5 Best Primers For Covering Red Paint [Tested] [2023]

A fresh coat of paint can give your room an instant makeover. But, like every good thing, it requires preparation.

Unless you prime your walls before painting them, the chances are that the older red color and stains (if any) will be visible from underneath. And to prevent that, you need to apply a quality layer of primer, which would also prevent your walls from getting damaged from moisture and mildew. 

But finding the perfect primer for your walls is easier said than done. While buying one, you will be surprised by hundreds of options that might leave you confused. So, to help you, we have curated this guide with the top 5 primers that you can use to cover red walls. 

Now, without much delay, let’s dive right in!

Best Primers For Covering Red Paint

Background of roofing iron covered with red paint

Here is the list of the 5 best primers for covering red paint that can help you quickly and effectively cover up any red paint and create a smooth, even finish.

1. Rust-Oleum 286258 – Best for Industrial-Grade Coverage

Rust-Oleum is a well-trusted brand when it comes to paints, and the 286258 Primer, is excellent in covering red paint. This industrial-grade primer is a great choice for both residential and commercial properties. You can use it on any surface, and it will deliver amazing results.

Zinsser 286258 Bulls Eye 1-2-3 All Surface Primer, Quart, Gray
  • Interior/Exterior use on new or previously painted...
  • Water-based formula seals uniformly and will stick...

Why Did We Like It?

The first thing to catch our attention was the viscosity of the paint and how effectively it puts a layer on the red paint. The thick grey color effectively covers the red paint so that you can easily change it to a color of your choice. 

Additionally, the coverage that this primer provides is nothing short of incredible. Each pack provides you with 100 square feet of coverage and dries up within 30 minutes, cutting down on work time when you have to apply multiple coats.

Moreover, you do not have to restrict yourself to using it only to cover red paint. If you want to hide a stubborn stain on the walls, this can be a great choice. Besides, you won’t be required to apply a top coat separately as the coverage is sufficient to hide the stains and practically any existing color.

What Could’ve Been Better?

This product is impressive when it comes to performance. However, the manufacturer should pay a little more attention to the packaging. When we received the can, we noticed that it was dented, and we were worried that it might start leaking anytime. 

  • High-quality coverage
  • Good stain coverage
  • Dries up fast
  • Long-lasting consistency
  • Poor packaging
Dimensions: ‎4.25″ x 4.25″ x 4.88″ | Volume/Net Weight: 932ml | Finish Type: ‎Gloss | Drying Time: 30 Minutes (To touch) | Coverage: 100sq ft

2. Rust-Oleum 285140 – Best for Ultra Matte Finish

If you like chalky matte finished primers, you should give the Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint a try. It will rejuvenate your home décor like nothing else and you can use it on any surface, be it metal, ceramic, or glass. Plus, it’s available in a variety of colors that you can choose from.

Rust-Oleum 1 qt Brands 285140 Linen White Chalked Ultra Matte Paint,...
  • Use on a variety of interior surfaces like wood,...
  • Low-odor, latex formula allows for easy clean up...

Why Did We Like It?

When it comes to convenience, this primer is second to none! Firstly, it dries within 30 minutes and enables you to complete your projects in a short time span. You can apply 2-3 coats at an interval of 30 minutes to completely hide the red paint underneath. 

Also, as we have mentioned before, it dries to a premium-quality matte finish. However, the finish does not make your wall look dry and dull. Rather, the coat makes it velvety smooth and prevents the wall from staining easily.

Moreover, the consistency of the primer is such that it glides over the wall easily without users having to put much strain. And there is hardly any odor that would deter you from taking up the project. 

Finally, its latex-based formula means you can rest assured that you won’t have a hard time cleaning it from the wall.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Although removing the primer from the walls won’t need much effort, it will be a challenging task to remove it from your skin if you get stained during priming. You might even have to use a paint thinner to remove the stain from your hands, so make sure to wear gloves.

  • Easy to remove from walls
  • Simple application
  • Fast drying
  • Smooth finish
  • Difficult to remove
Dimensions: ‎4.25″ x 4.25″ x 5″ | Volume/Net Weight: 887ml | Finish Type: Matte | Drying Time: 30 Minutes (To touch) | Coverage: 150sq ft

3. KILZ L573711 – Best for Porch & Patio Protection

For our next entry, we have the KILZ  L573711 interior/exterior enamel porch & patio latex floor paint which is a highly durable and long-lasting option. This acrylic-latex primer can be used for both indoor and outdoor purposes and will help you prevent water-based damage.

KILZ Low-Lustre Enamel Porch & Patio Latex Floor Paint,...
  • PORCH & PATIO PAINT: KILZ Porch and Patio Floor...
  • ADVANCED FORMULA: This Acrylic paint offers a...

Why Did We Like It?

This item is made explicitly for patios and porches and provides them with high-quality coverage. It prevents your floors from getting damaged or cracked from regular use. And as the surface gets more smooth after priming, it gets easier to clean it as well. 

Also, if you like the soft luster of acrylic enamel paints, this is an excellent choice. It provides a great finish and safely protects your patio and exterior walls from weather-based damage. So, even if your walls are painted before, there’s nothing to worry about. You can always apply a fresh layer of primer to provide a makeover to your room.

Additionally, you do not have to restrict yourself from using it just on walls. You can even apply it on wooden surfaces or glass according to your requirements. This primer as you can see is indeed a jack of all trades!

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only issue that we faced with the item is that it is a bit more costly than its contemporaries. You might need to consider this if you are on a budget. But for the performance it delivers, we have to say that it is worth the price.

  • Protects floors
  • Prevents water-damage
  • Can be applied on different surfaces
  • Simple cleaning process
  • A bit expensive
Dimensions: ‎6.63″ x 6.63″ x 7.65″ | Volume/Net Weight: ‎128fl oz | Finish Type: Matte | Drying Time: 1 Hour (To touch) | Coverage: 200 – 300sq ft

4. INSL-X SXA11009A-01

Next, we have the INSL-X SXA11009A-01 stix acrylic waterborne bonding primer, which is well-liked by users all across the globe. This bonding primer delivers exceptional results even when used on the most challenging surfaces. 

Keep reading to know what more it has to offer.

INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer, 1 Gallon,...
  • Premium-quality, acrylic-urethane bonding...
  • Bonding primer for drywall, plaster, ceiling,...

Why Did We Like It?

The first thing that we noticed about this product is the kind of coverage that it offers. Coating a glossy surface is quite a challenging task, but this primer does it impeccably. And rest assured that this coating is completely water-resistant. So, it hardly faces any wear and tear. 

Furthermore, the quality of this primer is quite impressive. It bonds well on any surface, and thus the versatility that it puts on the table is excellent. You just need to read the label carefully to understand how to apply it well. 

Additionally, you can apply it on interior and exterior surfaces equally well. You can use it for residential and business purposes equally. It dries to the touch within 30 minutes and completely dries up within 24 hours. The area you paint will be completely free of moisture and will not catch mold anytime soon. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

There’s hardly any complaint that we have with how well the item performs. However, we noticed that it is comparatively more costly than the other products that are available out there. So, if you are on a budget, you should keep this factor in mind. 

  • Provides great coverage
  • Does not get damaged by moisture
  • Exceptional quality
  • Good for interior and exterior use
  • Relatively costly
Dimensions: 8.75″ x 8.75″ x 9.13″ | Volume/Net Weight: ‎128fl oz | Finish Type: Flat | Drying Time: 30 Minutes (To touch) | Coverage: ‎300 – 400sq ft

5. KILZ Restoration ‎L200201

The KILZ Restoration ‎L200201 interior latex primer is best known for its incredible odor and stain-blocking feature. You can use it to block grease, smoke, and rust stains and also prevent water damage. Put a layer of this primer and finish it with a topcoat paint for the ultimate results.

KILZ L200201 Restoration Maximum Stain and Odor Blocking Interior...
  • ADVANCED FORMULA: The innovative modified acrylic...

Why Did We Like It?

What requires a special mention is how well it covers the stains on your walls. It can cover stubborn stains like permanent markers, graffiti, and even tea stains. This primer will provide great coverage and won’t show from under your topcoat. 

And the best thing is that it helps prevent heavy water damage. If there are severe water stains on your walls and ceiling, this can be a great way to fix it. But make sure that you have to remove any existing mildew or mold before putting the primer. 

Moreover, the unique thing about this product is that it helps to seal all forms of bad odor. It can block the severe smell of food, smoke, and even of pet skin. You can even use it on your floors before carpeting to block pet odor. Now, that’s what we call versatility!

What Could’ve Been Better?

Despite showing brilliant results, we do have one complaint about the product. Their customer support team requires some improvement. We had some doubts, and we reached out to them for help, and it took them weeks to respond. 

  • Efficient in covering stains
  • Long-lasting
  • Helps protect water-damage
  • Blocks odor
  • Poor customer service
Dimensions: 7.2″ x 7.2″ x 7.8″ | Volume/Net Weight: ‎128fl oz | Finish Type: Matte | Drying Time: 30 Minutes (To touch) | Coverage: ‎300 – 400sq ft

Best Primer For Covering Red Paint Comparison Table

Product Dimensions Volume/Net Weight Finish Type Drying Time Coverage
Rust-Oleum 286258 ‎4.25″ x 4.25″ x 4.88″ 932ml ‎Gloss 30 Minutes (To touch) 100sq ft
Rust-Oleum 285140 ‎4.25″ x 4.25″ x 5″ 887ml Matte 30 Minutes (To touch) 150sq ft
KILZ L573711 ‎6.63″ x 6.63″ x 7.65″ ‎128fl oz Matte 1 Hour (To touch) 200 – 300sq ft
INSL-X SXA11009A-01 8.75″ x 8.75″ x 9.13″ ‎128fl oz Flat 30 Minutes (To touch) ‎300 – 400sq ft
KILZ Restoration ‎L200201 7.2″ x 7.2″ x 7.8″ ‎128fl oz Matte 30 Minutes (To touch) ‎300 – 400sq ft
Closeup of hand with paint brush painting building exterior wall. Painting house plinth outside. Home renovation

Buying Guide For The Best Primer For Covering Red Paint

After knowing about our recommendations in detail, were you able to decide which one to purchase? We know that it is not so easy, and you might still have some doubts. Knowing just about the brands and their primers is not sufficient to make a good choice until you consider a few other crucial factors. 

And in this section, we will take you through some of those factors. So, let’s dive right in.

Primer Type

The primers that are available on the market mainly come in 2 forms: spray and liquid. The liquid primers mostly come in tin cans, while the others are stored in spray cans. There’s no major difference as both the variants get the job done.

However, if you are new to using primers, we would suggest that you use a spray and not a liquid primer. It is a lot easier to apply, and you would not require any added accessories like a paintbrush or a roller.

But if you need a lot of primers, spraying might not be the best option. The amount of primer in it is relatively a lot less than what you get when you buy liquid primers. So, naturally, the coverage is also lesser when compared to the liquid options. 

Odor And Stain Resistance

In case you notice that there are stones on your walls or a peculiar smell emanating from them, it is best to purchase a primer that can hide both. Some of the items that we have mentioned on this list are great at handling both issues. 

In case you skip the priming step and head directly to the painting part, chances are that the smell and the stains will eventually reappear. 

Drying Time

Most of the items that you will find on this list have a quick drying time. This helps you apply as many recoats as you want in a small time span. The more coats, the better you can cover your red walls. 

You should keep in mind that the primers that dry up quicker are relatively more costly. However, there’s no doubt it is a great feature and cuts down the time you would have to spend on a project. 

Indoor Or Outdoor Use

If you do not need to work on massive outdoor projects, you can skip buying heavy-duty primers. Unless you are priming a difficult surface, it does not make sense to spend all that money. You can easily buy a budget primer and get the work done.

Some primers are versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors, but not all. So, you need to understand the usage and get your hands on the best option accordingly. If you want to keep your options open, it is best to get a multi-purpose one. 

Finishing Color

As you might have already noticed by now, the primers are available in a variety of colors. You should choose the ones that suit your requirement the best. For example, if you have to cover a red wall, it is ideal to go for a grey or white primer. 

There are always some neutral shades that you can consider to cover stubborn stains. In case you are confused about which color would be a perfect fit for your walls, it is best to talk to a painter. 


You need to take the primer coverage well into consideration before you decide on which one to buy. 

We would recommend that you calculate the area in square feet before buying a primer. It would help you understand how much primer you would need to get the walls coated. The amount of area a primer covers is mentioned clearly in the labels of the packages.

In case you still have some problem understanding, talk to the seller who can shed more light on it. Also, watch some tutorial videos on the internet to understand how you can use primers more efficiently to enhance coverage. 

This would help to make a correct estimate of the primer that you would require and also help you prevent wastage. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes some primers better than others for covering red paint?

Primers that have a high hiding power and strong bonding ability are the ones that are best suited for covering red paint.

They should also be able to mask the color of the surface being primed effectively.

Can water-based primers be used for covering red paint?

es. However, it is essential to choose a high-quality water-based primer with good hiding power to achieve an optimal result.

How long should I wait before applying paint after priming a red surface?

The drying time for primers varies depending on the type of primer used.

Therefore, it is vital to check the manufacturer’s instructions to know the recommended drying time before applying paint.

What is the recommended number of coats of primer I should apply on a red surface?

It is generally recommended to apply two coats of primer to achieve optimal results, especially if the surface being primed was previously painted with red paint.

Is it necessary to sand a red surface before applying a primer?

Yes. Sanding the surface before priming will help remove any imperfections and debris, and create a more even surface for the primer to adhere.

What is the recommended sequence of application for primers and paints?

The recommended sequence is to first apply the primer, allow it to dry completely, sand the surface if necessary, and then apply paint.

Girl paint with a brush black metal. Paints the roof. Selective focus


That’s all we have for you today!

We hope that you had a great time going through the top 5 products we mentioned. And we hope that it guides you well to help get your hands on the best one. 

But before saying goodbye, we would like to let you in on our favorites. The Rust-Oleum 286258 primer takes the award for being our favorite overall. And if you are looking for a product that is easy to clean and provides excellent coverage, you can give the Rust-Oleum 285140 ultra matte interior chalked paint a try.

Let us know about your favorites in the comments section below. And keep a watch on this space for more exciting reads.

Until next time, fare thee well!

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