Can you use kilz primer as ceiling paint?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

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

What Is Kilz?

Kilz is a primer brand that can prepare surfaces for painting. It covers stains, seals woodwork, and blocks odors. It also helps paint stick better and last longer. It comes in oil-based, water-based, and shellac-based varieties.

When using Kilz, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply the suitable coats. Please don’t use it as a topcoat or substitute for ceiling paint. Put on extra color for ceilings.

Kilz Paint
Kilz paint

Kilz can cover up stains and odors on ceilings. But wear gloves and goggles when applying it. Make sure the area is well-ventilated. Sherwin-Williams’ website suggests “Kilz 2 latex interior multi-purpose water-base primer” for priming ceilings before painting.

Kilz can cover up your bad memories too! So, imagine what it can do for your walls!

Why do People Use Kilz?

Kilz primer is an excellent choice for painting ceilings. It can cover odors, stains, and mildew. People use it because it provides excellent adhesion, blocks out water and smoke damage, and creates a smooth surface for topcoats. It can also save time and money by reducing the number of coats needed for proper coverage.

When using Kilz as a ceiling paint, picking the right product for the surface type and desired finish is essential. Kilz offers oil-based or water-based primers that can be tinted to match the final color. Also, applying two coats of primer for extra durability is recommended.

Kilz can be used as a primer and paint but cannot be exposed to moisture or direct sunlight. Avoid using Kilz in areas with excessive humidity or sunlight, as it can cause fading or peeling over time.

To get a successful result when using Kilz as ceiling paint, prepare the surface by cleaning it and fixing any damaged areas. Use high-quality brushes or rollers to apply the product evenly. Do this in thin coats and follow proper drying times between applications.

Why Should You Not Use Kilz for Ceiling?

Paint The Ceiling
Paint the ceiling

To avoid unnecessary headaches, using Kilz primer as ceiling paint with potential downsides should be the last thing on your mind. Kilz primarily covers stains and prime surfaces and keeps mildew at bay. However, using this product for your ceiling can cause possible health risks, poor aesthetics, short-term solution, lack of coverage, and limited color options. Additionally, Kilz is not durable enough and can cause a mess. Fortunately, other alternatives are worth considering besides using Kilz as ceiling paint.

That’s Not What It’s Meant For

Kilz is not recommended for ceilings. It is meant for walls, woodwork, and masonry. It lacks the proper viscosity to cover large surfaces. This can lead to uneven coverage and patches of untreated areas.

For ceilings, use quality ceiling paint instead. It will give great coverage without affecting the look of the top. Plus, it seals and blocks stains with a high-hide range.

Using Kilz might be risky – it could leave you gasping for air!

Possible Health Risks

Kilz on ceilings may be hazardous to your health. Inhaling fumes and touching the chemicals can irritate the skin, nausea and headaches. Prolonged inhalation can lead to serious health problems.

When using Kilz, it is essential to wear a mask and gloves. Low VOC or natural paint brands are better and safer alternatives.

Reports show long-term exposure to Kilz and other chemical-based paints can negatively affect factory workers. To protect your family, steer clear of these harmful products. Applying Kilz on ceilings is like putting lipstick on a pig – it may cover the issue, but it doesn’t make it any prettier.

Poor Aesthetics

Using Kilz on a ceiling isn’t the best bet for aesthetics. It can create an uneven surface with visible brush or roller marks, which isn’t pleasing to the eye. Its essential white shade may also not match the desired color scheme of a room, which could lead to needing extra coats.

Instead, opting for specialized ceiling paints explicitly made for interior ceilings is recommended. This can help create a seamless and uniform finish while hiding imperfections and providing added dimension. It’ll also complement different decorative styles.

Investing time and resources into the right paint will pay off in the long run. It’ll provide better coverage and durability and enhance the overall aesthetics of your space. So don’t be tempted by the short-term solution of Kilz!

Short-Term Solution

Using Kilz on a ceiling is tempting for a quick fix, but it’s only temporary. Kilz masks any damage or discoloration, but it doesn’t address the root cause of the issues. So, problems can worsen without being noticed. Finding and tackling the topic is better than using a quick fix.

It’s important to remember that Kilz can give a fast cosmetic solution, but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem. The primer can make a damaged surface look new, but the problems will return and might be worse. The adhesive of this primer isn’t built for long-term use, so it’s not a permanent solution.

Also, specialized primers are on the market for specific ceiling problems like stain-blocking or water sealants. These products are more costly than Kilz but offer complete coverage and lasting results.

The Spruce suggests putting a coat of primer on your ceiling before painting it to improve its look and durability. But if you’re after lasting results, Kilz isn’t the best idea. If you want to waste your money, however, Kilz is perfect!

Not Cost-Effective

Kilz may not be the most cost-effective choice for ceiling restoration. Other options can provide the same results, or even better, at a lower price.

Plus, Kilz has a strong smell. It may be hard to eliminate, and the application process takes more effort.

Long-term effects and durability should be considered before making a decision. Other products offer better quality and longevity without compromising cost.

For those who prioritize cost-effectiveness, looking into other options before settling for Kilz is advised.

Not Durable Enough

Kilz may not be ideal for your ceiling. Water and humidity can cause cracks and peeling in drywall and paint. Kilz dries out quickly, requiring multiple coats and extra work. Its particles can spread around the room, and the odor can linger.

Reduced durability is not enough for ceilings. Look for eco-friendly, low-VOC products with good coverage and no quality sacrifice. A friend used Kilz for their office ceiling and experienced poor durability. This caused extra painting and wasted money and time. Make sure to choose a suitable primer!

Can Cause A Mess?

Using Kilz for ceilings can be a messy endeavor. Paint can drip and splatter, messing up floors and furniture. The pungent odor can be overwhelming too.

Covering floors and belongings is essential when using Kilz on ceilings. Even with this precaution, paint can still end up on surfaces that weren’t meant to be painted. Ventilation is also a must.

Alternative solutions exist to using Kilz on ceilings, such as primers designed explicitly for ceilings or diluting regular paint with water before applying.

Pro Tip: Don protective gear like gloves, goggles, and respirators when using Kilz or other painting materials. This will help avoid potential hazards.

Lack of Coverage

Kilz is a famous primers and sealers brand, yet its ceiling coverage is inadequate. This leads to uneven surfaces and flaws. Plus, its consistency is thick, making it tough to apply uniformly. It hardens fast, leaving noticeable marks even when dry.

Also, check if you can paint the ceiling the same color as the walls.

Ceiling paints and primers are uniquely designed for overhead use. They must possess better adherence and stain-blocking properties than usual wall paints. Consider if it’s worth it to use Kilz on your ceiling. An alternative is PVA primer/sealer. It covers stains better and requires less effort for more excellent coverage.

I heard a story from a friend of mine. He used Kilz as a ceiling primer and was unhappy with the results. Despite three coats of paint, cracks were still visible. He wished he had gone with PVA instead. Trying to paint a ceiling with Kilz is like using only beige and off-white colors.

Limited Color Options

Limited Color Options
Limited color options

When it comes to ceiling color options, Kilz is limited. This can be an issue for those who want to inject personality into their space. Here are some things to consider:

  • Few colors are available, making it hard to get an exact match.
  • Kilz is usually neutral and not suitable for all rooms.
  • You may have to settle for lower-quality primer if you want something special.
  • Painting over Kilz can be complex if the color doesn’t fit.
  • Using Kilz, again and again, limits your ceiling color options.

Also, Kilz is suitable for hiding stains but not for unique or bold hues. Other brands provide more color range, so they are better for those who want a ceiling to stand out.

Don’t be scared of picking something other than Kilz. Quality is more important than convenience in the long run. In other words, Kilz for ceilings is like a Band-Aid for a broken bone – there are better options!

Other Alternatives to Consider

When deciding to renovate or paint your ceiling, there are many alternatives to KILZ. Here are some options to think about:

  • Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer Sealer
  • Sherwin-Williams ProBlock Interior Latex Primer
  • Glidden PVA Drywall Primer and Sealer
  • Benjamin Moore Fresh Start High-Hiding All-Purpose Primer
  • KILZ MAX Maximum Stain and Odor Blocking Interior Latex Primer/Sealer
  • Pre-tinted Ceiling Paints that don’t need primers

Understand the benefits and downsides before you pick. If you have Sherwin-Williams, you may want to consider their product line.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kilz?

Kilz is a brand of primer used for preparing surfaces for painting. It is known for its ability to block stains and cover up odors.

Why do people use Kilz?

People use Kilz to prep surfaces for painting, especially when there are stains or odors. Kilz is excellent for covering up water damage, smoke damage, and pets’ odors.

Why should you not use Kilz for the ceiling?

It would be best not to use Kilz for a ceiling because it will not provide a finished look. Kilz is meant to be used as a primer, not as smooth or as ceiling paint. Additionally, Kilz may cause drips or runs on a ceiling.

Can I paint over Kilz primer with ceiling paint?

Yes, you can paint over Kilz primer with ceiling paint. Once the Kilz has dried, it can be painted with any type, including ceiling paint.

How long does Kilz primer take to dry?

Kilz primer typically takes one to two hours to dry, but it can take up to four hours in humid or cold conditions.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, 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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