3 Secrets to Stain Blocking

Jun 10, 2019Primer Tips

Simply put, stains are a pain. From a marinara sauce splatter on your white pants to a water leak that ruins your once pristine living room wall, stains are often tough to tackle. When it comes to painting over stained walls, you might think that a quick coat of paint will do the trick. But you’ll likely be left with a stain seeping through the new topcoat.

Professional painters know the secrets to successful stain blocking, and it all starts with primer. Don’t know which primer to use? That’s where we come in! We know more than a few professional painters, and we’ve collected their secrets to stain blocking. 


Secret #1 – Not All Stains Are Created Equal:

The key to successful stain blocking starts with assessing what kind of stain you’re dealing with.

Light stains:

If you’re dealing with a light stain like scuff marks, pencil or crayon, you definitely still want to cover with a coat of primer before applying fresh paint. KILZ 2® All-Purpose is a great choice for blocking light stains – it’s fast drying and will get the job done!

Heavy stains:

For severe stains like those caused by smoke, grease or tannins from certain types of woods, Pros will tell you it’s time to step up your primer game and use the oil-based KILZ® Original or water-based KILZ Restoration™ . Both are heavy duty stain blockers and trusted by professionals.

Secret #2 – Prep Work Leads to the Best Work:

Once you’ve assessed your stain type and procured the proper primer, it’s time to prepare the surface for stain elimination! Ensure that the surface is clean and free of dust, wipe down with a damp cloth if needed and allow to dry. You’re now ready to apply primer over the stain using a brush or roller.

Secret #3 – Do the Topcoat Test for Severe Stains:

When blocking sever stains you’ll want to test for stain bleed-through. Apply your topcoat paint to a small section after your primer is dry. If the stain bleeds through the topcoat, apply a second coat of primer and test again before top coating the entire area. If bleeding continues, a longer dry time is needed before top coating.

When you start with primer, blocking light and heavy stains doesn’t have to be a challenge!


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