7 Best Primer for Oak Cabinets in 2024

If you are looking for a cheap alternative to buying expensive replacements for your furniture, painting oak cabinets (and kitchen cabinets) is viable. 

Best Primer for Oak Cabinets

However, choosing the right primer is of critical importance when preparing the surface – either for new cabinets or kitchen cabinet remodeling

The primer for oak cabinets should minimize the wood’s grain and keep the grain from bleeding through the paint. Its minimal shrinkage – a suitable choice for cabinet surface preparation.

s: 7 Best Primer for Oak Cabinets 2024 

1. Aqua Coat white cabinet grain filler

Aqua Coat white is easy to apply a solution, which allows you to fill the pores and grains of your wooden cabinets before the painting process begins.

Aqua Coat white cabinet grain filler Check Price on Amazon

This action minimizes the absorption rate while raising the grain level to a uniform height to guarantee you a smooth polished surface – especially using this roller

The Aqua Coat Grain Filler is ideal for smoothing out the grain of oak wood cabinets resulting in a dramatic difference compared to surfaces without fillers.

With a drying time of 45-60 minutes, this primer presents an excellent choice if you are looking for an instant solution. This unit is easy to apply and clean up, which further attests to this unit’s dependability.

The filler can be thinned with water if you are a DIYer who is just getting acquainted with cabinet priming. Don’t avoid your priming step if you need to remodel the kitchen cabinets.  

Besides, it sands and levels quickly as compared to other standard primers. While sanding is not a must, it improves the adhesion of the filler.


  • Extra-ordinarily smooth finish
  • Fast-drying action
  • Eco-friendly


  • Relatively limited coverage

See Also: Best Drywall Primer Sealer

2. Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primers for all surfaces

For users looking for a multi-purpose primer for different home projects, Bull’s Eye 123 presents the perfect solution.

Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primers for all surfaces Check Price on Amazon

This primer’s odorless nature and ease of cleaning with soap and water make it ideal for kitchen oak cabinets.

Additionally, this primer locks porous surfaces by forming a protective coating due to its deep penetrating power.

The flexible nature of this paint makes it suitable for use at different temperatures. These primers are versatile – it’ll also get a good tile primer, plaster primer, concrete primer, or metal primer

Also, it seals different types of stains from smoke to grease to water. This primer contains a porous film that allows interior house moisture to escape, minimizing the exterior paint coating’s blistering and peeling.

What’s more? Its low smoke generation and non-flammable nature make it suitable for institutional applications. This primer adheres to a wide range of surfaces without sanding or deglossing.

The Prime Oak Cabinets with oils primers are better than Latex primer since it won’t prevent wood bleeding. Also, I would recommend you use the BIN shellac primer

It acts as an excellent sealant for painted surfaces, providing more color and sheen to your oak cabinets.  The Zinsser 123 also hides dark spots and severe water and smoke stains. 

Applying the cabinet primer and paint, I recommend using the Graco airless sprayer and getting some excellent finish spray tip that’ll leave your cabinets with an exceptional finish. 


  • Suitable for  use with any topcoat
  • Fast drying time
  • Suitable for different surfaces


  • Relatively expensive

See Also: Can You Leave Primer Unpainted

3. Retique It Liquid Pint Golden Oak Stainable Wood Fiber Paint

Retique It is a revolutionary new product that allows you to stain off the surface without sanding the old coating.

Best Primer for Oak Cabinets Check Price on Amazon

Retique It contains real wood, which leaves you with a thin layer of wood film finish which matches different color stain, giving you a bare wood sensation.

Additionally, this primer is water-based and biodegradable and does not leave behind a strong smell, making it an excellent choice for interior oak cabinets.

This product is easy to use because it can be applied using a standard brush or sprayer.

Also, cleaning up is as easy as applying soap and water, which spares you the hassle of the time-intensive wood stripping process to remove the old paint.

This primer’s adhesion and absorption properties are excellent, which allows the product to stain the oak surface like it would for an unfinished wooden surface.

Thanks to its Ultra-low VOCs, you get virtually no irritation from using this stainable primer. To paint the cabinet doors, you can utilize the curved drying rack to paint both door sides. 

This high performing primer contains nano pigments, highlighting the wood grain and improving the color clarity to deliver the perfect shade in just a single coating.


  • Wooden based for a more natural finish
  • Lasting finish
  • Works well on hard surfaces


  • None found

See Also: Painting Kitchen Cabinets without Sanding

4. Nuvo  Earl Grey  Cabinet  Paint Kit

Add some depth and sophistication to your old cabinets with the earl grey edition of the Nuvo paints.

Nuvo  Earl Grey  Cabinet  Paint Kit Check Price on Amazon

This paint kit is perfect for DIYers looking to transform their oak without the mess, cost, and time associated with alternative solutions.

The best part about this product is that it contains paint and primer in a specialized solution. For remodeling contractors or DIYers, use an airless paint sprayer, roller, or a paintbrush

This Nuvo product is easy to use through brush or roll-on application and transform your oak cabinets in two easy coatings.

Each kit includes two cans of cabinet paint, a single brush, an instructional manual, two roll covers, and two stir brushes. Each kit contains all the tools you need to cover 100 square feet, the typical kitchen cabinets’ size.

This primer requires minimal surface preparation, which spares you the hassle of taking your cabinets apart. For cabinet painting, I now use Sherwin Emerald Urethane – it is durable & has hard drying. 

In addition to water-resistant features, this product is highly durable and scratch-resistant. The paint makes it the perfect application for everyday use without a top coating or sealant.


  • Executive finish
  • All-in-one package
  • Multifunctional


  • Relatively pricey

See Also: Valspar Cabinet Paint

5. B-I-N Zinsser Shellac-based Primer (1 liter)

The B-I-N Company goes as far back as 1946 and is popular for its wide range of interior and exterior painting and priming products.

B-I-N Zinsser Shellac-based Primer (1 liter) Check Price on Amazon

In particular, it’s white pigmented primer-sealer, and stain killer is excellent for use in spot priming and sealing stains from previously painted surfaces.

This product is popular among professional painters because of its fast drying time and its cures as it dries, making it a suitable choice for kitchen oak cabinets.

If you are dealing with fire damage, this primer is the go-to choice because it contains fire’s acrid smell. What’s more?  This primer acts as a sealant for water and grease stains that tend to affect kitchen cabinets.

The specially formulated B-I-N pores seal the surface to ensure that less paint is used without compromising the uniformity of appearance.

Additionally, this shellac-based primer resists dirt better, and its ease of scrubbing makes it easy to wash off. The Zinsser primer is highly dependable and capable of sealing the worst stains.

This primer adheres to different surfaces, eliminating the need for etching or deglossing to achieve a stronger bond. With fast-drying, it’ll stick effectively on either interior/exterior/ interior paint


  • A proven tradition of excellence
  • Expunges smell of smoke
  • Sealant for different types of stains


  • Takes long to cure

See Also: Paints that Resist mildew growth

6. Kilz Original Interior Primer

Kilz Original features a new, improved look; this Kilz primer contains a powerful stain-blocking formula capable of sealing most interior stains.

Kilz Original Interior Primer Check Price on Amazon

With over 40 years of dependable performance, professionals trust this interior primer due to its sealant and adhesive properties.

The primer was initially designed to compensate for the shortcomings of pigmented shellac primers. It adheres well with metal, fiberglass, surfaces such as glass, chalky and glossy finishes. 

Its adhesive properties help the primer to adhere to a wide range of surfaces with dependable results. Additionally, it seals all the porous surfaces to guarantee you a uniform look on your oak cabinets. 

This primer helps seal smoke odors and a wide range of interior stains caused by water, grease, or tannin. It’ll be useful both on plastic, plaster, metal, and kitchen cabinet (wooden). 

The Kilz Original Interior primer serves as an excellent base for oil-based paints – a versatile choice for different interior surfaces such as drywall, bathroom cabinets., wallpaper, and other well-prepared glossy surfaces.

The 5-gallon primer provides excellent coverage, particularly if you are looking to seal porous surfaces. What’s more? A single coating application is sufficient to cover dark stains.


  • Excellent coverage – just like a rust inhibitor
  • Highly versatile
  • Fairly priced


  • Not suitable  for moldy surfaces

See Also: Stain for Red Oak Floors

7. Zinsser Cover Stain Classic Oil primer

Zinsser Cover is an excellent pick if you are looking for a low VOC option to restore oak cabinets destroyed by water, smoke, and fire.

Zinsser Cover Stain Classic Oil primer Check Price on Amazon

Its dependable flexibility, adhesion, and stain blocking power set this unit apart from the competitors. The Cover Stain classic sticks to different surfaces without sanding.

When applied on interior surfaces, this product dries up fast while it’s sealing power offer excellent stain killing undercoat performance.

By permanently covering all the previous stains, you are guaranteed of a blemish-free top coating. The primers could also work with painting metal door surfaces

For a new oak cabinet, the product allows you to prime, sand, and coat the surface on the same day, saving you valuable time and resources.

This specially formulated product does not crack or peel off, making it an excellent choice for all decorative topcoat paints. Additionally, it can be tinted to most mid-tone and deep tone shades.

You get coverage of 9.8m squared with every purchase of 1 liter of Zinsser Original primer. The fast drying time (35 minutes) sets it apart due to the fast drying action, while recoating can be done 2 hours.



  • It takes long to  cure


Our featured list has reviewed the quality primers in the market based on user recommendations. 

The most crucial buying considerations for oak cabinet primers are ease of use, performance, and value.

The editor recommends the Kilz Original Interior Primer because it can seal smoke odors and a wide range of interior stains caused by water, grease, or tannin – and chances the light-dark color

Similar Posts