5 Of The Best Primers For Plywood You Must Know Of!

Primers give the perfect to any surface, whether it be metal, paint, or wood! However, you have many choices that can sometimes become overwhelming, like many other things. But no need to worry as we will list you the five best primers available for your plywood needs.

The best plywood primers available in the US are Zinsser 02004, KILZ L211101, KILZ Premium, Tamiya Gray, and Zinsser 03504. A bonus to all the options that we have mentioned, they also work as a primer for other surfaces. Additionally, there are various sizes to select.

With the list now finished, why should you even need a primer? What tasks does it perform, and is it worth it? Let us answer all these questions by providing more information on the primers mentioned before and in general.

More Information On The 5 Best Primers For Plywood

Here is some additional information about each primer that we mentioned before so you can become enlightened of all the specific components that get included in each primer.

Zinsser 02004 Primer

Zinsser 02004 comes from the Rust-Oleum brand, a water-based acrylic primer with a total unit count of 32.0 Fl Oz. You can use this primer indoors and outdoors and on any surface. 

ZINSSER 1 qt 02004 White, Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Stain Blocking Primer/Sealer
  • Interior/exterior use on new or previously painted drywall, concrete, wood, masonry, metal and glossy or difficult surfaces
  • Water-based formula seals uniformly and will stick to surface without sanding
  • Dries to the touch in 35 minutes, ready to topcoat in 1 hour and covers up between 87-112 sq. ft. per quart

Last update on 2023-06-08 at 16:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Additional features are pest control for gardens and resistance to staining, rust, and mold or mildew film. It also can fully dry in only 1 hour.

KILZ L211101 Primer

KILZ L211101 is an oil-based primer with two sizes to choose from, which are 1 Gallon and 32 Fl Oz. In addition, it has a unit count of 128.0 Fl Oz. 

KILZ Oil Adhesion Primer, Interior/Exterior, 1 Gallon
  • BONDING PRIMER: A high adhesion primer that bonds to a wide range of difficult to adhere to surfaces. It is formulated for situations where a secure bond is critical and use of a traditional water or oil base primer might be questionnable. It increases the possibilities for paintable surfaces.
  • ADVANCED FORMULA: It's advanced styrenated acrylic polymer formula provides a sound anchor for topcoats while reducing or potentially eliminating the need for sanding dense, glossy surfaces. If using as a primer for epoxies, lacquers, products containing xylene or other hot solvents, allow to dry for 24 hours before topcoating and test for compatibility in an inconspicuous area before full coat application.
  • MULTIPLE SURFACES: Use on most interior and exterior surfaces where a secure bond is critical. Bonds to tough-to-paint surfaces including Kynar, PVC, Formica, vinyl, glass, tile, glazed brick, chalky paints, glossy finishes, fiberglass and metals. Topcoat with either water or oil-based paint. For use on interior and exterior surfaces.

Last update on 2023-06-10 at 03:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You can use this primer for both indoor and outdoor purposes. Additional features with this multi-surface primer reduce the need for sanding and provide a lovely glossy finish.

KILZ Premium Primer

KILZ Premium is a water-based primer available for interior and exterior use. The size is 1 Gallon with a unit count of 128.0 Fl Oz. 

KILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer, White, 1-gallon,13041
  • This powerful stain-blocking water-base formula seals surfaces, helps to achieve a uniform finish, hides stains and previous colors and offers excellent adhesion to most interior and exterior surfaces. Zero VOCs, low smell and easy clean up with soap and water makes it safe to use in occupied homes and work spaces.
  • KILZ 3 Premium offers just the right consistency for a smooth and level finish that seals porous surfaces and fills in small imperfections. Use KILZ 3 Premium under or over latex or oil based paint. Use on properly prepared surfaces on the loose of filth, grease, chalk, rust and peeling paint.
  • With excellent adhesion for most surfaces, use on interior and exterior drywall, plaster, woodwork, paneling, masonry and brick. Ideal for high-humidity areas including bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Last update on 2024-05-13 at 23:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Some additional features are resistance to stains, prevention of mold and mildew, excellent adhesion, and a considerably low VOC level (odor level).

Tamiya Gray Primer

Tamiya Gray Fine Surface Primer comes in a spray can, different from the other primers mentioned. The size is 6.09 Fl Oz with a unit count of 6.08 Oz Fl, touched with a matte finish. In addition, you can use it for both indoor and outdoor purposes.

Tamiya TAM87042 87042 Surface Primer L Gray, 180ml Spray Can, Light Gray
  • Made from high quality materials and designed for long lasting performance
  • Use Tamiya stock and hop-up Replacement parts, accessories, and more to get the most out of your models
  • This is for use on RC and model products, consult your user's manual for exact parts listings

Last update on 2023-06-10 at 03:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Zinsser 03504 Primer

This primer is an oil-based paint type that is efficient for interior and exterior uses. The size of this primer is 32 Fl Oz with a unit count of 32.0 Fl Oz, including a matte finish. It has a quick-drying time and additional features such as resistance to stains and serving to seal water, smoke, or nicotine stains.

Zinsser 03504 Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer, 1-Quart, White
  • Cover stain, QT, Oil based stain killer primer/sealer
  • Adds extra shine to your product
  • Manufactured in United States

Last update on 2023-06-10 at 03:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reasons For Using A Primer For Plywood

If a certain surface is expected to be exposed to the elements or is not water-resistant, it is essential to use a primer to protect that surface properly. In addition, a primer enhances the wood paint, which lessens the worry for any potential flaking or chipping of paint. 

A primer performs a few tasks such as preventing stains, hiding knots, concealing odors, and protecting the surface from any rust and mold.

The Advantages Of Using A Primer For Plywood

As mentioned before, a few features come with primers, but these can differ depending on the brand you choose. However, when looking at the basic advantages of primers, we have a good list of benefits you receive when using a primer for your wood. Below are the advantages you obtain when using a primer for your plywood.

  • It covers heavy stains and is resistant to future staining
  • Seals various ordos such as smells from fires, pets, cigarettes, and food
  • Resistant against moisture and heat
  • Prevention of mold and mildew development

Types Of Primers For Plywood

There are three main primers for plywood: oil-based primers, water-based (latex) primers, and shellac-based primers. Let us look at all these types individually and see what they bring to the table.

Features Of A Oil-based Primer

Oil-based primers are compatible with most surfaces apart from masonry and galvanized metal. However, this type of primer is the most popular option for wood as it easily covers the surface of the wood so that any layers of paint will smoothly go on without any issues.

Oil-based primers prevent peeling or chipping of the paint while protecting the surface of the wood from ever staining or obtaining tannins. However, this primer does take longer to dry even though the outcome will result in a strong coat that will last for an extended time.

One downside of oil-based primers is that it has a strong odor and emit a high percentage of fumes called VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Therefore, when working with this type of primer, we recommend wearing a mask or ensuring good ventilation in the room.

Features Of A Water-based (Latex) Primer

A water-based primer is excellent for any surface, both indoors and outdoors. There is only one exception: cedarwood with a latex primer will not work well for this kind of wood. This primer covers small stains efficiently and dries quicker than any other primer.

Another good aspect of water-based primers is that they released low to no VOCs, making them a perfectly safe primer to use, especially if you have young children.

Features Of A Shellac-based Primer

This primer has been available for a long time as it has always worked the best. It is compatible with any surface and protects it from rust, water damage, and tannins. Shellac-based primers are also perfect at covering up and preventing stains and sealing any strong odors such as smoke, pets, and food.

This type of primer dries quickly but not as quickly as water-based primers. However, you can also combine this primer with oil-based or water-based paints. So, if you need the maximum protection, whether indoors or outdoors, a shellac-based primer is an excellent choice.


To conclude, the list of the five best primers for plywood came about from looking at various aspects such as size, type, and price. However, choosing which one mostly depends on the type, as various primers have different pros and cons.



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