7 Best Primer for Kitchen Cabinets 2024

Are you looking to facelift your kitchen cabinets? A primer is used as a preparatory coat on previously unpainted wood, metal, or canvas, mainly to prevent the absorption of subsequent layers of paint or the development of rust.  Best Primer for Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing the best primers for your stained or newly installed kitchen cabinets is therapeutic and gives you a good bonding with your household.

In this article, I have outlined the most renowned kitchen cabinets primers in the market that will assist you as you do the kitchen remodeling.

s: Top 7 Best Primer for Kitchen Cabinets in 2024

1. Rust-Oleum Primer, 2004 Zinsser Bulls Eye

This is one of the most highly sort after primer due to its multiple benefits and adhesiveness.

Best Primer for Kitchen Cabinets Check Price on Amazon

Formulated as a water-based primer, Rust-Oleum 2004 sticks to multiple surfaces, including tile and metal surfaces, without the requirement of sanding.

Interestingly you can use this primer on almost all exterior and interior surfaces. Its rustproof ability makes it ideal for applying on metal surfaces and exterior surfaces exposed to harsh weather.

Additionally, it inhibits blistering, peeling off, and well mildew growth making it one of the best primers to own – and hence it’s approved for remodeling your cabinets

What is so exceptional about this product is that it makes an excellent choice for PH surfaces, including concretes, and works well on glossy surfaces like enameled trim and tiles. The result is ultimately a surface easy to clean with water and soap.

The primer I packaged in a quart can cover at least 100 square ft. However, with these primers, you may be required to apply more than two coats to achieve the desired surface.


  • Rust-proof
  • Applied on all surfaces
  • High adhesiveness
  • No sanding required


  • Requires more than one coat

See Also: Painting the Kitchen Cabinets without Sanding

2. KILZ-L211101 Primer Adhesion High Bonding Interior Sealer

KILZ L-211101, as popularly known, is a good bonding primer. This uniquely designed primer adheres well with slick and tough to paint surfaces like vinyl, glass surfaces, Formica, among others where other primers can hardly work.

KILZ-L211101 Primer Adhesion High Bonding Interior Sealer Check Price on Amazon

Important to note, clean the surface from materials such as chalk, grease mold, rust, and dust to achieve the best surface – this is one of the quality primers for longer protection and excellent adhesion. 

Surprisingly, this primer also outsmarts all the other primers in the market in terms of efficacy and prevents mold from growing from the surface.

When applying, you can either use a roller, a brush, or spray while the prime only takes 30 minutes to dry and touch. However, a second coat can only be applied after an hour to achieve the best results.

This primer has also featured among the best primers to use on kitchen cabinets and other hard surfaces. You can get this primer packaged on 1 quart, and 1 gallon and one gallon can cover a surface of about 300 square ft.


  • Suitable for tough surfaces like fiberglass
  • Applied by brush, roller, or spray
  • Fast-drying
  • Adheres most surfaces


  • Proper cleaning before priming

See Also: Painted Vs Stained Cabinets

3. KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain Primer/Sealer

KILZ Restoration Max is one of the finest water-based primers you can find in the market.

KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain Primer/Sealer Check Price on Amazon

It is quality defined by how it blocks strong stains such as smoke, rust grease, nicotine, or water damage – it also helps in the prevention of rust

This makes it a perfect stain for vintage cabinets’ preparation before application of latex or oil-based paints.

You can use KILZ Restoration to tickle tough stains and save yourself the unnecessary cost of sanding your cabinets. Moreover, you can get the primer in one and 5-gallon cans, of which one gallon covers about 300-400 square ft.

In case you intend to do a quick paint, this primer has a quick-drying feature that enables you to cover your work fast on plastic, plaster, metal, and wooden kitchen cabinets. 

However, to achieve excellent results, this primer should be applied as fast as possible. You can apply this primer either by use of a roller brush or an airless sprayer.


  • Blocks stains
  • Fast drying
  • Adheres to multiple surfaces


  • Proper surface cleaning prior application

See Also: Valspar Cabinet Paint

4. Zinsser-03504 Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer

If you are a professional painter, Zinsser-03504 is an oil-based paint or primer designed to give you a perfectly smooth look on your cabinets.

Zinsser-03504 Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer Check Price on Amazon

This primer is formulated to block many stains and seal smoke, water, and nicotine stains. It is versatile – it works like a glass primer, tile primer, concrete primer, and metal primer.

Similarly, this primer has extraordinary hiding abilities and can be used both on the exterior and interior surfaces with easy sanding.

On exterior surfaces, this primer is mostly preferred for its great flexibility and penetration on surfaces. 

Apart from the new constructions, you can also use them for remodeling, repainting a cabinet, or prime other projects. 

Similarly, its preference for interior surfaces is due to its fast-drying feature and providing undercoat enamel.

In the case of redwood bleeding, dark colors, and stains, Zinsser primer is all you need for an excellent job.

On using this primer, it takes 8 hours to dry before a second coat is applied, and in the case of imperfections, sandpaper can be used to achieve a clean, smooth surface.


  • Suitable for interior and exterior surfaces
  • Blocks stains – prevents tanning from bleed
  • Made in the USA
  • Has great penetration and flexibility


  • Contains VOCs
  • Has odor

See Also: Varathane Fast Dry Wood Stain 

5. Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer, 1-Gallon

Zinsser B-I-N is an oil-based primer that can be used both on the interior and exterior surfaces- such as on new or old metal surfaces

Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer, 1-Gallon Check Price on Amazon

It is best known to cover stains better than all other oil and latex-based paint. Similarly, it is also known to cover smoke, moldy odor, and pet stains.

It can be best achieved through prior priming before painting or topcoats on your kitchen cabinet. You can apply this primer on all surfaces, which sticks well even without sanding required.

It is important to note that the Zinsser B-I-N primer has strong fumes and must be applied when in a well-ventilated area.

Similarly, use a brush and avoid spraying the primer since this will increase the fumes in the environment, which is hazardous.

For such cases, ensure you put on gas masks or respirators whenever applying this primer to avoid inhaling the fumes.


  • Sticks to all surfaces
  • Fast drying
  • Good for interior and exteriors surfaces
  • Good stain sealer


  • Strong odor

See Also: Interior vs Exterior Paint Compared

6. INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer

INSL-X SXA11009A-01 is one of the finest acrylic primers competent enough to compete with both oil and shellac-based primers – use suitable paintbrushes

INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer Check Price on Amazon

It is formulated with adherent ability to glossy surfaces and creates a hard film on challenging and tough surfaces.

However, this primer is not recommended for polypropylene, and such a strong topcoat must be used – it prevents nicotine stains, smoke, and water from seeping. 

If you are experiencing a challenge of tough stains and smell in your kitchen cabinets, this primer will be a good reproof for you.

I like this primer because it adheres to almost all rigid surfaces and cures into challenging films with enamel holdouts, has quick resistance to cracking and blistering, and a smooth leveling.

This primer is low on VOCs and equally easy to clean with soap and water.

With INSL-X SXA11009A-01, you achieve fast results as it is fast to dry with 3 hours for a recoat. However, when applying, ensure low temperatures of not above for quick drying and better results.


  • Fast drying
  • Low VOCs
  • Easy to clean
  • Applicable on tough surfaces


  • Needs more than two coats

See Also: If You Don’t Paint Over Primer – What Happens?

7. KILZ-2 Multi-Surface Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer

KILZ 2 is a water-based multi-surface primer that provides superb adhesion to paints on porous surfaces and suitable in interior and exterior surface painting.

KILZ-2 Multi-Surface Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer Check Price on Amazon

You can use it to treat strong films, and suitable for resisting mildew growth in your kitchen cabinets. 

You can use this primer on surfaces such as plaster, metal bricks, and drywall, among others, due to its ability to adhere to multi-surfaces.

Among the stains, you can use this primer to hide water, ink, grease, felt markers, among others.

This prime is quite efficient on interior surfaces and only takes 30 minutes to dry-to-touch and approximately one hour for a second coat.

Afterward, you can you oil or latex-based paints to do a top coat to achieve the best results. Before applying primer, ensure the surface is clean of dust, grease, paint peels, and rust inhibitor

Care should be taken as the primer has very strong odor and therefore a gas mask or ventilator is advisable during application.


  • Fast drying
  • Suitable on all surfaces
  • Works on both interior and exterior surfaces
  • Masks stains
  • Manufactured in the USA


  • Has strong odor

See Also: Drywall Primer Sealer


With the above reviews and outline, it is easier to narrow down to the choice of the best primer for your kitchen. But, I have made a few recommendations for you that will be more helpful.

  • The most rated primer Rust-Oleum Primer, 2004 Zinsser Bulls Eye, makes an excellent choice for you. It adheres to most surfaces and requires no sanding.
  • For a suitable water-based primer, KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain Primer/Sealer is excellent. Being environmentally friendly is most appropriate for the application of indoor and outdoor

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