Best Primer For Old Plaster Walls [2024 Review]

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you planning to paint your walls this season? If yes, then you must go through pre-painting procedures before the approach. The next step in the pursuit of fixing your walls is to look for the best primers for old plaster walls. Hence, this guide will provide the list of the best primers for old plaster walls to help you save the effort.

Best Wall Primers For Old Plaster Reviewed

The primer application procedures give an excellent texture to your wall and elongate the life of the paint. One such method is applying primer to your wall before painting to ensure that the finishes are smooth.

Not only that, the primer enhances the saturation of the color of the paint which makes it pop out even more than before.

KILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Latex Primer/Sealer

The KILZ Premium primer is listed under the best overall category because it is affordable and highly efficient. It is a stain-blocking primer that consists of a water-based formula. Furthermore, it is highly effective in helping eradicate the light stains over your walls to prepare them for further painting. Also, you can seek protection for your walls from mold and mildew situations.

Moreover, if your wall has any porous surface, then this primer has the potential to block them out. It comes with superb adhesion for most surfaces, making it ideal for interior and exterior plaster walls. This product is also specifically best for drywall, paneling, brick, woodwork, and masonry walls. In addition, this feature is not available with most of the other products.

With all of its efficacies, it is considered the best overall primer for old plaster walls. This product has a gloss effect and is smooth enough to allow the paint to slide over the surface of the plaster wall. It needs two coatings; the second one is recommended after one hour of the first coat.

Moreover, if you live in highly humid areas, your plaster walls need this primer to add an extra layer of protection. Also, you can apply this primer in your laundry rooms and bathrooms.


  • The VOCs are very low with this product, and it has a mild odor. It is because it has no colorants and has less than 5g/L VOC in it. Hence, it is safe for workspaces or houses.
  • It has a prominent stain-blocking property in it. It is because of the water-based formula that is useful for sealing surfaces and achieving a uniform finish. In addition, it hides the previous colors and light stains on the wall.
  • One gallon of this primer product can cover up to 400 square feet of an area over the wall. Measure your wall size, and decide upon the amount of product you need. Nevertheless, you get a maximum of one gallon can of this primer.


  • It does not cover strong water stains. You might need to approach other treatments to your wall in case it has heavy water stains. This primer is ideal only for covering up the light stains and not intense ones.
  • Also, this primer solution is quite messy and thick to deal with during application.

Magnetic Receptive Wall Paint and Primer

The next category in this list is the primer for plaster walls that is an excellent deal. And after all those intense searches, Magnetic Receptive Wall Paint & Primer made it to the list. The top-notch feature of this primer is that it can change a usual plaster wall into a magnetic board. This makes it stand out from other products.

You need to wait for around 24 hours for the complete curing of this primer before you can apply paint onto your walls. However, the area where it lacks behind compared to the KILZ premium primer is in its drying time. This primer needs around an hour for drying and after which a second coat can be applied, whereas other products in this list take only 30 minutes for the same.

Moreover, the main reason it is in the ‘great deal’ category is that it offers impeccable quality at very nominal pricing. Also, this magnetic primer has no toxic contents and is safe for children. It is a black primer, and one-quarter of it is enough for application over a 20 square feet area.


  • Every coat of this primer offers magnetic appeal over the wall. And, two heavy coats are preferable for enhancing the results. In addition, two coats will improve the holding force of the primer over the wall.
  • Its magnetic effect allows you to stick magnets, clips, and other magnetic objects to your wall. It’s perfect for home offices and study rooms.
  • It is easy to use. In addition, this primer is not so thick, making it easy for you to apply it easily without professional assistance.


  • The drying time is more for this product.
  • Heavily stained plaster walls will need more coats of this primer to improve its holding power and magnetic strength.

Rust-Oleum 276087 Mold-Killing Primer

Now is the time to bring your attention to the best old plaster wall primer that is the affordable without compromising quality. The Rust-Oleum Mold Killing Primer is the most affordable yet quality primer that should be your ideal choice if the price is a concern for you.

Like the other two, this is also a water-based primer and is mainly used to eradicate molds from plaster walls. However, even though this primer is the affordable of all, it has the unique property of killing mold, fungus, bacteria, and moss, unlike costlier ones.

Antimicrobial agents, approved by EPA, are the formulation ingredients for this primer. It not only prepares your wall for new paint but also stops the growth of molds, fungus, and other organisms over it. Hence, it is like a 2 in 1 product for you!


  • It kills molds, fungus, bacteria, and other such organisms. So it is because of the antimicrobial agents present in the formulation of this primer.
  • It is easy to apply with rollers and brushes because the thickness is not too high for this primer.
  • It is an appropriate primer for both interior and exterior surfaces. Finally, as it is a water-based sealant, it works fine over humid walls.


  • The primer solution solidifies within the can if it is stored in too hot or too low temperatures.
  • This primer doesn’t work well in hiding the yellow mold stains. Some types of molds are too deep over the walls and require more professional treatment.

Features to Consider For Best Primer for Old Plaster Walls

Now, you are aware of the best three products for your consideration, per the funds and quality needed. Furthermore, you should be aware of the features you can consider before buying any of these primers.

Product Medium Holding Power Ease Of Clean-Up
KILZ Premium High-Hide Latex Primer/SealerWater-basedWon’t hold paint well on plastic, glass, formica, and other tough-to-paint surfacesEasy — use soap and water
Magnetic Receptive Wall Paint and PrimerWater-basedCreated for walls onlyEasy — use water/alcohol
Rust-Oleum 276087Water-basedDecent hold, but it takes seven days to achieve maximum adhesionEasy — use soap and water

#1 Medium Type

Before you go ahead and buy the primer for your old plaster walls, you need to check the type that suits the walls.

Couple painting their old plaster wall

For the old plaster walls, water-based primers are ideally preferable. The reason for it is that water-based primers clean up quite conveniently and dry quickly. Moreover, such solutions do not have a strong smell as well.

Therefore, if you are willing to fix your plaster wall, water-based primers are best. Apart from that, you can also prefer oil-based primers or spray primers, as per your needs.

All of the primers discussed in our guide are water-based that offer quick dry quality and premium finish.

#2 Holding Power

Check for the thickness and holding power of the primer to ensure that it can hold paint efficiently. The higher holding power of primer over the wall will ensure the use of lesser paint coats. Therefore, do check for this potential in the primer that you pick for your application, as it will ensure less use of paint, and you can save some bucks.

#3 Ease Of Clean-Up

For water-based sealants, you can clean the brush using normal water that makes it easy and time-saving after application. However, you cannot do the same with oil-based primers. You will need mineral spirits for cleaning the brushes and rollers after use. Hence, it is more time-consuming and requires a little more effort.

Couple mixing in a primer before painting their wall

Cleaning the brush is important to make it usable for the next time you need those accessories. Therefore, get the supplies ready for cleaning the primer application tools, depending upon your choice.

The Kilz Premium primer can be cleaned using soap-water. On the other hand, there are also a few primer primers that require a concoction of water and alcohol to clean up like the Magnetic Receptive Primer.

Types of Primers

There are different types of primers. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and is considered the best primer for old walls. Depending on what you’re project is and your preference, one of the types of primers should be suitable for you. 

Oil Primers

Oil primers are great for old plaster walls. If your walls are all bumpy and rough with some stains through the paint, then you should consider using this. It is also best used with oil-based paint. 

Oil-based primer is your best primer for sealing in stains and tannins. It’s great for covering nasty smoke stains or smells. 

Binding Primers

Binding primers are primers that help with the binding process. Binding primers are generally thick. They are great for worn-down surfaces. 

When applying this primer, wear a mask because it usually has a weird smell. Once it dries, you can add latex paint so the texture won’t be too thick. 

Stain-Blocking Primers

Stain-blocking primers are what they are; they block stains and remove them with ease. Make sure you sand the wall properly to create an even flat surface. 

This primer is water-based, so it covers up porous surfaces and helps to smoothen the whole wall. When you apply paint, it looks much smoother and looks like a new paint job. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need to Prime Old Plaster Walls Before Painting?

Yes, you need to use primer on old plaster walls before painting to prevent all kinds of moisture on the surface. You have to fix all damaged areas of the walls first before painting them. 

Can You Paint Straight Onto Old Plaster Wall?

It’s not recommended to paint straight onto old plaster walls. You need to seal the plaster or the paint won’t stick on the wall. You also usually don’t get a good finish if you paint straight into it. 

How Many Coats of Primer on Plaster?

It’s usually recommended to use two primer coats on plaster. The reason for this is that the first primer coat would be soaked up by the wall. The second primer coat replenishes any primer absorbed by the surface. 


Getting the right primer can make the paint job a lot easier. Primers refine the smoothness over your old wall, which makes the paint run smoother over the surface, with fewer coats. So, what are you waiting for? Buy a primer and start with the first step of the painting process!