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Best Primer for Pressure-Treated Wood Reviews You Should Know

Many have been asking what could be the best primer for pressure-treated wood, for there are a lot of products available out there, but it’s best to know what products are effective, so as not to cost much money and time. So here are the best primers you could use, and are certainly effective Primers for pressure-treated wood.

Knowing Pressure-treated Wood and Your Primers

Pressure-treated wood is a type of wood that is fortified with chemical preservatives to help protect the wood from rot and insects. A depressurized tank holds the wood inside, removes the air in the material, and replaces or infuses the wood with a preservative.

Even if the wood is already treated to enhance its durability, though weathering and corrosion is inevitable, and even treated wood should be properly prepared and painted.

Primers help prepare the wood or any surface for better paint adhesion, to prolong its durability, and keep it from being worn due to environmental interference, including molds, mildew, pests, and corrosion.

Since pressure-treated wood is mostly used outdoors, or in parts where there’s high humidity, the wood should be sealed to make it more durable, and endure the factors for the wood to rot.

Apart from that, the natural appearance of pressure-treated wood may not be as appealing to your preference, so it will come down to getting your wood painted, so your wood has to be primed, and picking the right primer can be a little tricky sometimes. Since there are a lot of products available out there, and one of the most frequently-asked questions is, what type of primer is the best for pressure-treated wood?

Latex-based primer is said to be the most suitable one to use for priming your pressure-treated wood, why? Because you’d need a light-weight, quick-drying, flexible, and durable to make the paint/topcoats to last. Oil-based primers are brittle and tend to make the paint or the primer prone to peeling and cracking, and this type of primer can protect and keep your paint last longer.

There are thousands of primers available for you to use, but we dug deeper in search of the best primers that you could use for your wood project; to help you save time and money not to undergo the ‘trial and error’ with other products. These primers were carefully selected to suit your needs, and give you best results.

Top 5 Best Primers for Pressure-Treated Wood Reviews

1. KILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer

61P9+5kA ZL. AC SL1500

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KILZ Premium Primer has taken the number 1 spot on the list due to its amazing stain-blocking, and excellent adhesion to most interior and exterior surfaces. KILZ have low VOCs or ‘Volatile Organic Compound’, these are carbon-containing substances (like paints, coatings, and cleaning products) that become vapors or gases — so this primer doesn’t dry out easily when not in use. Products that have high VOCs tend to dry/turn to gas easily, leaving you with an empty can/bottle of paint even when not in use.

KILZ Premium Primer is a water-based formula that offers an amazingly smooth consistency that leaves your wood evenly sealed. It has a mildewcide protection feature to prevent mildew and mold from growing on the surface which destroys the surface. A one-quart can of KILZ Premium covers approximately 300-400 sq. ft. per gallon, and dries to touch in 1-2 hours, in a bright, flat/matte smooth finish, and this primer not only works on pressure-treated wood, but also works best on other surfaces like exterior drywall, plaster, paneling, brick, masonry, and more.


  • Water-based
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent Adhesion
  • Versatile (can be applied on most surface)
  • Smooth Finish
  • Great coverage
  • With mildewcide protection
  • Low odor, and zero VOCs


  • None

It is said that latex primers work best for pressure-treated wood, and this KILZ premium offers exactly what you want for your treated wood. It’s water-based, so it provides quick-drying, easy-to-clean, odorless, and mildewcide features. It’s easy and smooth to apply, since the viscosity of the formula is lightweight compared with the usual primers.

Many have loved the high-hide stain blocking feature this primer provides, as it covers unwanted stains and even previously painted surfaces, making the surface look new and smooth.

2. Rust-Oleum 207014 Marine Wood and Fiberglass Primer

Rust Oleum 207014 Marine Fiberglass Primer

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Next one on the list is the Rust-Oleum Marine Wood and Fiberglass Primer. If you want a primer that has a smooth, glossy finish and not a matte one, this primer might be the one you’re looking for.

Rust-Oleum primer is ideal for wood or fiberglass surfaces above the waterline, has a thicker consistency but does very well when it comes to coverage – it’s a good use as a base coat for better adhesion of topcoats, it’s durable and has a corrosion-resistant feature, which makes a longer-lasting finish.

You can apply this primer even on a previously painted surface and will still give you an even, smooth, and elegantly glossy finish, and has a quick-drying formula, as it dries to the touch in one hour; a quart of this primer could cover a surface of up to 100 sq. ft. 


  • Ideal for most surfaces
  • Better adhesion for topcoats
  • Quick-drying
  • Durable, corrosion-resistant primer
  • Longer-lasting, smooth finish
  • Enhances the vibrancy of topcoats


  • Not for surfaces below waterline
  • Thick consistency

Many have entrusted their fiberglass boats and decks with this Rust-Oleum 207014 Marine wood and Fiberglass primer. This primer offers excellent adhesion for topcoats, durability; it has a corrosion-resistant feature that will protect the surface from rust, or other factors to keep the material from deteriorating.

You will have to mix or shake the primer thoroughly due to its viscosity, but despite its thickness, it promised to provide great coverage, for it’s capable of filling in the small cracks in the wood. The components in this primer make the surface durable and flexible so it enhances the topcoats color and gives the wood a longer-lasting, and smooth finish.

Read more: Best Primer for Nicotine Stained Walls

3. KILZ Original Multi-Surface Interior Oil-Based Primer

KILZ Original Multi-Surface Oil-Based Primer

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KILZ Original multi-surface oil-based primer is a versatile primer, it works great on almost all surfaces including all types of wood, drywall, plaster, paneling, masonry, properly prepared glossy surface, and even on already-painted metals, however, it’s not recommended to use on floorings.

This primer prepares a surface for a better adhesion, makes the paint’s appearance to be more vibrant, covers existing stains, and helps block most stains including, water, smoke, tannin, ink, pencil, felt marker, and grease. It’s also effective in blocking out odors from smoke and pet odors.

A quart can of KILZ Original oil-based primer can cover approximately 300-400 sq. ft. per gallon and dries to touch within 30 minutes, and dries fully for recoat after one hour. 


  • Excellent Adhesion
  • Multi-surface Primer
  • Great coverage
  • Excellent in covering stains, and block odors
  • Quick-drying
  • Enhances paint/topcoats vibrancy
  • Low VOC


  • Not recommended for flooring
  • Should be used on properly prepared surface (free of dust, grease, chalk, mold, rust, and peeling paint
  • Strong odor

Some primers are ready to use and can be used on raw surfaces, despite the amazing features, it is advised to use this primer on prepared and properly cleaned surfaces only, for best results or smooth finish.

And due to its formula, the consistency will be thicker and might have a colloidal suspension, so you should give the primer a good shake and should be mixed well before using. Also, it is advised to have proper ventilation in your work area, or you’re wearing a proper mask as this primer exhumes strong odor. If you are unsure on how to prepare your treated wood, you may check the steps on how to do it.

Overall, this primer has received stellar reviews and is constantly included as one of the most-recommended primers. It provides durability, and excellent stain-covering capability. This primer offers excellent adhesion, enhancing the paint/topcoats vibrancy and appearance once applied on the material 

4. Rust-Oleum 2004 Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer

Rust-Oleum 286258 Zinsser Bulls Primer

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Another Rust-Oleum Primer has made its way on the list of ‘BEST’ primers. This versatile primer is versatile and can be applied on most interior and exterior surfaces. It has a water-based formula, which makes it easier to apply on any surface, even without sanding; the primer will still give a smooth, and uniform finish.

The primer contains a rust inhibitor, which allows the primer to deal on new metal surfaces. And because it’s water-based, it can be easily cleaned with soap and water, and has a mildew-resistant feature, and prevents the paint from blistering and peeling. This Rust-Oleum primer can cover 100 sq. ft. per quart, it’s odorless, and dries quickly. 


  • Water-based formula
  • Easy to clean
  • Outstanding Adhesion
  • Versatile, and ready-to-use primer
  • Can be used on surfaces without sanding
  • Covers most surfaces
  • Smooth Finish
  • Great coverage
  • Contains rust inhibitor
  • Mildewcide feature


  • Poorly mixed; could have lumps and needs vigorous mixing

This primer works excellently almost on all surfaces, even on the smooth ones. Provides outstanding adhesion for topcoats, and clean coverage. This water-based primer contains rust inhibitor and mildewcide feature to prolong the surface durability, again rot, mildew, mold, and rust. It’s also a quick-drying primer and it dries to touch in one hour upon application, blocking stains, and seals the surface uniformly – filling the pores of the wood.

5. Zinsser 03504 Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer

Zinsser 03504 Cover Stain Oil Primer

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The last on the list is from Zinnser, it’s the Zinsser Cover Stain Oil Primer. This is an oil-based primer and is excellent for paint or topcoat adhesion. It has high-hiding formula, which effectively seals and covers all types of stains, including water, smoke, and nicotine stains. Despite that it’s an oil-based formula, it dries quickly on interior surfaces, and adds enamel on the material for added protection.

The primer will give you a smooth, and glossy finish, which is great for new construction projects, remodeling, or repainting, as it offers thorough penetration on the surface and gives full coverage. 


  • · Multi-surface primer
  • Excellent Adhesion
  • Stain killer — effective in sealing , water, smoke, and nicotine stains
  • Smooth Finish
  • Great coverage
  • Quick-drying formula
  • Provides enamel undercoating, that helps further protect the material
  • Deemed as the best exterior wood sealer


  • Oil-based formula; has very thick consistency

You might have seen this primer for so many times as one of the most-recommended primers for pressure-treated wood. That’s because it can block almost all types of stain, and unwanted hues on your pressure-treated wood, it prevents tannin bleed, and is deemed as a ‘stain killer’ and the ‘best’ exterior wood sealer, while giving excellent, and even coverage.

When you use this primer, it provides the surface an enamel undercoating for added protection, and helps deliver full and smooth coverage and effectively seal the surface with a smooth finish.


Money and effort could go straight to waste if we didn’t choose and use the right product carefully; spending money from using one product to another until you find the most effective one, and that’s not good. There are millions of products available out there, but another thing you need to know is the material that you will paint – whether it’s ready to be primed or not. There goes the sanding, and cleaning of the wood and letting it dry; pressure-treated wood will not accept the primer, or will not absorb it properly, causing the paint to flake out.

After the long debacle as to what could be the best primer to use, it is the KILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer who got the spot. It has great features that may give you great results, and won’t put your money and effort to waste. It’s quick-drying, amazing stain and odor blocker, provides excellent adhesion for topcoats, smooth and uniform finish, compatible in almost all surfaces and paints, easy to clean, odorless, and has a low level of VOC.

Though, we have to bear in mind that to be able to reap best results from this primer, we must also follow necessary steps before applying the primer on the wood. 

Read more: How to Paint A Staircase Railing? 9 Steps from Start to Finish

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