Best 3 Oil-Based Primers for Long-Lasting Wallpaper

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

Have you ever faced peeling or bubbling wallpaper? It’s a common headache oil-based primer. This type of primer can be your wallpaper’s best buddy, making sure it sticks smoothly and stays put. You might think, Can I really use oil-based primer for wallpaper? Yes, you can!

You can use oil-based primer on wallpaper. If the wallpaper peels or bubbles, the primer might not stick properly. Oil-based primers often have a strong smell, so good ventilation in the room is necessary.

oil-based primer is a bit different from your regular primers; it’s tougher and sticks better to tricky surfaces. With it, your wallpaper will cling better and last longer.

Here are the top three oil-based primers suitable for use on wallpaper.

  • Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer
  • Kilz Original Oil-Based Primer
  • Valspar Latex Primer

What is Oil Based Primer

An oil-based primer is a type of paint primer used in various painting projects. It’s made with oil, which gives it certain qualities that are helpful in painting. This kind of primer is known for its strong ability to stick to surfaces. It’s really good at getting ready for the paint to go on top. Oil-based primers are especially useful when you want to paint over surfaces that are a bit tricky, like wallpaper or glossy finishes. They help the paint stick better and last longer.

This primer is also good at covering stains. If you have marks or stains on your walls, using an oil-based primer can hide these spots well before you paint.

1. Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer

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Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer is a high-quality primer known for its excellent performance on wallpaper. It’s especially good at sealing in stains and odors, making it a top choice for areas that have been exposed to smoke or water damage. This primer sticks well to surfaces, providing a solid foundation for paint. It’s also quick to dry, which means you can start painting sooner.

Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer also blocks smells and stains from coming through the wallpaper. This is important if you’re covering walls that have marks or smells. It’s easy to use with a brush or roller and cleans up with alcohol or ammonia. Using this primer is a smart step in your wallpaper project. It makes sure your walls are ready for wallpaper and helps the wallpaper look its best.


  • Stain and Odor Blocking: Effectively seal in stains and odors, including smoke and water damage.
  • Strong Adhesion: Adheres well to various surfaces, ensuring paint sticks better.
  • Quick Drying: Dries faster than many other primers, speeding up the painting process.
  • Versatile Use: Suitable for both interior and exterior projects.

2. Kilz Original Oil-Based Primer

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Kilz Original Oil-Based Primer is a strong primer for getting walls ready for wallpaper. It’s oil-based, which means it creates a very good base for the wallpaper to stick to. This primer is great for hiding old paint colors and stains, making sure they don’t show through the wallpaper. It also helps in making the wallpaper stick better and last longer on your walls.

This primer is also good at blocking smells. If your walls have old paint or stains that smell, Kilz Original can cover these smells so they don’t affect your room. It’s easy to apply with a brush or roller and dries in a reasonable time. When you use Kilz Original Oil-Based Primer before putting up wallpaper, it ensures a smooth and lasting finish. This makes your wallpaper project look more professional and durable.


  • High Adhesion: Bonds well to most surfaces, creating a firm base for paint.
  • Stain Blocking: Prevents stains from bleeding through the paint.
  • Smoothing Effect: Helps smooth out uneven surfaces for a better painting finish.
  • Reliable Quality: Trusted brand with a reputation for quality in painting products.

3. Valspar Latex Primer

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Valspar Latex Primer, while not oil-based, is included for its effectiveness on wallpaper. It’s a latex-based primer that works well in preparing surfaces for painting. This primer is particularly noted for its ease of application and cleanup. It’s a good option for those looking for a less harsh primer that still performs well.

For wallpaper projects, especially in areas prone to moisture or for covering dark colors, an oil-based primer is often used for its stronger adhesion and sealing properties. Oil-based primers provide a solid base for wallpaper to adhere to, ensuring longevity and reducing the chance of peeling or bubbling.


  • Easy Application: Smooth and easy to apply, making the priming process simpler.
  • Quick Cleanup: A water-based formula allows for easy cleanup with soap and water.
  • Good Adhesion: Provides a good base for paint to adhere to.
  • Less Odor: Lower odor compared to oil-based primers, making it more comfortable to use indoors.

How to Use Oil-Based Primer for Wallpaper

This type of primer helps paint stick better and lasts longer. It’s especially good for covering any colors or patterns on the wallpaper. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use it.

Step 1: Prepare the Area First, make sure the room is well-ventilated. Open windows and doors for fresh air. Cover floors and furniture with drop cloths to protect them from spills.

Step 2: Clean the Wallpaper Clean the wallpaper surface. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any dust or dirt. The surface needs to be clean for the primer to stick well.

Step 3: Repair Damages Check the wallpaper for any damage. If there are loose or peeling areas, glue them back. The surface should be smooth for the primer.

Step 4: Apply the Primer Stir the primer well before using. Use a brush or roller to apply the primer on the wallpaper. Start from the top and work your way down. Make sure to cover the entire surface evenly.

Step 5: Let it Dry After applying the primer, wait for it to dry. Check the primer’s instructions for drying time. It usually takes longer than water-based primers to dry.

Step 6: Apply a Second Coat (if needed) If needed, apply a second coat of primer for better coverage. This is especially important if the wallpaper has dark colors or patterns.

Step 7: Clean Up Once done, clean your brushes and tools with mineral spirits. Store any leftover primer properly for future use.

How to maintain wallpapered surfaces after Priming and Painting

Here’s what you can do to take care of them.

Regular Cleaning Keep your wallpapered walls clean. Use a soft, dry cloth to dust them regularly. If they get dirty, you can use a damp cloth to gently wipe the surface. Avoid using harsh cleaners or scrubbing too hard, as this can damage the paint and wallpaper.

Protect from Sunlight Sunlight can fade the color of your wallpaper and paint over time. Use curtains or blinds to protect your walls from direct sunlight. This helps keep the colors looking fresh and vibrant.

Avoid Moisture Moisture can harm wallpaper and paint. Try to keep your rooms dry. If you have wallpapered walls in areas like bathrooms or kitchens, make sure they are well-ventilated. Use exhaust fans or open windows to reduce moisture.

Touch-Up as Needed Over time, you might see some wear or small damages on the walls. Keep some extra paint for touch-ups. If you notice small areas that need fixing, just apply a little paint to cover them up.

Final Words

I like the Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer for its strong ability to cover stains and odors. It works great on wallpaper, especially if you want to hide old colors or patterns before painting. This primer sticks well to the surface, making sure the new paint looks good and stays for a long time. If you need to cover stains or have a wallpaper that smells, this primer is a top choice.

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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