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Best Drywall Primer for Imperfections: Top 5 Picks in 2024

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Drywall Primer for Imperfections

Last Updated on January 8, 2023

From pesky water damage to the simple wear and tear of time, drywall imperfections are a fact of life. But no need to despair. With drywall primer, you can quickly fill in unsightly gaps or cracks while sealing any existing moisture present. 

This primer gives your walls an impressive face-lift with minimal effort. An incorrect primer choice can lead to serious consequences like washed out faces during a summer shower or an unexpected fading of your makeup under the sun.

Navigating the world of drywall primers can be tricky, but with a little guidance, you’ll find just what your project needs. Taking time to select the best drywall primer for imperfections that will ensure consistent results and long-lasting success.

There’s more to consider than just the materials when starting a drywall project. We’ve created an expert-approved guide so you can evaluate five of the top primers on the market and decide which one is right for your needs.

Best Drywall Primer for Imperfections: Editor’s Picks

Rust-Oleum Zinsser Drywall Primer for Imperfections

Stain-resistant drywall primer

● White color
● Matte finish Type
● Water based Formula
● 35 minutes drying time
● 87-112 sq. ft coverage

INSL-X Waterborne Bonding Drywall Primer for Imperfections

Multi-Purpose drywall primer

● White color
● Flat finish type
● Safe and easy to use
● Acrylic paint type
● 300-400 sq ft coverage

Gorilla Heavy Duty Drywall Primer for Imperfections

Fast drying drywall primer

● White color
● Suitable for indoor & outdoor
● Spackling & Primer in One
● 15 minutes drying time
● No Sag formula

Top Drywall Primer for Imperfections: 5 Choices

When tackling a drywall project, one of the most important supplies to use is a drywall primer. The right primers help to protect the drywall from damage and serve as a base for subsequent layers of paint or other wall coverings.

Our review of top drywall primers makes it easy to choose a quality product, ensuring smooth and successful results with minimal wasted time.

1. Rust-Oleum Zinsser Drywall Primer for Imperfections

Give your walls the perfect base layer of paint with Rust-Oleum Zinsser Drywall Primer. It’s designed to repair any damages while preventing peeling and won’t scratch, making it great for jobs both big or small. Plus, you’ll love how quickly it dries, so no more waiting.

Rust-Oleum 2004 286258 Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer, 31.5 oz, Gray

● Color: White
● Finish Type: Matte
● Volume: 32.0 Fl Oz (1 Pack)
● Special Feature: Stain-resistant
● Paint Type: Water Based
● Coverage: 87-112 sq. ft

Here’s a detailed look at how Rust-Oleum Zinsser Drywall Primer helps you:

Prevents Paint from Peeling

Rust-Oleum stain blocking primer acts as a reliable sealant between your wall and the paint, which helps to keep the new layer of paint adhered longer. It also prevents old layers of paint from being peeled due to humidity or moisture.

Painless Repair

In cases of minor damage to your drywall, such as scratches or holes, you can use this Zinsser Drywall Primer to make repairs without sanding or making a mess. It’s easy to apply and won’t require any extra tools or effort. 

No Sanding Required

Unlike other primers, Rust-Oleum Zinsser eliminates the need for sanding before painting. This is because it contains high-quality ingredients that create a smooth surface on its own, allowing you to save time and energy when working on projects. 

Fast Drying Time 

The Rust-Oleum Zinsser drywall primer for imperfections dries in as little as 35 minutes, allowing you to move onto painting sooner than with other products. It is also ready to be top coated within one hour after application, meaning you can complete larger projects faster than ever before. 

Prevents Scratches and Other Damage from Occurring 

Rust oleum primer has been formulated with a special combination of resins that create an extra strong bond between the surface and the primer itself. This makes it more durable than other primers and is highly resistant to scratches and other types of damage from everyday wear and tear.


  • Adheres well to drywall surfaces
  • Easily covers up mistakes
  • Coverage of up to 87-112 sq. ft. per quart
  • One coat coverage
  • Excellent stain blocking resistance
  • Can be used with any oil or latex topcoat


  • Low VOC content

2. Gorilla Heavy Duty Drywall Primer for Imperfections

Patching up imperfections can be a hassle, but with Gorilla heavy duty drywall primer, it’s easier than ever. This powerful water-based primer repairs damage quickly and dries as hard as super glue. Applied fast & simple in just 15 minutes, you’ll have walls looking professionally finished faster than ever before.

Gorilla Heavy Duty Wall Repair Spackling + Primer, 16 Ounce Tub,White

● Color: White
● Applications: Indoor and outdoor 
● Volume: 12.5 ounces
● Special Feature: Spackling & Primer in One
● Drying Time: 15 Minutes
● Formula: No Sag

Here’s more information on how Gorilla Primer helps you:

Dries as Hard as Super Glue

Gorilla heavy duty drywall primer for imperfections has an incredibly strong bond that dries quickly and makes repairs permanent. The primer dries harder than ordinary spackle or putty, making it ideal for repairing damaged walls and ceilings.

Can Patch Holes up to 8″ Wide

Gorilla’s heavy-duty drywall primer is perfect for larger repairs due to its ability to patch holes up to 8 inches wide with ease. This specially-formulated blend of ingredients helps ensure quick, effective repairs without compromising on longevity or strength. 

Patches Up Damaged Areas Easily and Smoothly

Gorilla Heavy Duty Drywall Primer allows users to patch damaged areas quickly and easily without creating a mess. The primer goes on smoothly, so you don’t have to worry about lumps or bumps. Just let it dry.

Easy To Clean Up After Use 

Unlike other repair solutions, Gorilla’s drywall primer doesn’t leave behind any nasty residue once dried. The formula washes away easily with soap and warm water, making clean-up hassle free. 

Sets Up Fast

With Gorilla heavy duty drywall primer setting up within just 15 minutes, you’ll be able to get on with other tasks while it takes care of itself. There’s no need to wait around hours at a time while waiting for it to set, so you can move onto other projects quickly without having too much downtime in between tasks.


  • Heavy duty for large or small holes
  • Dries hard and strong
  • Provides smooth finish
  • Covers well, even over older paint
  • Covers cracks, holes, and imperfections
  • No sanding required
  • Does not shrink or crack


  • Hard to spread

3. INSL-X Waterborne Bonding Drywall Primer for Imperfections

For an unbeatable bond, INSL-X waterborne bonding drywall primer is the way to go. From interior walls and cabinetry to exterior siding, tiles, and more, this high-performance sealer has you covered.

INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer, 1 Gallon, White

● Color: White
● Finish Type: Flat
● Volume: 128.0 Fl Oz (1 Pack)
● Special Feature: Low-temperature cure
● Paint Type: Acrylic
● Coverage: 300-400 sq/ft per gallon

Here’s an in-depth review of how INSL-X waterborne primer helps you:

Seals Loose Drywall and Plaster

An unbeatable bond can be achieved with INSL-X waterborne bonding drywall primer. This high-performance sealer is ideal for interior walls, cabinets, siding, tiles, and more.

Not only does it give an attractive glossy finish, but it also ensures resisting chalking, staining, or yellowing that usually causes problems in painting.

Sticks well to Kitchen Cabinets

This primer is great for sticking well to kitchen cabinets made from all types of material, such as MDF board, particle board, or plywood. It helps fill out any gaps in the cabinet’s surface, making sure it’s able to hold onto paint better than without priming first.

Furthermore, its strong adhesion capabilities mean there won’t be any peeling or flaking away when painted over again later down the line either. It sticks well to mobile home cabinets, giving them added longevity in homes with children and pets.

Bonds Very Well to Tiles

INSL-X waterborne bonding drywall primer for imperfections is also great for tiles made from ceramic or porcelain too. This product can even be used as a grout filler to ensure the original color remains.

With its powerful adhesive properties, it can easily cover up large areas of white subway tiles or bathroom tiles with just one application. This provides long lasting protection from mildew growth which would otherwise slowly stain those surfaces over time.

Covers up Yellowing

If you have an older home, then chances are you have some ugly yellowing walls caused by years of cigarette smoke or general age-related discoloration. INSL-X primer helps cover up these blemishes by forming a protective layer right on top of them once applied.

Fast Recoating Time

Recoat your wall surface in just 3-4 hours using INSL-X drywall primer. This quick turnaround saves you valuable time when tackling big projects such as remodeling bathrooms or kitchens. The fast drying primer helps create a seamless transition between coats which makes achieving a professional level finish easier than ever before!


  • Seals porous surfaces for a uniform finish
  • Safe and easy to use
  • Can be top coated with almost any product
  • Cure at temperatures as low as 35°F
  • Each gallon covers 300 to 400 square feet


  • Not suitable for old cabinets
  • Ineffective against wood tannins

4. Vasari Mineral Drywall Primer for Imperfections

VASARI Plaster Mineral Primer (5 Gallon)

● Color: Lime
● Item Form: Wax
● Volume: 640.00 Fl Oz (1 Pack)
● Special Feature: Odorless
● Paint Type: Mineral
● Versatility: Texture, sheen, or color
● Coverage: 1200-1500 sq ft per coat

Shield your home from all manner of dirt and blemishes, both inside and out with Vasari drywall primer. With its resilient crack-free quality, it can cover up to 1,500 sq ft in one coat with ease. It is odorless, so you won’t have to worry about any lingering smells when using this trusty product.

Protects Against Dirt and Stains

This ultra-durable mineral drywall primer offers more than general dirt and dust protection. It keeps walls spotless against even the toughest stains like crayon marks and marker pen ink. An extra layer of defense, it helps maintain original finishes and safeguards surfaces from outside influences. 

Suitable For Both Interiors and Exteriors

This versatile primer can be used on both interior and exterior surfaces to provide superior protection against water damage. It forms an invisible barrier that keeps humidity out while still allowing the wall to breathe. Hence, it won’t trap moisture inside nor cause any bubbling or blistering over time

Natural And Odorless Sealer 

Vasari Mineral Drywall Primer for Imperfections is made with 100% natural ingredients making it safe to use indoors without any risk of unpleasant odors from chemical fumes or VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

The sealer is designed to penetrate deep into the pores of the surface which locks in moisture while warding off dust particles without leaving behind any tacky residue on the surface itself. 

Crack and Fade Resistant 

Protect your walls from seasonal temperature fluctuations and fading due to UV rays with mineral drywall primer. This ultra-tough sealant will ensure that the wall surface stands strong against extreme weather conditions such as high winds or heavy snowfall, even in hot climates.

Large Coverage 

This mineral drywall primer offers unparalleled coverage for 1200-1500 square feet per coat. This superior product lets you cover more area in no time, so your projects are done faster and with maximum value.

Its advanced formulation allows it to stay on the longer meaning you don’t need multiple coats or frequent reapplication which saves you time and money in the long run.


  • Provides protection against water, staining, and dirt
  • Can be wiped or sprayed on and buffed to a shine
  • Suitable for use in interiors and exteriors
  • Coverage is approximately 1200-1500 sq ft per coat
  • Available in any texture, sheen, or color


  • Poor adhesion can result from inappropriate applications
  • It may be costly for small areas

5. Prestige Drywall Paint Colors for Imperfections

Skip the wait and get your drywall repair projects looking their best with Prestige Drywall Paint & Primer. With its unique shades, smooth application and easy clean up, this low-VOC paint is all you need for that one coat finish using a quality roller.

PRESTIGE Paints Interior Paint and Primer In One, 1-Gallon, Semi-Gloss, Comparable Match of Sherwin Williams* Tame Teal*

● Color: SW6757-PCM
● Finish Type: Semi-Gloss
● Volume: 128 Fluid Ounces (1 pack)
● Special Feature: Paint & primer
● Paint Type: Acrylic
● Cleaning Materials: Soap and water

Here’s how the Prestige paint helps you:

Provides Beautiful and Unique Color

Prestige Paint offers you dozens of high-quality colors that are sure to match your existing décor. Whether you’re looking for a classic neutral hue or something bolder, the option of customizing your wall shade is sure to turn any room into an attractive haven.

With this high quality paint, you can create stunning walls and ceilings without worrying about imperfections becoming more prominent. Plus, its long-lasting finish will ensure that your walls look vibrant for many years to come.

Goes on Smoothly and is Easy Cleanup

The best part about using Prestige drywall paint colors for imperfections is how easy it is to apply. Its thicker consistency means only a single coat will do the trick, so prep time between coats isn’t necessary either.

You can easily spread this paint evenly over the wall without much fuss or mess, all you need is a quality roller and some water if it’s too thick straight out of the can. When you’re done with your project, cleanup isn’t a problem either since all it takes is wiping down the surface with a damp cloth.

Low VOC Content

Its low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) make it safer to use indoors than most other paints. This means you don’t have to worry about noxious fumes while painting or afterward.

Plus, there won’t be any lingering odors in your home afterward either. Not only that, but due to its low VOC content, you won’t be exposing yourself or family members at risk from harmful chemicals typically found in other brands of paint products.  

One Coater

You don’t need multiple coats when using Prestige, just one coat will do the trick. The paint has been specially formulated with a thicker consistency. Having a thicker consistency ensures even distribution on walls and ceilings without having to use multiple layers or extra prep time between them.


  • Erases imperfections and light swirls
  • Beautiful, rich colors
  • Fast-drying paint
  • Easy to use and clean up
  • Easily stores paint leftovers


  • Brighter than other semi-gloss primers
  • Not water resistant

Buying Guides on the Best Primer to Cover Drywall Imperfections

Buying Guides on the Best Primer to Cover Drywall Imperfections

When selecting a primer to cover drywall imperfections, it’s important to consider a few factors, including color, protection, single-coat or multiple-coats, paint type, etc. Each of these elements can have a significant impact on the overall look and durability of the finished product.

1. Color:

To choose the right color of primer for your drywall, consider what kind of finish you want and what colors will work with your existing décor. White primers are often used as a neutral base coat since they are light and brighten up any space. For more vibrant hues, try lime green, gray, or green primers that add a pop of color without being too bold.

2. Protection:

The primary purpose of a primer is to provide protection from damage and wear that can occur with time and heat fluctuations (i.e., between summer and winter months).

Primers are designed to create an even surface that resists compounds like dirt and dust, which could interfere with the adhesion of subsequent coats of paint.

Some primers contain mildewides that protect against moisture-related problems such as mold growth or peeling due to water damage. If you want to keep your walls looking great in any climate, look for primers with superior adhesion and UV resistance.

3. Single Coat or Multiple Coats:

Depending on how much coverage you need and how thick the primer is one may need to use multiple coats in order to get an even finish. Single coat primers are better suited for smaller areas while thicker multi-coat primers will be needed for larger surface areas like ceilings or entire rooms. 

Moreover, multiple coats will be needed when painting dark colors over light surfaces or when covering up walls with extensive damage. A single coat may be sufficient when painting darker surfaces with lighter colors because it bridges minor shade differences.

4. Paint Type:

Paint Type

Primers come in various types, including water-based, oil-based, and acrylic formulas which all offer different results and levels of coverage depending on the project at hand. 

Water-based primers work best under latex paints, while oil-based primers perform better beneath oil-based paints such as alkyd enamels or polyurethanes. This principle applies regardless of whether one coat or multiple coats are being used on any given wall surface.

Moreover, water based primers generally provide good adhesion while offering easy clean up while oil based formulas are known for their hardiness against stains but can sometimes be hard to get off surfaces after application has been completed. 

For your next painting project, acrylic primers can be utilized in place of water-based paints. While they provide good adhesion to the surface being painted, many professional painters prefer an oil based primer for its enhanced bonding capabilities specific to individual projects. 

Acrylic primers offer great coverage with minimal odor making them popular among contractors who work in enclosed areas.

5. Coverage:

Choosing the right primer to cover drywall imperfections depends on the size of the surface being covered. Depending on the size of the surface, one should consider using a quart, gallon, or a single coat.

For those smaller spaces up to 87-112 square feet, grab one quart. If it’s somewhere between 300-400 square feet, opt for 1 gallon instead. If your space is larger than 1500 square feet, grab a large gallon.

6. Dry Time:

When it comes to drying time for primers used on drywall imperfections, it can vary depending on how much is applied and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Once applied to drywall imperfections, an adequate amount of primer can take around 15 minutes to become touch dry.

However, some might take slightly longer at approx 35 minutes, before a single coat will be ready for painting over. Larger amounts may take approximately an hour or so before they are ready for painting.  

7. Finish Type of Drywall Primer;

The most common finish types include matte, flat, semi-gloss, satin, and eggshell finishes. Matte finishes are ideal if a subtle change from the existing wall color is desired, while flat finishes provide excellent opacity with minimal sheen.

Semi-gloss finishes are best suited for moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms or kitchens where additional protection from moisture is required.

Satin offers superior washability while being scuff-resistant, making it an ideal choice for high traffic areas like hallways or kitchens. Eggshell provides a subtle glimmer without becoming too reflective in bright rooms.

8. Low VOC:

When considering primers for covering drywall imperfections, low VOC formulations should be considered.

Lower VOC levels mean more environmentally friendly products. Air quality indoors has the potential to be compromised by heavy VOC compounds, with inhaling paint fumes posing health risks.

Does Triple Thick Primer Cover Imperfections in Drywall?

Does Triple Thick Primer Cover Imperfections in Drywall

Yes, triple thick primer is able to cover imperfections in drywall. The thicker the primer, the better it will be for covering imperfections in drywall. With triple thick primer, you are able to get deeper coverage in just one coat, so fewer coats of paint are needed to finish the job.

Can I Hide Drywall Imperfections by Painting Primer with a Roller?

Yes, you can hide drywall imperfections with a roller. Painting with a roller helps spread out the product more evenly across the wall and makes it easier to apply multiple thin coats if necessary.

If you want a perfect finish for your drywall project, use a roller to apply drywall primer in long strokes up and down. This will ensure full coverage of pre-existing imperfections, so the topcoat is applied to an even base layer yielding remarkable results. 

How Much Will Primer Hide Drywall Imperfections?

How Much Will Primer Hide Drywall Imperfections

Applying drywall primer with two or three coats should provide adequate coverage for most minor issues like minor cracks or dents in the wall surface. Its effectiveness also depends on multiple factors, including the type and severity of the blemish, along with how much primer to use.

Repair Common Drywall Imperfections Quickly and Easily

When tackling any home improvement job, the right drywall primer can be key. Knowing what to look for and which type of masking agent best suits your renovation project will help you make informed decisions on how to care for existing surfaces.

Our team recommends Rust-Oleum Zinsser as the best drywall primer for imperfections to prevent peeling paint and scratches. It’s a fast, easy and painless way to repair common drywall imperfections so you can get back to enjoying your home with minimal disruption.

Plus, no sanding is required, and it dries quickly in just 35 minutes. This primer provides superior adhesion and protection from moisture and mildew, ensuring that the underlying imperfections remain hidden even when exposed to frequent use or harsh weather conditions.

Since it doesn’t require any special skills, it’s perfect for homeowners who don’t have time or patience for more complex repairs. So, if you’re looking for an effective and effortless way to restore the look of your walls, Rust-Oleum Zinsser is the perfect solution.

Rust-Oleum 2004 286258 Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer, 31.5 oz, Gray
  • Designed for interior & exterior use
  • Binds moderately chalky surfaces
  • Sticks to glossy surfaces

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