Best Primer to Cover Dark Paint: Top Recommendations for 2023

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Rust-Oleum Spray Paint
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Rust-Oleum Spray Paint
  • Brand: Rust-Oleum
  • Finish Type: Matte
  • Size: 12 Ounce (Pack of 1)
  • Special Feature: Low odor, Chip Resistant
  • Surface Recommendation: Wood, Plastic, Metal, Ceramic, Furniture
Zinsser Mold Killing Primer
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Zinsser Mold Killing Primer
  • Brand: Rust-Oleum
  • Finish Type: Matte
  • Item Volume: 946.35 Milliliters
  • Special Feature: Mold-killing
  • Surface Recommendation: Walls
Rust-Oleum Metal Primer
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Rust-Oleum Metal Primer
  • Brand: Rust-Oleum
  • Finish Type: Matte
  • Size: 12 Ounce (Pack of 1)
  • Item Volume: 12 Fluid Ounces
  • Surface Recommendation: Metal
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Covering dark paint with a new color or a lighter shade can be a daunting task. The key to achieving a flawless finish is to use a high-quality primer that can cover the dark paint and create a smooth surface for the new color.

A primer is a preparatory coating that is applied before painting to ensure better adhesion, durability, and coverage.

When it comes to covering dark paint, the best primer to use is one that is specifically designed for this purpose. These primers contain high levels of pigments and binders that can effectively block the dark color and prevent it from bleeding through.

In addition, they can also help to hide imperfections in the surface, such as cracks, stains, and uneven textures.

Primer To Cover Dark Paint

When choosing a primer to cover dark paint, there are several things to consider. First, make sure that the primer is compatible with the type of paint you plan to use. Some primers may not work well with certain types of paint, such as oil-based or water-based.

Second, consider the surface you will be painting. If it is a high-traffic area, you may want to choose a primer that is more durable and resistant to wear and tear. Finally, pay attention to the coverage and drying time of the primer.

A good primer should provide excellent coverage in one or two coats and dry quickly to allow for faster painting.

In this article, we tested and reviewed several of the best primers to cover dark paint on the market. We evaluated each product based on its coverage, adhesion, durability, and ease of use.

Our goal is to help you find the best primer for your specific needs and achieve a flawless finish on your next painting project.

Best Primers to Cover Dark Paint

We know how frustrating it can be to paint a room, only to realize that the dark color underneath is still showing through. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best primers to cover dark paint.

These primers have been tested and proven to provide excellent coverage, ensuring that your new paint color looks vibrant and true to its shade. Check out our top picks below.

Best Thick Formula: ZINSSER Peel Stop Triple-Thick Primer

Zinsser Peel Stop Primer

If you’re looking for a primer that can cover dark paint, the ZINSSER Peel Stop Triple-Thick Primer may be a good option for you.

Key Features

  • Triple-thick formula for superior coverage
  • Penetrates and bonds with cracked or peeling surfaces
  • Glues down edges and fills in gaps for a smooth finish
  • Creates a smooth, flexible, sealed finish
  • Can be top coated with any alkyd or latex paint
  • Water-based primer-sealer
  • Suitable for interior and exterior surfaces
  • Works on wood, metal, concrete, and more
  • Locks down and hides peeling, weathered surfaces
  • Provides outstanding flexibility
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
  • Coverage of 12-50 sq. ft. per quart depending on surface porosity

Pros

  • The triple-thick formula penetrates and bonds with cracked or peeling surfaces to glue down edges and fill in gaps for a smooth finish.
  • It creates a smooth, flexible, sealed finish that can be top coated with any alkyd or latex paint.
  • This water-based primer-sealer can be used on peeling or worn interior or exterior surfaces including wood, metal, concrete, and more.

Cons

  • It may not work well on surfaces that are not peeling or cracked.
  • The coverage may vary depending on surface porosity and may not be as advertised.
  • It may take longer to dry than advertised.

This primer is designed to lock down and hide peeling, weathered surfaces, creating a smooth, white finish for your top coat. It seals worn surfaces for a smooth finish and provides outstanding flexibility.

However, it may not work well on surfaces that are not peeling or cracked. It dries to the touch in 30 minutes, can be recoated in 2 hours, and covers between 12-50 sq. ft. per quart depending on surface porosity.

Overall, the ZINSSER Peel Stop Triple-Thick Primer may be a good option if you’re looking for a primer that can cover dark paint and seal worn surfaces for a smooth finish.

Best Oil-Based: Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum Painter'S Touch

If you’re looking for a spray paint that provides excellent coverage for your project, then Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint is the way to go.

Key Features

  • Oil-based formula with low odor
  • Provides long-lasting protection
  • Dries to touch in 20 minutes
  • Covers up to 12 sq. ft. per can
  • Ideal for interior/exterior surfaces
  • Works on wood, plastic, plaster, metal, masonry, and unglazed ceramic
  • Resists chips and provides excellent hide
  • Smooth application
  • Flat finish hides surface imperfections
  • Any angle spray for easy application
  • Comfort spray tip for added convenience

Pros

  • The oil-based formula is low odor and provides long-lasting protection.
  • Dries in 20 minutes and covers up to 12 sq. ft. per can.
  • Any angle spray and comfort spray tip.

Cons

  • The finish is matte, which may not be suitable for some projects.
  • The spray nozzle may clog if not used properly.
  • The paint may not adhere well to some surfaces.

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint is ideal for use on interior/exterior surfaces, including wood, plastic, plaster, metal, masonry, and unglazed ceramic. The oil-based formula is low odor, resists chips, and provides long-lasting protection.

It dries to touch in 20 minutes and covers up to 12 sq. ft. per can. The durable formula provides excellent hide and goes on smoothly. The flat finish helps hide surface imperfections, and the any angle spray and comfort spray tip make it easy to use.

One thing to keep in mind is that the finish is matte, which may not be suitable for some projects. Additionally, the spray nozzle may clog if not used properly. Finally, the paint may not adhere well to some surfaces, so it’s important to test it on a small area before using it on your entire project.

Overall, Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a spray paint that provides excellent coverage and is easy to use.

Best Overall: Zinsser 3608 Cover Stain Oil Base Primer Spray

Zinsser 3608 Cover Stain Oil

If you’re looking for a primer to cover dark paint, Zinsser 3608 Cover Stain Oil Base Primer Spray is a great option.

Key Features

  • Ultimate hiding power indoors and out
  • Blocks and seals water and smoke stains
  • Sticks to most interior and exterior surfaces
  • Easy to sand
  • No sanding required
  • Hides dark colors and prevents tannin bleed
  • Suitable for new construction, remodeling, or repainting work
  • Great for priming small projects

Pros

  • Provides ultimate hiding power indoors and out
  • Blocks and seals water and smoke stains
  • Sticks to most interior and exterior surfaces and sands easily

Cons

  • Can get messy and difficult to clean up
  • May require multiple coats for full coverage
  • Has a strong odor

Zinsser Cover-Stain is a high-hiding formula that can help block and seal water and smoke stains. It can stick to most interior and exterior surfaces and can be easily sanded.

This primer sealer spray requires no sanding, hides dark colors, and prevents tannin bleed. It’s great for new construction, remodeling, or repainting work, as well as priming small projects.

One of the biggest advantages of Zinsser Cover-Stain is its ultimate hiding power, which can help cover up even the darkest paint. It also blocks most stains and helps seal water, smoke, and nicotine stains.

Additionally, it sticks to interior and exterior surfaces and sands easily, making it a versatile option for a variety of projects.

However, Zinsser Cover-Stain can be messy and difficult to clean up, so it’s important to take precautions when using it. It may also require multiple coats for full coverage, which can be time-consuming.

And finally, it has a strong odor, so it’s important to use it in a well-ventilated area.

In summary, if you’re looking for a primer to cover dark paint, Zinsser 3608 Cover Stain Oil Base Primer Spray is a great option that provides ultimate hiding power, blocks and seals water and smoke stains, and sticks to most interior and exterior surfaces.

Best Effective Solution: Zinsser Mold Killing Primer

Zinsser Mold Killing Primer

We highly recommend the Zinsser Mold Killing Primer for anyone looking to cover dark paint with a protective primer that also kills existing mold, mildew, moss, and odor causing bacteria.

Key Features

  • Water-based coating
  • Low odor
  • Easy to clean up with soap and water
  • Covers up to 160 square feet
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
  • Kills existing mold, mildew, moss, and odor causing bacteria
  • Prevents future growth of mold and mildew
  • Versatile and effective solution
  • Quick project completion
  • Suitable for non-porous surfaces

Pros

  • The water-based coating is low odor and easy to clean up with soap and water.
  • Covers up to 160 square feet and dries to the touch in just 30 minutes, allowing for quick project completion.
  • Formulated to kill existing mold, mildew, and odor causing bacteria, as well as prevent future growth of these organisms on the paint film.

Cons

  • The product is only recommended for use on non-porous surfaces, so it may not be suitable for all projects.
  • Some users have reported issues with the product not adhering well to certain surfaces.
  • The price point may be higher than some other primers on the market.

Zinsser Mold Killing Primer is a versatile and effective solution for covering dark paint and protecting against mold and mildew growth. Its quick drying time and easy cleanup make it a convenient choice for any project.

However, it may not be the best option for porous surfaces or those with specific adhesion requirements.

Overall, we believe that the benefits of this product outweigh any potential drawbacks and would recommend it to anyone in need of a high-quality primer that also kills mold and mildew.

Best Quick-Drying: Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Rusty Metal Primer

Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Primer

If you’re looking for a primer to cover dark paint, Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Rusty Metal Primer is a great option.

Key Features

  • Provides a durable protective coating with excellent rust prevention
  • Creates a surface for easy adhesion of topcoats
  • Oil-based formula
  • Perfect for priming heavily rusted metal surfaces
  • Penetrates rust to bare metal and eliminates corrosive air and moisture
  • Dries to the touch in 15-30 minutes
  • Covers 10-12 sq. ft. per can

Pros

  • Provides a durable protective coating with excellent rust prevention
  • Creates a surface that topcoats can easily adhere to
  • Dries to the touch in 15-30 minutes and covers between to 10-12 sq. ft. per can

Cons

  • Use to prime exterior or interior heavily rusted metal surfaces only
  • May require several coats for best results
  • Can clog easily if not used properly

Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Rusty Metal Primer is an oil-based formula that provides a base for excellent adhesion and withstands demanding, heavy-use environments.

It is perfect for priming exterior or interior heavily rusted metal surfaces only. The unique fish-oil-based formula penetrates rust to bare metal, to drive out corrosive air and moisture other primers leave behind.

One of the best things about Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Rusty Metal Primer is that it creates a surface that topcoats can easily adhere to. This means that you can use it as a base for any paint color you choose.

It dries to the touch in 15-30 minutes and covers between to 10-12 sq. ft. per can, so you won’t have to worry about running out of primer halfway through your project.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Rusty Metal Primer. First, it is important to use it only on heavily rusted metal surfaces. Second, you may need to apply several coats for best results.

Finally, the primer can clog easily if not used properly, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Overall, if you’re looking for a primer to cover dark paint, Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Rusty Metal Primer is a great choice. It provides excellent rust prevention and creates a surface that topcoats can easily adhere to.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best primer to cover dark paint, there are several factors to consider. We want to make sure that we choose a product that will effectively cover the dark paint and provide a smooth base for the new paint color. Here are some features to look for when selecting a primer:

Type of Primer

There are different types of primers available, including oil-based, water-based, and shellac-based. Water-based primers are environmentally friendly and easy to clean up, but they may not be as effective at covering dark paint.

Oil-based primers are more effective at covering dark paint, but they take longer to dry and can emit strong fumes. Shellac-based primers are great for covering stains and sealing in odors, but they are not recommended for use on exterior surfaces.

Coverage and Adhesion

When choosing a primer, it is important to look for a product that provides good coverage and adhesion. A high-quality primer will cover dark paint with fewer coats and adhere well to the surface, providing a smooth base for the new paint color. Look for a primer that is specifically designed for use on dark surfaces and has a high level of opacity.

Drying Time

The drying time of the primer is also an important factor to consider. A fast-drying primer can save time and allow us to start painting sooner.

However, it is important to make sure that the primer has enough time to dry completely before applying the new paint color. This will ensure that the new paint adheres properly and provides a smooth finish.

Ease of Application

Finally, we want to choose a primer that is easy to apply. Look for a primer that can be applied with a brush, roller, or sprayer, depending on your preference. Some primers are self-leveling, which means they will fill in any imperfections in the surface and provide a smooth base for the new paint color.

By considering these factors, we can choose the best primer to cover dark paint and ensure a successful painting project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best primer for high hiding?

For high hiding, we recommend using a primer that has a high pigment content. This will help to cover up any dark colors or stains on the surface you are painting. Look for a primer that specifically states it has high hiding properties.

What is the best primer for covering dark colors?

When covering dark colors, we recommend using a primer that is specifically designed for this purpose. Look for a primer that is labeled as “stain-blocking” or “dark color hiding”. These primers are formulated to cover dark colors and stains, and will provide a solid base for your topcoat.

How many coats of primer do I need to cover dark paint?

Typically, one coat of primer is sufficient to cover dark paint. However, if the dark color is particularly deep or intense, you may need to apply a second coat of primer to ensure complete coverage.

Do I need a specific primer for dark paint?

Yes, we recommend using a primer that is specifically formulated for dark colors. These primers are designed to cover up dark colors and stains, and provide a solid base for your topcoat.

What is the best paint to cover old paint?

When covering old paint, we recommend using a high-quality, acrylic latex paint. These paints are durable, long-lasting, and provide excellent coverage. Look for a paint that is labeled as “self-priming” or “one-coat coverage” to save time and effort.

Can I paint over dark colors without using a primer?

While it is possible to paint over dark colors without using a primer, we do not recommend it. Without a primer, the dark color may bleed through the topcoat, resulting in an uneven finish. Using a primer will ensure that the topcoat goes on smoothly and evenly, and will provide a long-lasting, durable finish.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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