Asked on Jul 08, 2015

What paint can go over Kilz primer?

Marion Nesbitt
by Marion Nesbitt

Kilz is apparently an oil-based primer. For a top coat, what can be used? Acrylic latex? Suggestions please.

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  24 answers
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jul 08, 2015
    Depends if t is outside or inside. Outside no. It causes adhesion problems and painting and flaking. Inside you can. But you need to sand the area or de gloss it.
    • See 5 previous
    • Sherrie Sherrie on Jul 10, 2015
      Maybe the difference is you know how to paint. What I have found is moisture gets under the primer and it damages it. But I have also used oil base primers and latex but I have used on bare wood or even painted wood that has been prepared. I guess answering a question without enough information is crazy. Because there are so many things you need to know before you can answer it. Guessing is the best I can come up with. And I should have asked several questions and asked for a picture. If that makes sense? What I didn't know is the wood bare then primed? Or is it on top of latex or has it been primed than sat outside before being painted for awhile? Without the right information it is guessing at its best form. And yes it is getting harder here to find things I have used. Not as bad as there but your environment is better than ours. We should adopt more of your environmental policies.
  • MikkiGirl MikkiGirl on Jul 08, 2015
    I've only used Kilz inside but was able to use a latex paint over it.
  • Barb Orthmann Barb Orthmann on Jul 08, 2015
    Kilz makes both latex and oil based primer. When I worked at my folks' True Value, the rule of thumb was both latex and oil could go over oil, but only latex can go over latex.
  • Shari Shari on Jul 08, 2015
    Barb is right--not all Kilz primer is oil based. I prefer Zinsser but when I have used Kilz, I have bought the latex version because I absolutely hate the messy cleanup of oil based products. If your Kilz is, indeed, oil based, you have a choice of using either oil or latex paint.
  • SandiR816 SandiR816 on Jul 08, 2015
    Use the latex based Kilz
  • Kilz comes in latex and oil based primer. You can put any type paint over oil based primer. Only use oil based paint over oil based primer.
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Jul 08, 2015
    Hi Marion. You can put any paint on that oil-based primer. I almost always use oil-based primer, and cover with acrylic/latex. It is meant to adhere. You cannot put latex/acrylic over REGULAR oil paint/topcoat (just primer). See link from Kilz Canada :
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jul 09, 2015
    Thanks for your prompt replies. Am ready to rock and roll on the project.
  • Lori Jackson Lori Jackson on Jul 10, 2015
    I agree with those voting for Zinsser, but yes, Marion, top coat with any paint.
  • John D'Anna John D'Anna on Oct 17, 2017

    Can I put polyurethane over kilz oil based

  • Fauxgal Fauxgal on Oct 17, 2017

    There are several types of Kilz primers. You can paint in acrylic on top of an oil primer.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Oct 17, 2017

    Thanks for everyone's input!

  • Joanna Joanna on May 29, 2019

    Can I put acrylic paint over KILZ oil based primer?

  • Karl Blair Dickinson Karl Blair Dickinson on Jul 10, 2019

    Hi, All I have is a couple partial and a full can of interior oil based Kilz. Can I paint it on exterior bare T111 siding. I’m in a dry climate. Perhaps I can add mold deterrent to the finish paint.

  • Dave Dave on Nov 15, 2019

    Can I put a water based Alkyd paint over an oil based (Kilz original) primer?

  • Jim Jim on Sep 13, 2020

    Can a water based stain be used over KILZ 2 Latex

    primer? On a new cedar fence.

    • See 1 previous
    • Ron Ron on Oct 12, 2023

      Hi Jim, Michelle is right, I built fence for a living.

      One thing in mind , you need to let wood dry 2-3 months before painting. The reason is once you paint before dries, it will rot from inside out.

  • It's best to use an oil-based paint over oil-based primer.

  • We've used latex paint over oil based Kilz in the past with no problems. And the Kilz website states that latex and oil based paints can be used over their oil based primers.

  • Maura White Maura White on Jun 18, 2021

    I agree with barb that the rule of thumb is both latex and oil could go over oil, but only latex can go over latex.

  • Annie Annie on Jun 20, 2021

    Get the Killz latex instead, then you can use latex paint over top.

  • For the best, most consistent results, I always stick with oil with oil or water with water. Keep the kinds similar. You can use latex over oil but the results might not last.

  • James James on Oct 29, 2021

    Heard these arguments so many times, and eventually through experience I have learned that peeling etc. comes from improper prep or using incompatible paints. Here is the rub so to speak, they are all compatible once they are completely cured (I don’t mean to the touch; I mean completely cured and that can take days to weeks, maybe months for some paints).

    • James James on Oct 29, 2021

      another thing that is important if using different paints (after cured) is to scuff using 60-220 grit depending on what your doing)

      also if your going to put something that uses a stronger solvent than your completely cured base I recommend lightly spraying first coat and letting that cure because if you don’t your base will lift and peel right away or down the road.

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 10, 2022

    I would just pick a primer that is either water or oil based depending on what type of paint you will be using.

  • Big85152760 Big85152760 on Jun 26, 2023

    Can acrylic paint be used over a water-based kilz for the bathroom