There is an endless supply of specialty primers that can be found for any specific application that you may need. If you start buying specific primers for each project that you are working on you will not only spend a lot of money but also have a ton of leftover primer that will be laying around and often won't get used again. You can streamline these primers down into just a few that will work for almost all of your DIY projects. This will make it easier on your wallet and free up space on that already too crowded paint shelf in the basement or garage. This post will show you which primers are the most versatile and will fit your need for almost any job.
1. Zinsser BULLS-EYE 1-2-3 Water Based Primer
Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 is a great all purpose primer that does a lot of things really well. It is economical and readily available at both big box stores and paint retailers. If you could only keep one primer on your paint shelf waiting for the next project this would be the one. Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 will be your workhorse primer for most DIY painting projects for the reasons noted below.
2. Zinsser COVER STAIN Oil Based Primer
Cover Stain Oil Based Primer is also a good multi purpose primer that does many of the same things well as Bulls-Eye 1-2-3. Even in this age of improved water based primers sometimes you just need to use oil based primers. If you have smoke or fire damage that needs to be sealed this is the product for you. Water stains that are extensive and heavy will be sealed out better with this primer than a water based version. Metal that has more than just minor surface rust will benefit from using an oil primer to help hold out the rust. The draw back to Cover Stain Oil Based Primer is you will need thinner to clean up and the smell associated with it. Below are some of the benefits this primer can provide.
3. Zinsser Gardz Problem Surface Sealer
Gardz Primer is mainly used for problem surfaces that include damaged drywall or plaster. So if you remove wallcovering or somehow damage your walls to the point that you see a brown surface under the drywall paper you need to seal this up before patching or painting. If you use a typical primer and patch over this it will bubble in the future. The correct procedure is to apply Gardz on the bare drywall surface, patch, prime the entire surface and then paint. Gardz Primer has other benefits you will see below.