Kilz 1g Kwikstart Wall Prmr

Kilz 1g Kwikstart Wall Prmr

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Kilz - Prime for stains and smells - Paint it right!

Jul 29, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Kilz works. Covers stains and odors. Holds up.

Cons:Strong product. Read and follow the safety precautions.

The Bottom Line: If you have a tough paint job - stains or smells - then undercoat with Kilz primer. Your work will look better and last longer.


My house was built in the 1950s. It’s sturdy stick built, but it’s got some mileage.

One of the problem areas is the ceiling. At one point, the living room area got some rain damage. When the new roof was being put on, a summer shower popped up and also stained the bathroom ceiling. Water rings on the old white ceiling tiles are pretty noticeable. Replacing the tiles would involve full rooms—not just the small problem areas. It would be an expensive job. I’ll probably take care of that some day. For now, I use Kilz primer and some elbow grease.

Kilz is a general purpose paint primer. It bonds to the surface and makes the paint stick on better at the most basic. Kilz goes beyond that though. It’s designed to cover stains and other problems like dark paint or wall art. It also covers smoke damage—again coloration in terms of the main problem. It also takes care of odors—smoke, pet, other house smells. In other words, it gives you a fresh start.

It does seem like a lot of work to prime and then paint. It’s tempting to take the easy road and just paint. But, especially if you have any coloration or odor problems, the results are much better with a Kilz undercoat. The new paint job looks better and lasts better, so it’s worth the extra effort.

If you’ve never primed before, then be aware that the prime product is much thinner than paint. It feels almost like water and is very drippy. This is especially bothersome when priming overhead. You really need to use drapes to catch the drips, and you can’t put much primer on the brush or roller at one time. Old clothes and a head cover are also a good idea unless you like to be polka dotted.

The prime coat looks pretty streaky, since the product is thin. It’s not meant to be a top coat, and it doesn’t look like one. It looks rather messy, in fact, until you get the paint on. You may be feeling like you’re wasting your time and making a huge mess the first time you use Kilz. It doesn’t even really look like it’s covering everything though it’s fine unless you have a really messy area. In very rare cases, a second coat might be needed, but I can go one coat even over the water stains on the ceiling and get good results.

Kilz has a strong smell while it’s going on. You need to make sure some windows are open. A fan is also a good idea. This is especially important when working close the ceiling where the fumes gather heavily. If you start to feel light headed, then take a break. This is a strong product. No getting around that. I’d suggest reading the can and following the directions. They’re very clear about the strength of the product and have the warnings there for all to see.

I’d rather use a milder product and probably would in a new house. With an older home and problem areas, this is really the only product that does the job and does it right. I just respect the primer and make sure I’m careful. I take my time. I get the primer on and then wait a few days to paint over. The company actually suggests waiting 2 weeks between priming and painting though I don’t usually manage to hold out that long with that streaky look. I give it a few days and then paint as usual. The areas look good, and I don’t have to use Kilz and paint again for a long time. Areas where I’ve skimped and painted without Kilz need attention sooner. So, I’m using Kilz more often now. Painting is a big job no matter how you cut it. I like the results with Kilz, and I like buying an extra year or two on a dull and taxing job.



Recommend this product? Yes

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