btw ). Zinnser is what I use most of the time. It's a great product, easy clean up, low odor, handles well.

Not familiar with BM or SW brands of primers. The KM dealer recommended Zinsser primers over their own brand as being nearly identical with the Zinsser being cheaper.

I am not and have never been a fan of Behr products, IMHO, they just don't work as well as other brands. On the "cheap" side of things, Valspar paints always worked well for me. On the professional side, I've mostly used KM brand because they are close to me and have been the most knowledgeable and helpful. I've used a good amount of SW paint as well, good stuff, the store in my location isn't that great on service or knowledge. I've used most other name brands, though not often.

In my experience, name brand dealers generally provide better quality products and knowledge than the average big box or mega-store, Ordjen, who will likely be posting soon, is an exception to this last comment.

Re: Kilz vs Others


Spruce and I share a great appreciation for BIN sealer. I too always had it at the ready in my work truck. It has incredible adhesion, is unparalleled in sealing a surface in one coat and seals stains and odors superbly. Other then that, it is s crappy sealer! :)

I sprayed many a 1970's darkly paneled family room using BIN to cover the dark wood. It dries for re-coating within an hour. By the time I had cleaned my HVLP sprayer, it was ready to be re-coated with oil enamel, leaving an almost factory like finish with minimal paint build-up to obscure the wood's texture.

Kilz2 is a decent "one size fits all" primer if there are no particular problems anticipated, i.e. water stains, very slick existing paint, etc. For adhesion BIN is best. The Gripper by Glidden also has very good adhesion. Behr's Enamel Undercoater #75 is also good for adhesion. The Gripper and Behr's #75 are water based. I have personally tested all three on various surfaces and BIN is the overall best performer!

The original Kilz has a really obnoxious odor. There is now a low odor version, at several dollars more per gallon, but worth the cost if you have to use oil. BIN too has a strong odor, but it is basically that of alcohol. Its odor dissipates rapidly.

You can top coat with any quality latex or oil paint. Just make sure you are not buying the "contractors" line. All the major manufacturers make a range of paint from cheapo to very good paint. The sales people at your local paint store can advise you as to what your options are. Painting with cheap paint is "pennywise and pound foolish"! During my contracting years, Benjamin Moore was my primary brand, but frankly, it's top lines are somewhat over priced.

Re: Kilz vs Others

Zinzer is the best I have found.Several years ago I got on this site with a kitchen paint disaster from new paint peeling and stains showing.My friend and I stripped all the new paint of with single edge razor blades.I forgot the name of the person on this site but he recommended red label Zinnzer and it worked like a charm.I did not use oil base the latex gloss rolled on the doors gave me a terrific finish without being to shinny.

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