Kilz vs Kilz 2 (Is There a Difference?)

Kilz original primer is an oil-based primer known for its stain-blocking qualities. Kilz 2 is a water-based primer used to enhance paint adhesion.

Kilz original primer has better stain-blocking qualities than Kilz 2. Kilz 2 primer has better surface adhesion and a faster dry time than Kilz.

What is Kilz Original Primer?

What is Kilz Original Primer?

Kilz primer is an oil-based primer type produced by Masterchem Industries known for their primer, paint, and stain production.

Kilz original primer is known for its stain-blocking qualities, good surface adhesion, surface sealing, and versatility. It covers surface moisture, water, and stains, and creates a layer (barrier) over the surface to promote paint adhesion.

You can use Kilz original primer for the following things.

  1. Over porous surfaces to prevent paint over-absorption.
  2. To block moisture, water, and stains on a surface before applying paint.
  3. To cover smoke on a surface.
  4. Over exterior surfaces.

What is Kilz 2?

What is Kilz 2?

Kilz 2 is a water-based primer used to enhance paint penetration and adhesion. It has good stain-blocking qualities but is not as good as Kilz’s original primer.

Kilz 2 is a general-purpose primer that doesn’t have special qualities except for enhancing paint penetration. Its water-based formula makes the primer dry faster.

You can use Kilz 2 for the following things.

  1. To enhance paint adhesion.
  2. To prevent paint bleed through.
  3. Before painting porous surfaces.
  4. Over interior surfaces.

Related Read: Kilz 2 vs Kilz 3?

Kilz vs Kilz 2

The differences between kilz and kilz 2 are listed below.

Surface Adhesion

Kilz 2 has better surface adhesion than Kilz because it’s water-based and is a general-purpose primer.

Kilz primer is oil-based and adheres to most surfaces, but its thick viscosity prevents it to adhere over wood surfaces with small pores. It takes longer for it to penetrate and dry over a surface.

Kilz 2 primer adheres to all surface types as it has a water-based formula and a thinner viscosity.

Stain Blocking

Kilz blocks stains, moisture, and tannins better than Kilz 2 because it has an oil-based formula and is formulated with more additives.

Kilz 2 doesn’t block stains, moisture, or tannins as it’s a general-purpose primer designed to enhance paint adhesion and not protect the surface.

Dry Time

Kilz 2 dries faster than Kilz as it has a water-based formula and a thinner viscosity. Kilz takes around 2 hours to dry before painting, while Kilz 2 takes around 30 minutes.


Kilz primer is used over surfaces exposed to water, moisture, stain tannins, and smoke, as it offers better stain-blocking qualities.

Kilz 2 primer is a general-purpose primer used over normal surfaces to enhance paint penetration and adhesion. It’s not designed for wet surfaces and doesn’t have good stain-blocking qualities.

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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