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Choosing the Right Primer: Kilz PVA vs. Kilz 2

Do you have a painting project? Or maybe you have a list of different DIY home upgrade projects. If your next project involves painting, the essential thing to note is the importance of a suitable primer for your project.

Regardless of the size and scope of the project, proper prep work will guarantee exceptional results for many years to come. Prep can be time-consuming, but the rewards are worth it. There are wide primer varieties in the market today that may leave you confused.

So, in this article, we shall discuss two primer products from a reputable brand known as Kilz to help you tackle the common painting hurdles. We shall share the information you require to decide on the most suitable primer for your project. Stay on board.

The Importance of Primer Use in Any Painting Project

Why is it vital to use a primer in all your painting projects? Read on

  • Prevent stains like water stains, tannin, and smoke from passing through your topcoat finish
  • Enhances adhesion between the surface and the topcoat paint
  • Seals porous surfaces before painting to achieve an even finish in fewer coats of paint
  • Special primers solve different problems in certain situations, from mold and mildew prevention to alkali-resistant primers for powdery surfaces, all depending on your needs.

Kilz PVA vs Kilz 2: Overview

Kilz 2

Every successful painting task begins with a good primer coat, and kilz 2 does a perfect job. It is preferable for light projects such as ceilings, doors, and wall trims. Kilz 2 is excellent for hiding minor stains like pencil marks, water stains, rust, ink, grease, and felt markers.

The second primer from Kilz Company, a water-based type of primer coating that gives stain blocking and protection against moisture, is kilz 2. It has a mild odor, making it an incredible choice for interior and exterior applications.

The primer coating protects against light and medium stains like pencil marks, swirl marks, and color stains.

Being a water-based primer, it dries very fast, sticking to interior and exterior surfaces, such as brick, adequately prepared glossy surfaces, drywall, painted metal, masonry, plaster, and wood.

Kilz 2 primer is ideal for surfaces and paints because it contains a low level of VOCs, solvents, and chemicals, which is why it is known as the all-purpose primer.

It costs $22.99

Advantages of Kilz 2 

  • It improves adhesion between the top coat and the surface
  • It is ideal for walls, ceilings, and doors
  • It protects against small to medium stains
  • It primes before water-based or oil-based paints are applied.
  • Used in sealing porous surfaces and smoothening drywall patches before paint is applied
  • It is effective when changing simple colors or switching between shades of the same color due to its enhanced hiding trait.
  • Protects against mildew growth to maintain a pristine appearance
  • It is cleaning  is by use of  soap and water
  • Seal odors



  • It doesn’t cover heavy stains.


Kilz PVA Drywall Primer

Painting over a fresh or repaired drywall isn’t similar to repainting an existing wall. Regardless of the simplicity, painting new drywall does need extra preparation to ensure an even finish, actual color, and consistent sheen in your outcome.

However, a product you can trust with your priming project is Kilz PVA drywall primer. It is perfect for use on fresh drywall. This interior water-based primer is fast–drying.  

Kilz PVA is formulated to prime and seal new, uncoated drywall, thus, reducing the number of topcoats required for a uniform, professional-quality finish.

It is for use under flat, and low sheen paints only. Don’t topcoat with glossy paint finishes.

Kilz PVA is a low VOC primer; thin enough, making it simple to apply by sprayer, roller, or brush while allowing you to coat your surfaces quickly and easily.

It has been given 5-star rating reviews. One 5-gallon bucket can cover up to 2,000square feet of drywall at the cost of around $9.80

It requires 24hours of setting time before the top coat is applied. Although it may not work in your favor, it will save you time on additional coats of paint in the future. 


Benefits of Kilz PVA primer

  • It is fast dry, reducing the waiting time for topcoats 
  • It has low VOC formula
  • Ease to apply with a brush, rolls, or sprays
  • 5-gallons covers up to 2,000 square feet of porous drywall


It takes 24 hours to settle before top coat application.

Kilz PVA vs. Kilz 2:Similarities 

  • Both primers are water-based and fast-dry.
  • They are not thick due to their designed roles. Kilz 2 is light to conceal small and medium stains, while Kilz PVA is thin for easy application on the new walls.
  • Both primers contain low VOCs.
  • Both reduce the number of topcoats required for an even, professional-quality finish.

Kilz PVA vs. Kilz 2: Differences

  • Kilz 2 is versatile because it can be used in the exterior and interior, whereas PVA is interior-based. Kilz 2’s use ranges from dry walls plastered to windows, doors, and cabinets. On the other hand, Kilz PVA is for new drywalls only.
  • Kilz 2 is a multi-purpose primer which means it is allowed on all surfaces, including different types of textures, unlike PVA, which focuses only on new/fresh walls.
  • Kilz 2 on a painted surface is allowed, but with Kilz PVA, there is a prohibition on its use on painted surfaces. 
  • The primary role of Kilz 2 as a primer coating is to enhance adhesion, while PVA is to seal pores to ensure they don’t show through the paint, although it has adhesion features too to enable the stickiness of the paint when applied.
  • Kilz 2 protects against mildew growth.

In terms of cost, Kilz 2 is more expensive than kilz PVA though considering the benefits, it is worth the value for your money.

To identify the correct primer to use, first, you need to identify the surface type. Second, examine any underlying issue you want to tackle, like stains, odor sealing, and severity. Lastly, consider any unique scenarios like needing a mildew resistance in areas like the bathroom or switching colors.

Above all, both Kilz brand products are of high quality and exceptional. Although considering their benefits, we can say Kilz 2 offers a broader scope of use than Kilz PVA despite its high cost. So if you would love to have one combo kind of primer, Kilz 2 is a better option for you, and the final results are mesmerizing.