The 5 Best Water Based Primer Paint in 2022

People who are into paintwork know the importance of a primer. This is an undercoat that helps with paint adhesion. Applying paint directly over a plain surface might not be as effective as you wish it to be, but if you layer a high adhesion primer before putting the color paint, it will provide excellent adhesion and make the paint durable.

Water-based primers are also known as latex primers. They tend to dry faster compared to oil-based primers and don’t peel or crack easily. If you are seeking the best water based primer paint, you are reading the right article. Below we will talk about some of the finest products out there on the market. Please bear with us. 

1. Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye All Surface PrimerBest Overall Product 

If you are looking for a paint primer that has excellent stain blocking resistance, something that can bond with tough-to-paint surfaces and improve paint adhesion, then the Zinsser 02004 Primer can be a worthy pick. It is a water-based paint primer that is suitable for exterior surfaces as well as interior surfaces.

Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye All Surface Primer - Best Overall Product

I love the fact that Zinsser has so many variants of primers in their collection. Every product has its use and works just as well. We have picked this particular item because of its all-purpose use and the benefits it boasts. Take a look below to know more about the positives. 


  • Acrylic, water-based paint type
  • 32 Fl Oz in 1 unit
  • White color shade
  • It has matte finish
  • Suitable for exterior and interior


Multi-Purpose Use

The Zinsser 02004 is a good bonding primer that can be applied to the exterior and interior surfaces. The good thing about this unit is that it can be applied over a previously painted surface or new ones. It can be layered on unfinished drywall, bare wood, metal, concrete or any other challenging surfaces.

Uniform Seal

It can embrace any given surface and stick efficiently without the need for sanding. Zinsser works as a sealer that helps any colors to be applied on hard-to-paint surfaces. 

Stain Blocking Resistance

This primer has excellent stain withstanding power and therefore keeps the surface clean and gives a smooth finish. You can use both latex paint and oil-based paint without any fuss.

Fast Drying With Good Coverage

When it comes to drying time, this product will not let you down. It can take just 35 minutes to dry and should be ready in an hour for a new paint job.


In some cases, this primer might not set well on wood surfaces and might end up having uneven textures, which might require sanding for fine-tuning. Little bumps on the wood surface might be noticeable. Be sure you clean the surface properly before applying it.

Expert’s Verdict

From my first-hand experience, I can assure you that this water-based formula is a good bonding primer that will allow the topcoat to sit properly without any unwanted issues. It can be applied to different surfaces and has great sealing properties. Something every DIYer or painter looks for in a primer. 

Best Water-Based Primer Paint

2. Zinsser BullsEye Zero Primer – Best Water Based Primer For Wood

Another Zinsser product in our list that deserves a shout out is the Bulls Eye Zero Primer. It is a layering compound that can be a better alternative than the oil-based primer. Not only does it cover stains and block residues, but it can also be used in a variety of planes, such as a porous surface or glossy ones. 

Zinsser BullsEye Zero Primer - Best Water Based Primer For Wood

What catches the attention is that it has no volatile organic compound, thus it is not harmful. You can use any topcoat over this paint primer. So without further ado let’s break down the positive sides of this efficacious item


  • Works with watercolor paint
  • 945 ml in 1 quart
  • Comes in white color
  • It has glossy finish
  • Dor exterior and interior use


Great Stain Blocker

This formula is very effective in tackling stains, tannin bleed and graffiti. It works as a sealer that can cover up even the most critical areas.

Works On Different Surfaces

One advantage of this product is that, unlike many other primers, it can be put over a variety of planes such as metal, concrete, wood, etc. You don’t have to worry about surfaces like galvanized metals, glazed brick or glossy surfaces with severe stains anymore. 

Good Coverage And Fast Drying time 

This primer dries fast. It can take just an hour before you can start adding the main paint over it. The full cure time is 1 hour, which is pretty fast for a primer. You can apply over 100 sq ft of an area using one quart of this primer.


Keeping safety standards in mind, this primer has no volatile organic compounds, so it is safe for humans. It has a very low odor, which is a huge positive.


The only drawback that I found is that it doesn’t work that well on water stains. It does cover stains in most cases, but old water spots can be a bit tough to layer up. The price of it is also a bit high compared to other paint primers. 

Expert’s Verdict

I’ve had the opportunity to test different primers, but I’ve to give credit where it’s due. The Zinsser Bulls Eye Zero will give your painted surface the added layer of protection and adhesion. Priming with this item will give you a smoother finish so that the top layer can be put on conveniently.

3. Zinsser Rust-Oleum 24993 – Best Primer Paint For Walls

Before you start painting, you must go with proper preparation. Missing out on a primer might make your work even harder. The paint alone will not be able to hold on to the surface for long. This is where Zinsser 23993 primer comes into play. 

Zinsser Rust-Oleum 24993 - Best Primer Paint For Walls

People who are looking to give any lightly rusted metal or chalky paints a new makeover should go for this product. Not only does it work on old surfaces, but it will also work wonders on a completely new plane and provide you with high-quality paint adherence. Let’s see what it offers.


  • Supports watercolor paint type
  • 946 ml in 1 unit
  • White shade
  • Provides matte finish
  • Suitable for interior and exterior


Dries Fast

It is very quick to react and can dry out in a short time. You will be allowed to topcoat your paint in just one hour after applying the primer. 

Protects The Top Coat

Not only does it have good adhesive quality, but it also creates a barrier to protect the bottom surface. When you put paint over it, the paint will stick to the primer and will be able to tackle scrapings, flakings, etc.

Good Bonding Quality

The Zinsser Rust Oleum primer is formulated in a way that it binds to the surface adequately and holds on to the paint like no other. It can make an irregular surface work like magic and give it a natural finish.

Blocks Stains

This primer has the knack of blocking all kinds of water stains and keeping any wall free from blemishes and spots. It also works on oil stains. The color being white, it can hide away any imperfections on the wall. 


My only complaint about this primer is that it solidifies too easily and you might end up having a solid chunk when you open the lid. Make sure to stir well after every use, otherwise, it might harden over time.

Expert’s Verdict

Zinsser never ceases to amaze us with their high-quality primers. The Rust-oleum 24993 is another fine product that painters will love to have in their bucket. This primer has an extravagant binding quality and stain removing ability that will surely make you happy. 

4. Zinsser B-I-N Advanced Primer – Best Primer Sealer Paint

For a proper paint job, you must have the right primer beforehand. Most primers will just work as adhesives but lack effective qualities, but not the Zinsser BIN Advanced primer. It is a top tier stain-blocking primer that can seal unwanted knots and settle on various surfaces without any issues.

Zinsser B-I-N Advanced Primer - Best Primer Sealer Paint

You don’t have to worry about its formulation. It is a water-based item that can be topped on the exterior and interior walls. It has a bright white color that is super functional in hiding rust stains, water markings, etc. Not to mention it makes the topcoat sit perfectly on the surface.


  • Assists watercolor
  • One Can contains 946ml
  • Comes in white color
  • Has matte finish
  • For exterior and interior


Good Brand Value

When I talk about Zinsser, I’ve to say that the manufacturer is one of the best in the business, when it comes to making primers. 

Stain Blocker

Say no to brush colors to hide imperfections. Water stains and smoke stains can cause menace when it comes to the outlook of a wall. Use this primer to terminate any stains of such without much hassle. 

Quick Dry Time

Zinsser products dry out fast. Similarly this BIN Advanced is quick to react and dry out as well. It completely dries in 45 minutes or so. 

Low Odor

With zero VOC, this paint primer is very safe for human use. The main positive of this item is that it won’t emit much smell, which can be a pleasant situation while you are painting. 


A common issue with this primer is that it is not as effective as it should be on wood tannins. You might end up with orange bleeding from the woods even after using the primer. Make sure to coat it a few times to avoid such problems. 

Expert’s Verdict

I am a Zinsser fan, to be honest. Terrier primers are of the highest quality and this BIN Advanced primer is no exception. This latex primer is one of the best primers on the market for a reason. It is super functional, blocks stains, seals tannin, knots, etc. It dries fast and can adhere well to colors of different kinds. 

5. Magnetize-It Magnetic Paint And Primer – Best Primer Paint For Interior Walls

Let’s talk about a unique latex primer, the Magnetize-It water-based solution is one of a kind paint solution that will give you a magnetized wall. Hard to believe? I had initial doubts as well, but not any more. It truly works and can be layered with any variant of paint or chalkboard paint. 

Magnetize-It Magnetic Paint And Primer - Best Primer Paint For Interior Walls

Creating a magnetic wall has never been easier. Simply get this paint primer and give your room a gallery-like wall to showcase your artwork. It is very functional for toy rooms, rooms with many hanging photos, kids’ rooms, etc. Let’s check out its advantages.


  • Suitable for watercolor
  • 32 ounce in 1 quart
  • Has dark gray tone
  • Provides egg-shell finish
  • Only for interior use


Magnetic properties

Coating magnetize-it on any surface will give it a magnetic feature. You can top it up with any topcoat paint and it will still hold the magnetic property intact. This primer was minted to be used for rooms that take a lot of photos, magnetic letters, postcards and stickers on the wall. 

Supports Different Types Of Paint

This gray primer is adequate to hold on to a ranging type of paint. From oil-based paints to latex paints, this primer will eventually make your household look striking.

Good Use On Recreational Rooms

I say this works best in kids’ rooms, because they tend to stick a lot of things on the wall, from photos, stickers, postcards, etc. 

Eggshell Finish On Ranging Materials

This primer is not limited to concrete walls, it can be used on metals, masonry, drywall, wood, etc. When it comes to the outcome you get a low luster and reflective eggshell finish. 


A single coat of this primer might not be sufficient to give it a strong magnetic body. You will need two coats or more. For example, you might have to go for 5-6 coating to accommodate just fridge magnets. 

Expert’s Verdict

It might look appealing and truly boast the metal attaching property, but for me, I don’t opt for magnetic primers because not only does it take a lot of layering to get the desired result, it can be time-consuming. For people who want a magnetic wall and don’t mind extra effort on the coatings, they can use this item at ease.

Which Is Better – Oil Based Or Water Based Primer

When it comes to primers you might be discombobulated on which primer to choose. Well, the truth is that oil-based primer and water-based primer both have different uses and work on distinctive aspects. I simply cannot pick one because that would be underestimating the other. Rather I would like to highlight the Use of each primer for you so that it gets easier for your selection.

Oil Based Primers

  • First and foremost, if you are using oil solvent paint, you must pick out an oil-based primer for the best paint bind and smooth smooth texture
  • These primers work excellently on fresh wood, giving them the sheeny look and shields from unwanted hazards
  • It is known as a good primer to seal stains and keep things immaculate

Water-Based Primer

  • Water-based primers are versatile, they can be topped with oil-based paint if you prepare well. Make sure the primer is fully dried before applying paint
  • Good thing about water-based primers is that they have all the positive characteristics similar to oil-based primers
  • It is versatile and can be used on multiple surfaces such as wood, metal, concrete, etc.
  • Excellent for indoor choices such as priming interior walls, furniture, cabinets, door trims, etc. 

What Type Of Primer To Use?

Whatever you pick, you have to be sure whether you are going to apply the supporting paint coating over it. Water-based primers are best suited with latex paint, whereas oil primers will work magic with enamel lacquers.

Also, remember to use a primer that is suited for the surface and environment. If you are working indoors and outdoors, you can get a multifaceted primer like the Zinsser BullsEye Zero Primer. Don’t hop on to pick something that won’t suffice your needs. For example, you cannot coat the Magnetize-It Magnetic Paint And Primer on exterior use. It is the best fit for living rooms and plays zones.


What Is A Water-Based Primer Paint?

Primers are the undercoat that sits on a surface as a preparation before the actual painting job. These substances come in two variants, water or oil-based. As the name suggests, water-based primers use water solvents in the mix and are very easy to clean. The main task of a water-based primer is to keep the adhesion intact so that the regular paint can sit on it.

Can I Use Enamel Paint Over Water-Based Primer?

You can use enamel paint over a water-based primer but make sure to coat the primer adequately. You might need some extra coating to adhere to the paint properly. Make sure to dry the surface before you use the paint. 

Is Water Based Primer Acrylic?

In many cases water-based primers will have an acrylic formula, making them convenient to use compared to solvent-based primers. On the other hand, water-based primers are dedicated to acrylic paints whereas oil-based formulas are dedicated to enamel paint.

Can I Paint Water-Based Paint Over Oil-Based Undercoat?

When talking about old paint, you cannot put water solvent paint on top of an oil-based paint undercoat, but you can perform the opposite. Water-based colors will start to chip away because they won’t be able to tolerate the glossiness of the oil paint. When you apply primer, it is workable to put water-based primer over oil primers.

Final Words

Primers are used to ensure a secure bond with the paint coating and make it last longer. Not all primers will give you the best outcome, this is where you have to be a bit picky. To ease your worries, I have scoured the internet, tested many products and came up with the best water based primer paint for you. 

All the items mentioned above have their characteristics and suit different needs. If you are truly looking for an all-rounder, I would recommend you the Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye All Surface Primer. It is very potent, has uniform sealing capability, stain-blocking resistance and excellent paint adhering capability.

Stop looking elsewhere, check out the products I mentioned and grab your favorite. It’s time to make your paint coats look lively.

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