The best paint primers for effectively preparing surfaces in the home

The major reason why you should apply a primer prior to painting is because drywall — the material that typically comprises walls and ceilings in a home — is porous. Surfaces that are porous absorb paint and stains, as well as water, moisture, and oil. To completely cover your drywall before you paint and avoid headaches afterward, get one of these well-covering paint primers or primer spray paints.

A paint primer and primer spray paint are considered a preparatory undercoat applied before painting to help ensure paint adheres well to a surface. Primers also can boost a paint’s durability and better protect the surface that’s being painted. To take advantage of all of these benefits, get one of these leading paint primers or primer spray paints.

Painters Touch Flat White Latex Primer by Rust-Oleum

Best Overall

To make sure you cover walls and ceilings well before you paint, get a good overall paint primer. Painters Touch One-Quart Flat White Latex Primer by Rust-Oleum fits that bill. The white, water-based acrylic primer offers a low odor, resists chips, and provides good coverage. It can cover up to 120 square feet and dry to touch in 30 minutes. The flat finish minimizes surface imperfections and can be applied smoothly.

4-in-1 Patch-Plus White Primer by 3M

Best for Touch Ups

Need an effective paint primer for touch ups? Then consider the Four-in-One Patch-Plus White Primer by 3M. The 3-ounce primer and patch is a spackling compound that helps hide surface stains. It resists flashing of paint and is engineered not to shrink, crack, or sag. The lightweight compound can be used to repair nicks and nail holes.

COLORmaxx White Spray Primer by Krylon

Best Aerosol

Rather spray on than roll on a paint primer? COLORmaxx White Spray Primer by Krylon is a leading primer spray paint. It offers superior adhesion and durability, indoor or outdoor use with maximum rust protection, and no sanding or priming is required. A large button spray tip promises many capabilities for the black aerosol primer spray paint.

Don’t end up painting walls, ceilings, or other surfaces twice. Apply a good paint primer first. These optimal paint primers and primer spray paints will provide a stable surface that subsequent paint layers can lock onto so you only have to paint once.