best odor blocking primer

Best Odor Blocking Primer Reviews and Buying Guide 2024

A prep coat of primer can prevent peeling and improve adhesion of the topcoat. Check out this article to find the best odor blocking primer on the market.

But what makes a quality primer? And which are the best odor killing primers on the market?

Read on to learn more!

Best Odor Killing Primer Buying Guide

Some essential qualities in the best odor block primer you should consider are as follows:


There are several types of primers for you to choose from, including water-based, oil-based, and shellac-based.

Water-based primers are all-purpose products that are suitable for both outdoor and indoor applications. They have little to no VOC and are easy to clean. Nonetheless, they cannot compare to oil-based or shellac-based primers regarding the efficiency when dealing with stubborn stains.

Meanwhile, oil-based, also known as alkyd primers, are a good option for a wide array of interior and exterior surfaces. Oil-based sealers work like a charm against odors and stains, especially water-based ink stains. They are also highly recommended for porous surfaces such as wood.

Shellac-based primers are generally applied indoors. They can handle damage and odors from fire, smoke best, etc. Most products we recommend today are shellac-based. But on the negative side, they are expensive and difficult to clean.


We highly advise that you use a prime with high adhesiveness to prevent peeling off the paint or even your walls in worse cases. Note that different primers adhere better to certain surfaces.

For example, oil-based primers can help seal the porous surface of bare wood, but they are not recommended for drywall. With glossy surfaces, bonding primers are a must. Meanwhile, metal should go with a rust-resistant oil-based primer well. Do not forget that oil-based primers tend to produce more volatile organic compounds – VOCs compared to latex primers.


One of the most important features when choosing primers/ sealers is the stain coverage capabilities. Simply put, a good primer must be able to hide the stains well. Cheaply made paints may give a thin application, which let the stain show through the coat after a while.

Dry Time

The best primers should dry fast so that you do not need to wait for too long before painting over them. In general, latex primers are the quickest to dry, whereas oil-based products take up to three hours before they can be recoated with paint. Keep in mind that although some products are advertised with a drying time of 30 minutes to one hour, this is not entirely true. Even excellent primers need up to 40 hours to dry off completely.


You want to buy primers to hide the odors, but what if the primers smell worse? That is a serious problem with most primers on the market since they emit a strong and nasty odor. Fortunately, there are low scent primers that you can consider, but they may be more expensive. Also, make sure your room is well ventilated to let the smell go off more quickly.

Best Odor Blocking Primer Reviews 

Rust-Oleum Corporation 01008 – Best For Concrete Floor

Best Odor Blocking Primer Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

Are you searching for an all-around primer that covers everything unwanted to leave your walls spotless? This Zinsser Rust-Oleum shellac-base primer is at your fingertips. It works to block stains as well as kill existing odor from pets and smoke permanently.

The best thing about this primer is probably how flexible it is. To be specific, it can stick and hide stains on virtually all surfaces, from sheetrock to wood. And as mentioned above, it is the best primer for concrete floors. Its coverage is perfect, just one application is all that you need.

Another reason why the Zinsser Rust-Oleum 01008 is widely loved must be the quick drying time. It dries really fast, which takes only 45 minutes before you can recoat.

On the negative side, this primer is designed with a narrow spray. If you are not careful, you may waste much paint, and extra sanding is needed.


  • Effective shellac-based primer
  • Great adhesion to all surfaces
  • Fast dry (45 minutes)


  • Narrow spray

Rust-Oleum Corporation 271009

Best Odor Blocking Primer Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

This is another odor killing primer by Zinsser. Like the previous product, this primer is synthetic shellac-based. It combines stain-blocking capability, low odor, and fast drying time in a single unit.

As a high hiding bright white primer, the Rust-Oleum 271009 is often used to cover white ceiling water stains. Of course, you can use it for other types of surfaces too. For any projects that need more than an average water-based primer, this Zinsser is the go-to option. It applies smoothly with low odor and helps the topcoat adhere to the surfaces firmly.

There are hardly any complaints on this primer’s performance, except for a few feedback that you need to apply many coats to hide the stains completely. This may depend on how stubborn the stain is.


  • Low odor shellac-based primer
  • High hiding bright white
  • Fast drying time


  • May need several coats

Zinsser 00904 B-I-N Pigmented

Best Odor Blocking Primer Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

Coming from the same brand as the Rust-Oleum 01008 and 271009, the 00904 model is also a shellac-based primer and sealer. It adheres well to most surfaces and can hide even the toughest stains.

What sets this pigmented primer apart from the competition is its consistency, much like thick milk. When you apply it on the walls, the paint rolls on smoothly and sticks well.

Since the shellac is suspended in alcohol that evaporates quickly, you can expect the primer to dry fast. The alcohol smell will wear off once the primer dries to the touch.

Most negative feedback is related to the fact that the primers arrived dented and damaged. If you encounter this problem, feel free to contact the manufacturer for a replacement or a refund.


  • Shellac-based primer and sealer
  • Great consistency like thick milk
  • Quick to dry off


  • Products arrive damaged sometimes

KILZ Restoration Primer/Sealer – Best For Mildew

Best Odor Blocking Primer Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

Is there any primer that can deal with mildew? Yes, and it is right here for you to discover- The KILZ restoration primer/sealer. It is considered as the best against mildew product.

This primer is actually water-based, but it is formulated with new technology to perform exactly like an oil-based product. You can expect it to tackle stubborn stains, including medium to heavy water damage, nicotine, grease, pencil, pet stains, and many more.

Note that you need to use the primer on properly prepared interior surfaces to ensure effectiveness. Some typical surfaces are brick, glass, drywall, ceramic tile, plaster, stucco, and wood.

The KILZ primer once again proves its strength when it comes to blocking odors. It contains odor-sealing ingredients to seal out medium to severe odors, namely smoke, food, and pet odors.

For added appeal, this primer dries to touch within 30 minutes and to recoat in about an hour.


  • Best primer for mildew
  • Strong odor-sealing ingredients
  • Fast drying time


  • Extra coats needed

KILZ Original Multi-Surface Primer – Best Odor Blocking Primer Rated

Best Odor Blocking Primer Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

Let’s get back to the reason why you are here in the first place. It is because you want to know the best odor block primers, right? This KILZ oil-based primer is exactly what you are searching for. 

It is rated the best product for blocking bad odors. Also, it is able to handle most stains, including tannin, ink, pencil, grease, water, and smoke. You can use this versatile primer on all interior surfaces, for example, painted metal, masonry, brick, plaster, as well as properly prepared glossy surfaces.

KILZ tries to reduce the VOC amount in this product. To be specific, it contains only 344 g/L VOC compared with 443 g/L of KILZ Original.

Once again, the main complaints are about the leaking issues. Fortunately, the manufacturer does offer a replacement or refund with all fees covered.


  • Best odor block primers
  • Effective against tough stains
  • Great versatility on most surfaces


  • Leaking issues on arrival

Zinsser Series 307648 QT – Best For Subfloor, Wood Floors

Best Odor Blocking Primer Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

Last but not least, we would like to recommend the 307648 model in the Zinsser series. It is an ideal primer for all painted and unpainted interior surfaces, including cabinets, PVC, drywall, masonry, and most notably, subfloors and wood floors.

Thanks to the advanced formula, this primer can eliminate stubborn existing odors from pets (including urine).

As for coverage, the Zinsser primer can cover up to 100 square feet. On top of that, the product fully dries in 25 minutes and recoats within only 45 minutes.

Note that this one sticks best to glossy finishes, for example, ceramic or glass.


  • Best for subfloor and wood floors
  • Advanced odor killing formula
  • Lightning-fast dry


  • Lumpy

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Does Zinsser odor killing primer work?

A: Yes, of course. Zinsser is known to manufacture several excellent odor killing primers that will kill odors from pets, tobacco, urine, etc. As long as you use the primers properly, they guarantee to stop the bad smells for you.

Q: Does KILZ primer kill odors?

A: Like Zinsser, KILZ primers work to seal out odors from many sources such as fire, smoke, food, and pets. But keep it in mind that KILZ primers have a pretty strong smell.

Q: Which is better, KILZ or Zinsser?

A: There are many controversies over this question. Many say KILZ primers are more capable of odor killing, while others believe Zinsser is the better one. But in a test, when applied to two different walls in the same space, the Zinsser primer offers better coverage, while the Original KILZ allows more bleed-through. You should notice this when comparing these two primers.

Q: Is Primer smell harmful?

A: Standard paint fumes often contain VOCs. Exposure to VOCs can cause skin irritation while smelling it may make you feel nausea and dizzy. That is why you need to take precautions when painting indoors, even if your house has a good ventilation system. Do not risk your health by sleeping in a freshly painted room.

Fortunately, many natural primers that use citrus oil, chalk, linseed oil instead of petrochemical ingredients. The amount of VOCs in these primers are low, so you can be more confident when using them to paint the house.

Q: How long does it take for oil primer to stop smelling?

A: Generally, the oil primer will stop smelling after about 3 to 4 days, depending on the ventilation system of your house. To speed up the process, make sure that your home is well ventilated for the paint to dry up. Until the smell completely dissipates, you may need to avoid this area to minimize negative health effects.

Q: When can I paint over Zinsser Mold killing primer?

A: According to the manual, the Zinsser mold killing primer can be recoated in about one hour. You should apply the topcoat within 72 hours of application for optimal protection. Full adhesion of the primer will develop in a week.

The Bottom Line

Primers and paints always go hand in hand. If you want a beautiful coat of paint, you need a good primer. Hopefully, after reading this article, you are able to choose the best odor block primer for yourself. It should offer high adhesiveness, great stain coverage, and fast drying time.

Thank you for reading!

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