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Best Primer for Treated Wood in 2024 [Top 10 Model Reviewed]

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If you are someone who loves to work with wood or does woodwork professionally, then you probably have heard about primer.

Woodworks often need paint, and primer is a component that you should consider using if you want your paintwork to look phenomenal. This wonderful ingredient helps the paint to sit perfectly on the wood.

However, you should get the perfect primer for the type of wood you are working on. This article will talk in detail about treated wood primers. We have reviewed some of the top options in the market for the best primer for treated wood to help you make a perfect choice.

With these primers, you will be able to get that professional finish right at home.

Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Latex

INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer

KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain Interior Latex Primer

10 Best Primer for Treated Wood Reviews

No need to keep on looking for good quality primers anymore. We’ve got just the list for you. Check out our top 10 primers for treated wood if you want the best for your wooden project.

1. Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Latex

Nothing can beat a good quality water-based primer for your wooden project. You spend so much time building your wooden frames, chairs, and windows; you should want them to stay glossy and fresh for a long time. If that’s your main priority, this will be the best primer for treated wood.

Once coated fully, this primer will keep your wooden project chip-free. It adds a natural semi-glossy finish, which does not dry down the wooden texture completely. This one also does not add too much shine. That is perfect if you want a natural finish for your woodwork.

This coating will let you a very long time. Users have gone years without needing another coat of primer on their wooden projects. It can protect the wood for months and even years straight.

Another great thing about this primer is that it has no odor. So if you’re in a rush, you could also get done with the primer coat inside your house with the help of proper ventilation.

This coat will dry down completely within 30 minutes. It is indeed a great primer to have when you’re in a rush!

One can of this primer cover 120 sq ft, which for the money, is quite a good deal.

Highlighted Features:

  • A water-based primer that can last for years
  • Dries down in 30 minutes and covers all imperfections for and even coat of paint or lacquer
  • Covers a large area of 120 sq ft
  • No odor, can be used indoors and outdoors 

2. Rust-Oleum 286258 Primer

We love Rust-Oleum when it comes to water-based primers. These primers are quite versatile and can give you a finish that lasts for years.

This primer can even be used on a surface that has been painted before. All you need to do is give the surface a quiet sanding, and the primer is ready to be poured or spread.

Besides wood, you can use the primer on masonry, concrete, drywall, and even metal surfaces. So if you have a bit leftover from using on your wooden project, you can use it on other surfaces as well.

As the formula is water-based, you won’t need to do much sanding unless the surface has paint or lacquer coated on it previously. So this primer only takes a few minutes to settle in.

Just one coat will do, but if you plan on coating the primer with some other type of layers such as paint, solvents, or lacquer, you might want to go for two layers.

The primer, apart from protecting your woodwork and keeping it looking new, can also protect surfaces from stains. You can clean this layer of primer easily with a wet washcloth to get rid of any extra paint or stains on top.

Highlighted Features:

  • Can easily be cleaned with a wet washcloth
  • Protects your work from stains and marks
  • Can be used on metal, masonry, and even drywall
  • A water-based primer that does not need that much pre-sanding
  • Grey primer that can also be used underneath vibrant colors as a topcoat

3. INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer

Enamel or acrylic-based primers can work great as an exterior paint primer for pressure treated wood. This is because the formula of the primer allows them to set quite hard, which gives them great protection qualities.

It is the best primer for pressure treated wood if you do not like sanding or need to get the job done quickly. Thanks to the new and improved formula of this primer, you can use it on hard to sand surfaces such as glossy tiles, surfaces with resin coat, and lacquer on them without having to sand for hours.

This sturdy coating can be topped with any sort of solvent or chemical. No matter what’s in the coating on top, this enamel primer will be able to handle it.

The one thing you need to consider, though, is the drying time. Because the coat dries so hard, it needs some time to dry fully. It is best if you wait for 24 hours before you go ahead and put on another coat of a product.

But not to worry, no matter how cold of a region you live in, this primer will dry completely. No stickiness, even in low temperatures such as 35F.

Highlighted Features:

  • Can be topped with any sort of coating
  • Dries hard even in colder areas within 24 hours
  • A hard coat of primer protects wood, glossy times, and even metal from stains and chipping
  • Can be cleaned easily with water and soap

4. KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain and Odor Blocking Interior Latex Primer

Tired of having to deal with the nasty odor that comes with a coat of primer? Not only is this odor hard to deal with, but the odor can also be quite harmful to you.

That is why we recommend this KILS restoration odor-blocking primer. This is a great primer to have if you have kids at home or people who are sensitive to smell. The odor-blocking feature of this primer helps make this a product that can be used regularly at home.

This primer is also a great stain blocker. So if you have preexisting stains or scratches on your wooden surface, just one coat of this primer will help remove all kinds of imperfections.

Use this primer on any interior surface. No matter what the texture of the surface is like; drywall, brick, ceramic tile, painted metal, or even glass, this primer will stick on like glue.

A single coat will dry in 30 minutes. If needed, you can apply 2 coats as well. This water-based primer will protect objects from nicotine smoke, fire, and all sorts of weather damage. The coat also provides great water protection.

To keep this semi-glossy coat clean, you can use a simple mixture of soap and water. No fancy cleaning liquid is required.

Highlighted Features:

  • Odor blocking formula can be used inside the house without any harm
  • Protects from stain
  • Can be used on any kind of surface
  • Will dry to touch in 30 minutes
  • Provides nicotine smoke, fire and weather protection

5. Zinsser 03504 Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer

Pressure-treated wood looks so much better with a shiny coat of primer on. It just brings back the life in the wood and makes it look fancier. If you like a glossy coat on your wooden projects as well, you should surely check this primer out.

The Zinsser 03504 is an oil-based primer that glides on like butter. It is not too thick nor too thin. So the primer can easily be coated without much struggle. You can pour the primer or use a brush, whichever method you are more comfortable with.

This primer is known for its added glossiness. People love the glossy look it gives with just one coat. If you like things a little extra shiny, you could add two coats as well. Be sure to wait for an hour between each coat.

With this primer, you won’t even need any extra coat of paint or gloss. The primer is great at giving you odor and stain protection as well. So you can smoke near the wood without worrying about nicotine smoke damage or fire damage.

Use this on a new project or old ones. No need to sand down the surface. This is a quick-dry quick coat primer that is great for a job on the go. 

Highlighted Features:

  • Can be used on old wooden objects and new ones without any sanding needed
  • Just one coat will give you a great glossy coat
  • An oil-based primer that is not too thick and not too thin so glides on smooth and easy
  • Seals in all kinds of added stains

6. KILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer

You’ve seen us mention KILZ quite a few times on our list. This is because the brand makes primers that are great for wood. They keep the wooden integrity intact and help keep them looking brand new for a much longer time.

This one from KILZ is no less. It is a water-based formula that is easy to work with. You do not need any new tools to spread this on evenly. Pour the primer directly on to the wood or use a paintbrush to spread it evenly.

The primer spreads evenly and lays flat with no air bubbles and bumpy spots. It automatically levels itself so that your work is much faster and more efficient.

You can use the primer to hide any imperfections that the wood has. No need to remove previous stains and lacquer; you can pour this stain on top of it without any worry. The primer has low VOCs and almost no odor. So you can use it both inside and outside of the house.

For cleaning up, you can use any cleaning cloth with water and soap. No need to add any additional cleaning liquid.

Highlighted Features:

  • Levels automatically can be poured directly with no air bubbles and bumps
  • Low VOCs and no odor- can be used both inside and outside of the house
  • One gallon covers 300to 400 sq ft area
  • Can be used to protect stains, color and gloss or lacquer

7. Rust-Oleum 207014 Marine Wood and Fiberglass Primer

Rust-oleum is known for making a few of the greatest oil based primer for treated wood. Their formula is thick yet light, which allows for an easier pour but sturdier protection.

Oil-based primers usually do not have the right viscosity to be poured so easily onto a surface. With this primer, pouring the layer or getting an even coat should never be a problem.

This formula is designed to protect your work from rust and corrosion as well, making it the most suitable oil-based primer for pressure-treated wood. You can also use this formula on plastic and vinyl.

No need to worry about previous coatings; you can pour this primer on top of the paint, lacquer, and even glossy primers. Plastic surfaces might need a little bit of sanding due to their slippery texture. A light sanding will surely make the primer stick on better but is not a necessity to get the perfect finish.

This primer is mainly to be used as a basecoat. It creates the perfect canvas for paint and other kinds of stains or lacquer. Adding a coat of this primer will ensure the longevity of the coat on top.

Highlighted Features:

  • Perfect viscosity for easy pouring and even layer without having to use many tools
  • Mainly to be used as a basecoat to be layered with paint or lacquer
  • Can be added on top of the plastic, vinyl pressure treated wood
  • Adds extra glossy finish that helps keep your projects looking brand new and corrosion resistant

8. Prestige Exterior Paint and Primer In One, 1-Gallon, Satin

Are you tired of having to put on a primer and then a coat of paint separately onto your woodwork? We get that it takes too much time. So if you want to speed up that process, you might want to take a look at this Prestige Exterior paint and primer.

This primer comes in the color white. It has a built-in primer and paints formula. So just one coat will give you the protection of a primer and the color of the paint.

Even though the color is white, this paint goes on quite smoothly and evenly on darker surfaces as well. No need to add on an extra paint primer. You won’t see any patchiness thanks to the opaque formula.

The paint is an acrylic latex formula that allows you to clean up the surface quite easily. Some soap and water are all you need to keep this paint coating clean. Any marks or stains will rub right off.

Besides that, this coating also gets rid of all kinds of scratches and scuffs from the surface. For the best results, you should sand the surface at least once.

Highlighted Features:

  • Paint and primer in one make your job more efficient
  • Hides all kinds of scratches and scuffs on the surface
  • Marks and stains rub right off and can be cleaned with soap and water
  • The opaque formula gives you an even and smooth layer of paint just in one coat

9. Rust-Oleum Corporation 01008 Primer Spray

Spray on primers are just the best! Not only are they quick, but they are also efficient and quite protective.

Rust-Oleum is already a fan favorite wood primer brand. So when they made a spray on a version, we had to put it on our list.

There is no doubt that this primer serves nothing but quality. It is a spray-on version of their original treated primer.

This is a great primer for people who are just getting started with woodwork. The spray-on process is quite user-friendly. There are no tools required, so the coat is mess-free and quick as well.

Even if you are not a beginner, you will benefit greatly from this spray-on primer. Not all projects need a full-on coat of primer. You could have this in handy for your smaller projects that need a coat of primer in just a small region.

Besides being so easy to use, this spray-on primer also keeps your projects protected at all times.

The spray protects your woodwork from water stains, marks, corrosion and also dust, and nicotine smoke. You could also use this as an adhesive for your glossy coat, lacquer, or paint.

Highlighted Features:

  • Spray on a primer that does not require any tools
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Great for spot priming
  • Protects your woodwork from water stains, rust, and smoke damage
  • Can be used on all kinds of surfaces

10. KILZ L211101 Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Latex Primer/Sealer

Latex-based primers will be your best friends if you want something to hold on to the paint on the top layer. These are stickier and adhere to the surface of the wood so that they can hold on to the paint for a longer time.

Not only can you use this KILZ primer on wood, but you can also use it on plywood, hardwood, wooden boards, and softwood. All you need to do is sand the surface of the wood properly so that the layer of primer sticks to it properly.

This kilz primer for pressure treated wood has a viscosity of 93-100 KU, which makes it easy to spread on to a surface. You could use a paintbrush or a roller to get a smooth layer of the primer onto the surface.

The primer is mainly used on surfaces that are hard to paint on. But you can put a lot of things on top of this primer layer except for paint, such as epoxy, solvents, lacquers, and products containing Xylene. Anywhere you need a secure bond, this primer will help out.

One gallon of this primer will cover 300 sq ft of area. Use one coat or two, whichever your wooden project requires. The primer dries to touch in 30 minutes, so you can recoat or put paint on the surface almost instantaneously.

Highlighted Features:

  • The viscosity of 93-100 KU for easy pour and spread
  • One gallon covers 300 sq ft
  • Can be used under epoxy, solvents, lacquer, and xylene solvents
  • Use a single coat or double; dries in 30 minutes

Comparison Chart

ProductIndoor/OutdoorBased onCure Time
Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch LatexIndoor and OutdoorWater-based30 minutes
KILZ L211101 Adhesion High-Bonding Interior Latex Primer/SealerIndoor and OutdoorLatex-based30 minutes
Rust-Oleum 286258 PrimerInterior/ExteriorWater1 hour
INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer, InteriorAcrylic or Enamel24 hours
KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain and Odor Blocking Interior Latex PrimerInteriorWater-Based30 minutes
Zinsser 03504 Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer SealerInterior and exteriorOil/Enamel Based1 hour
KILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex PrimerInterior and exteriorWater-Based1 hour
Rust-Oleum 207014 Marine Wood and Fiberglass PrimerInterior and exteriorOil-based1 hour
Prestige Exterior Paint and Primer In One, 1-Gallon, SatinExteriorLatex-based2 hour
Rust-Oleum Corporation 01008 Primer SprayInteriorShellac-base15 minutes

Best Primer for Treated Wood’ Buying Guide

Primer for Treated Wood Buying Guide

As we said before, you have to choose the best primer for pressure treated lumber depending on the wood type. Therefore you need to consider some points before you buy a primer.

Type of primer

Now there are different types of primers in the market, which might confuse you. One of the most confusing things is the dilemma of whether to go for oil-based primer or water-based primers. Both the primer has their benefits.

The oil-based primer is more or less better than the water-based as they are more effective at blocking water and stains. However, they take a very long time to dry off. So if you are a professional who has to deliver with a very short deadline, then this is something you should not go for at the last minute.

On the other hand, the water-based ones are much better if you are working indoors as they have less to no smell. Some find the smell of primer too strong, so if you are one of them, then this is the right choice for you.

Water-based primer is also very easy to use and dry off very fast, unlike oil based primer for pressure treated wood.



Remember, always check the ingredient of the primer before you buy it. This will help you determine whether the primer is the best primer for treated wood or not. Some ingredients in the primer might be too harmful to you.

Ingredients it is made of tells you how long it takes for the primer to dry off, the type of material you can work on with the primer, and the quality of work it will provide you with. The performance of the primer highly depends on its quality.

Checking for brand names can also be helpful when checking the quality.

Application and Reliability

A product that makes your work faster, and the work process faster without creating extra hassle is what we call useful. The easier the primer is to use, the better.

Now before buying a primer, keep in mind the application process of the primer. There are primers in the market, which makes users’ life miserable. They need several reapplications, which makes the work process unnecessarily difficult and lengthy.

Spray on bottles can be a great treat for people who need to get the job done quickly. Pour on primers or ones that can be used with a paintbrush are also great to have.

Frequently asked questions

Which Primer is the Best for Pressure-Treated Wood?

In the case of pressure-treated wood, latex-based compounds are most recommended by experts. First, you paint the wood with latex paint, or you can also call it water-based paint, and then prime it with latex primers.

What is Used to Seal Pressure Treated Wood?

In the case of seal pressure-treated woods, it is recommended to seal it with a water repellent sealer, which will provide the best out of your precious work.

What Happens if you Paint Pressure Treated Wood Before the Recommended Time?

You should never paint on the pressured-treated woods before it is dry and ready to be used. If you paint on it when it is still wet, then obviously, the paint will not sit on the wood properly. Eventually, it will ruin the whole thing.

How Long do you Need to Wait to Paint Pressure Treated Wood?

This depends on the type of wood and the wood itself; however, we can provide you with an estimation of the time frame. You should wait from 6 months to a year before you start your work with the wood.

Why is my Pressure-Treated Wood-Splitting?

One of the main reasons can be that the wood has dried out; therefore, it is splitting.

Final Words

Woodwork is art. People who do this work need a lot of effort and time to do this work. Getting a beautiful finish is just the cherry on top. Priming the wood helps you achieve that perfect finishing. It helps the work to be more durable and helps get an excellent professional look.

We have provided the article in the hope that it will help you find the best primer for treated wood. With the help of this guide, we’re sure you won’t be confused while making the purchase. We hope you’ll find your desired product in the list provided above.

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