Kilz 2 vs Kilz 3 (Are They The Same?)

Kilz 2 and Kilz 3 are both water-based primers used to enhance paint penetration and adhesion.

Kilz 3 is formulated with extra additives and has better stain-blocking and moisture-resistant qualities than Kilz 2.

Use Kilz 2 over surfaces with small stains or moisture, and use Kilz 3 for exterior surfaces with large stains, oils, or moisture.

What is Kilz 2?

What is Kilz 2?

Kilz 2 is a water-based primer that enhances paint penetration and adhesion. It’s a general-purpose primer with low moisture and stain-blocking qualities.

Kilz 2 is formulated to be compatible with most interior surfaces, to have a fast dry time, and to cover existing paint finishes.

You can use Kilz 2 for the following things.

  1. To protect surfaces from small to medium stains.
  2. To improve paint penetration and adhesion.
  3. To change the surface color shade.

Related Read: Kilz Original vs Kilz 2

What is Kilz 3?

What is Kilz 3?

Kilz Premium 3 is a high-quality primer designed to adhere to most surfaces and block large stains. It’s designed for interior and exterior surfaces and covers large stains from the surface, prevents the stains from bleeding through, and enhances the paint adhesion.

Kilz 3 offers impressive stain blocking, moisture resistance, and improved adhesion.

You can use Kilz 3 for the following things.

  1. To protect against mold growth.
  2. As a sealer coating.
  3. Over exterior surfaces.
  4. To cover large stains and grease.

Kilz 2 vs Kilz 3

The differences between Kilz 2 and Kilz 3 are listed below.

Stain Blocking

Kilz 3 offers better stain-blocking qualities than Kilz 2 as it’s formulated with extra additives, is designed for exterior usage, and has a thicker viscosity.

Kilz 2 primers can hide or cover small stains, moisture, and scratches, but can’t cover large stains or high moisture amounts.

The Usage

Kilz 2 primer is used over porous and non-porous surfaces to create an undercoat that enhances paint adhesion and penetration. It’s a water-based general-purpose primer.

Kilz 3 premium primer is used to cover and seal surfaces from moisture, stains, tanning, and oils and prevent them from bleeding through. It has good stain-blocking qualities and enhances paint penetration and adhesion.

Surface Adhesion

Kilz 3 primer has better surface adhesion as it’s formulated with extra additives and is designed to adhere over interior and exterior surfaces.

Kilz 2 has good surface adhesion but can’t adhere properly over exterior surfaces exposed to water or moisture.

Project Size

Kilz 2 primer is ideal for small and medium surfaces, such as windows, doors, and cabinets. Kilz 3 primer is ideal for medium and large exterior surfaces, such as construction surfaces or exterior wall surfaces.


Kilz 3 has a thicker viscosity than Kilz 2 as it’s designed with extra additives because of its exterior usage. Kilz 2 doesn’t have a thick viscosity as it’s designed with fewer additives.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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