Best Oil Based Exterior Primer

Best oil based exterior primer. Nothing beats the look of a freshly painted wall. Even a room that was once drab and uninteresting can be transformed when you apply a fresh coat of paint.

Add primer to your next paint project to make the color go on smoother and adhere better, creating a beautiful final product that lasts longer.

Many people try using different brands of primers, but not all primers are created equal! Some brands work well while others fail miserably, leaving you frustrated because it costs so much money to buy something that doesn’t work if you’re not careful.

We want you to have a great experience every time you shop for primers online and learn about what makes a good primer so that our reviews teach you what you need to know to find the type of primer that will complement your style.

Check out our buyer’s guide below, which details everything you need to know when choosing oil-based primers this year – and in the following years.

8 Best Oil Based Exterior Primer

1. KILZ Interior Oil-Based Primer

kilz interior oil-based primer

KILZ 10902 Interior Oil-Based Primer is quite old, but it has provided excellent paint primer coverage for a long time. It’s a classic brand that gets the job done.

It doesn’t only cover stains with ease (even on the damaged wall), but it also blocks any potential odor coming from water damage, so your final coat of paint will look great and smell good.

This best oil based exterior primer covers all types of wall surfaces, including brick, masonry, and even metal ones, without struggling with any of them.

Its key advantage is that you get a full day or two to dry the primer completely or paint over it without touching it since, unlike some other primers, this one isn’t toxic at all!

However, strong fumes are generated when you’re using this product, so strive to work in well-aerated locations until no more chemicals are released into the air!

2. Weatherall Exterior Oil Based Primer

weatherall exterior oil based primer

Actual Value HP208-QT Exterior Oil Based Primer is an excellent oil-based primer designed to withstand being used outdoors.

Any paint or paint-like product that you use outdoors should be able to hold up against moisture and also deal with the sun’s damaging rays, and this brand delivers as promised.

It also works well on raw basement floors which is uncommon among primers. Plus, it helps your paint maintain a consistent color suitable for situations where there is damage, even if it wasn’t your fault!

However, this best oil based exterior primer may not work well with all consumers because of its relatively high price compared to other brands on the market.

While it works very well, it may not meet every consumer’s needs when it comes to price.

3. Diamond Brite Oil Base Primer

diamond brite oil base primer

This affordable primer is available in five-gallon containers and can cover a variety of jobs. It can be brushed, rolled, or sprayed on and has a good coverage area of 300 square feet.

The six-to-eight-hour drying time is pretty good but not the best in its price range. We were disappointed with the durable finish; it did not hold up well and started losing its gloss within a few weeks after being applied.

Aside from this, it scratches very easily from only light contact and flakes or peels in areas where there was poor adhesion to the surface.

Ultimately we can only recommend this as an affordable basic primer compared to other products that performed better overall and had higher marks for durability.

4. Rust-Oleum Primer Spray Paint

rust-oleum primer spray paint

The Rust-Oleum 7528383 professional primer spray paint is cheaper than others. However, considering that one can provide just 14 square feet of coverage, you will quickly realize it’s not such a bargain.

The spray can make application quick and easy. The rust protection provided by this primer is adequate. We followed the instructions and evenly coated our surface before waiting several hours.

Unfortunately, the paint didn’t seem to tack up at all. Days later, it was only starting to reach a drying stage. This was a big drawback, in our opinion.

Because although the surface dried without problems, resurfacing wouldn’t be possible without sanding through entirely first. This would mean more work down the line and costs too!

The paint did not smooth out once dried: instead, it gummed up our sandpaper, damaging the finish further. Some areas even cracked when drying was complete.

5. Zinsser Cover Stain

zinsser cover stain

Zinsser 03401315 oil-based primer is known to dry quickly, making it the ideal oil-based primer for interior use.

We recommend Zinzer 03504 Cover Stain for indoor oil-based priming applications because this product also functions as an exterior oil-based primer because of its stain blocking formula.

Although most commonly used on bare wood, this product is also a strong choice for previously painted surfaces; be sure to prep the area accordingly before using it to adhere to your Zinsser oil-based primer-sealer adequately.

Compared to other Zinssers or even other brands’ oil-based primers, this best oil based exterior primer cover stain dries within an hour, allowing you to finish with a topcoat or another coat of paint within the same day.

One gallon of cover color goes over 300 square feet of wood or other surfaces, making it an economical solution in both time and material cost – a signature feature among all Zinzers.

6. Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls

rust-oleum zinsser bulls

This one is more compact and only covers 12 square feet versus the 300 square feet covered in a regular can. It is still a top product you should use for touch-ups or smaller projects like intricate furniture.

The formula will stick to anything from glossy surfaces to porous wood. You can still apply other paints to your project with this spray primer.

But we recommend going with an oil-based paint instead since it works best with this formula because of how quickly it dries up at around 30 minutes.

You will not need to sand after applying this either-even if you’re repainting over a previously coated surface, as it will work on those well.

7. Kilz Multi-Surface Oil Based Primer

kilz multi-surface oil based primer

A primer is a fast-drying paint used to seal in stains and base surfaces before you apply an exclusive paint.

It dries within minutes, helps your new paint stick better to existing walls, and prevents the newly-painted surface from being affected by rusting or spalling.

You use less primer in one go than paint because it goes further on a per-surface basis, making it cost-effective and time-efficient.

While many primers are oil-based, we also have water-based alternatives, which tend to be recommended for environments such as bathrooms where a higher humidity can be an issue.

The good news is that primers now come in every color under the rainbow, so even if you’re going for something outside of the options often preferred for walls (like black, for example), there are many modern options to make your project stand out.

8. Diamond Primer Paint Grey

best oil based exterior primer in 2022

This primer formula is one of the best budget options available in stores. It can be bought in large quantities like five gallons, making it ideal for varying-sized projects.

This primer can be applied using a painting brush, roller, or even sprayer. Once dried, you’ll get up to 300 sq ft/gal in coverage!

In terms of application properties, this best oil based exterior primer tends to have a slightly longer dry time of 6 hrs or more and doesn’t demonstrate excellent durability.

By applying this formula, your paint will shed and come off on the slightest touch, which makes it an unsatisfactory option for many painters out there.


What is the recommended number of coats of primer?

The number of coats of paint you’ll need to apply depends on a few different factors, including the nature of your base material and what it is you’re hoping to achieve.

More will always be more when it comes to certain aspects, such as durability. So if you’re trying to protect surfaces from stains or odor, for example, multi-layered paints give better results than single layers.

Additionally, the shade can impact how many coats should be used, too: Dark colors tend to bleed through lighter ones.

So, if this is your desired effect, by all means, apply multiple layers! But in general, one layer of primer should suffice for most oil-based paints.

What are the Benefits Of Oil-Based Primers?

While water-based primers are easy to use and clean up, oil-based primers have real value in the painting world. Oil-based primers are used for both oil and water-based paints.

They are effective when working on metal surfaces and steel, too. If you feel that it has stains or want to prevent future stains, oil-based primers are the go-to material to use.

They are known for the cover-up ability of imperfections. Using an oil primer might require more clean-up than water-based paint, but it’s not as bad as people say.

The benefits usually far outweigh the extra time this takes. Overall, oil-based primers tend to be the most long-lasting formulations available.

If you are painting an area that receives excessive touching or use, such as windows, cabinets, and doors, you will want to start with an oil-based primer.

What Makes An Oil-Based Primer Good For Exteriors?

Painting can be pretty confusing as there are many options one has to choose from. Many people agree that oil-based primers are the best option for an exterior surface.

One reason is that they take longer to dry, so the primer will have time to penetrate and fill the small cracks in the wood beneath it.

However, suppose you need to paint on bare wood and want a color from your palette that’s not stained easily or will still show through drier primers.

You should use a latex-based primer instead, for it actually ‘soaks up’ the pigment better than other options when applied to fresh wood.

When painting with stain-resistant paints, makes sure that you use an oil-based primer first, as this will provide a deeper sealant where it’s needed most!

And don’t forget to sand your wood before applying any paint, regardless of their differences; otherwise, your exterior surface may be vulnerable to weathering by showing what’s underneath.

Are oil-based primers better than water-based primers?

The most important thing you need when tackling a paint project is the proper supplies. For example, using oil-based paint will require an oil-based primer and possibly an extra step for sealing your finished product.

The main difference between oil and water-based primers is that oil-based products have a bit of a longer drying process because they are thicker than their water counterparts and, therefore, more challenging to get good coverage within one coat.

This can be overcome by waiting longer before adding additional coats. On the other hand, if you opt for water-base primer only, your paint job may not last as long as it would with an oil-base sealer! Another thing you should note is the smell factor.

Oil-based paints can give off fumes that can cause nausea or dizziness, so it’s critical to use them in well-ventilated areas or make sure there’s no wind where you are doing your painting.


Best oil based exterior primer. Getting ready to paint anything can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re looking to prepare your surface so that its paint will adhere better. We’ve compiled a list of the top 8 oil-based primers based on the best sellers for one’s convenience.

We’ve done this double duty by including a comprehensive guide alongside reviews so that you can get the most out of your projects, and we also hope to provide some valuable insight so that anyone looking for help in making an informed decision may find it here. So without further ado, choose any primer from our list and make something beautiful.

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