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Do You Have to Paint Over Kilz?

Do You Have to Paint Over Kilz?

Are you doing your interiors yourself and have a number of questions pop up every minute?

Painting yourself is no easy job, and things get even more difficult when you can’t find answers online. 

Every material and technique requires a certain amount of homework, especially in areas where going back is not an option.

The last thing you want is to find that you messed up after hours of work. You don’t have to worry though, because we’ve got your back. 

There’s a high chance that you get the paints right but get stuck with primers or varnishes, and the most common query is whether or not to paint over Kilz.

You can easily apply paint over Kilz. In fact, it smoothens the surface and makes it easier for the paint to bond to it by decreasing the surface’s porousness.

Not painting the surface and leaving it with only a Kilz coat will not last long and can wither over time. 

Keep reading to know more about Kilz and how it works.

What Exactly Is Kilz?

Kilz paint is a latex primer, primarily water based. It can be used as a sealer as well and is available in many quantities, including quart, gallon, and 5 gallons.

It’s primarily available in white, but can be tinted or pigmented according to your wish. 

Kilz does not have a smooth finish since it’s meant to host a finishing coat of paint over it.

It’s commonly used as a base that covers the surface so that the paint application becomes easy.

What Is The Purpose Of Kilz?

The main purpose of Kilz is to make the paint go on smoothly.

To enable this, it fills in any holes or bumps and covers stains. It’s also used to seal any odors that the surface might give off. 

Once the surface is primed by Kilz, you get a smooth and undisturbed surface to paint which, automatically makes the paint look its best as compared to when it’s applied on a raw surface.

How to Apply Paint Over Kilz

Firstly, wait for Kilz to dry completely. This will take an hour at maximum but it still is recommended to let the primer stay as-is for almost half the day.

When it has completely dried, sand the entire surface to prepare a smooth base for your paint.

Make sure you don’t carry out any paintwork when the weather is rainy because then the surfaces will be humid and drying will be a problem.

After sanding, you can use a brush, roller, or sprayer and make sure you go back and forth on the same section at least a couple of times so that the end product is flawless.

Painting Overkilz

How Long Should One Wait Before Painting Over Kilz?

Ideally, you should let the primer dry for at least an hour.

It is recommended to go up to 2-4 hours, but make sure you don’t leave the surface unpainted for too long because then it will not bind with the paint. Or, in worst cases, it will start chalking and withering away. 

In the case of ceilings, you should apply a top coat without waiting for Kilz to dry because it may be prone to collecting dust, odors, and dirt on its surface.

What Happens If I Don’t Paint Over Kilz?

The purpose of a primer is of course, to prime. Kilz might cover the existing stains on the surface but it cannot prevent itself from getting dirty.

This is why a topcoat becomes necessary in order to complete the process. 

It’s also important to paint over the primer within time because after 30 days, its adhering properties will vanish and you’ll have to re-prime the surface.

What’s the Distinction Between Kilz And Paint?

Paint has a certain amount of washability to it and is made up of resins and pigments.

Primer, on the other hand, has bonding qualities and is made up of just resins.

Can I Paint Without Using Kilz?

If you want your paint to last a long time, then priming is important.

If you paint directly then you might have to face peeling and won’t be able to clean the surface with much success.

This is because the adhesive quality is absent due to a lack of primer, making the surface’s bonding with the paint poor.

Can Bare Woods Be Primed With Kilz And Painted Over?

Usually, wood cannot be painted with success because they tend to absorb the paint, no matter how many coats you apply.

In order for the paint to stay, make sure you apply Kilz or any other primer so that the paint stays on the surface and makes the job more durable.

Conclusion to Painting Over Kilz

Many of us believe that there is no need for primers or even painting over them.

This assumption seemingly remains true until a few years down the road, when we start witnessing its drawbacks.

To avoid having to put up with miserable walls, make sure you do your homework properly and use all the material and techniques required.

Kilz becomes a great choice for avoiding uneven surfaces and ensuring flawless finishes.

However, don’t forget to paint over it to get the maximum effects and durability!

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.