Do You Have to Paint Over Kilz or Use Kilz 2 as a Final Coat

Learn if you can leave Kilz unpainted
Can You Use Kilz 2 as a Final Coat Image

Did you just get the Kilz 2 primer? In this case, you are perhaps wondering if you can use Kilz 2 as a final coat, or do you have to paint over Kilz?

I had the same question after applying primer on my ceiling. So, I did plenty of research on the matter to find out whether it’s possible to leave the primer alone and not add any paint over it. 

I want to share my findings with you. In this post, I will tell you whether you can use Kilz 2 as the final coat and what the consequences are. 

Let’s get started!

Can You Use Kilz 2 as a Final Coat?

No, Kilz 2 is not meant for use as the final coat. Even though this primer is different from others due to the dull flat-matte look, don’t use it as a final coat. 

This product wasn’t made to resist elements from the environment, which means it can quickly become damaged if you don`t topcoat it on time. Moreover, raw primer is prone to attracting dirt, and after a while, starts to deteriorate.  

Do you Have to Paint Over Kilz?

Yes, Kilz 2 helps bond and cover a porous surface,  after which you can safely apply paint on top. The purpose of Kilz is purely for bonding and cannot resist elements the same way paint does.  Therefore, leaving the primer without top coating can damage it over time. 

 Kilz 2 has a flat sheen that helps prepare your surface for painting. Because of its limited nature to only bond, the primer is not safe from rain and sun.

Furthermore, the primer can attract dirt, and when you use it as a top coat, dirt will quickly become visible. Handprints and fingerprints show immediately if you apply the primer on your doors. 

Kilz primer is useful because:

  • It can help seal a porous surface and prepare it for the paint coat
  • It blocks stubborn stains and makes sure they do not ruin the paint job 
  • It works great as an odor sealant 
  • It promotes adhesion
  • It can hide any color that you previously painted on that surface or that someone else painted.
  • The finish is mildew resistant, protecting your surfaces

That said, Kilz 2 only has the above features. And while the characteristics are amazing, still, it is not meant for top coat use. For such limitations make sure you do not leave the surface without painting. 

Sometimes, if you don`t top coat the surface after priming, the primer can absorb moisture and hold it. As a result, this can harm the substrate. 

How Long Do You Have To Wait Till You Paint Over Kilz?

If you don’t want to paint immediately after priming the surface, you can wait for a while. However, you should not let the surface uncovered for too long. 

Ideally, the primer should be top-coated within a few hours to make sure it is properly bonded. 

Otherwise, if you leave it like that for longer than necessary, it may chalk and deteriorate. Even worse, it may prevent future paint coats from sticking to the surface properly. 

Why you Have to Paint Over Kilz?

To avoid dealing with damage or a dirty-looking surface, all you have to do is apply paint over the primer. 

First, you should wait for the primer to dry properly, which usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour. However, it is ideal to wait several hours before painting it to make sure the surface is nice and dry.  

One coat of Kilz primer should be enough to prepare your surface for the paint. So, make sure to apply the coat to create a uniform surface. 

Do You Have to Paint Over Kilz FAQs

  • Can I leave my ceiling with just a primer?

Even though Kilz 2 primer can be used to seal a surface and to make it uniform for painting, it should not be the only cover. 

Despite being a stain-killer, even this primer may end up showing stains over time if you do not cover them. This is why you should always paint over the primer. 

  • What happens if I leave the primer unpainted for more than one month?

As mentioned, you can leave your primer unpainted for about 30 days.

If you leave the primer unpainted longer than this, you will not be able to apply paint over it directly. You will have to re-prime it or sand the wall to make it look even. 

  • How long does Kilz smell last?

Usually, the “off-gassing” will go away after about 3-4 days. It all depends on how well you ventilate the room. The better you ventilate the room, the faster the smell will go away. 

What’s Next?

Now that you know what to do regarding your primed surface, you can buy your paint and cover the coat of primer. 

Also, it is important to know what to do if you already primed your surface and left it uncovered for too long. You should clean it and perhaps sand it if it has been a long time. 

In the end, if you paint over the primer, you will ensure a nice surface that will not damage anytime soon.

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