I love KILZ. It is by far the best brand of primer out there. This week I broke my own rule. I bought another brand. AAAAHHHH. Wal-Mart was out of KILZ spray primer, and I was impatient. I bought another brand of primer. Sometimes we have to be reminded of why we choose certain brands, and this week was a HUGE wake-up call for me. KILZ comes out in a powerful coating, and the competition (tried multiple brands of competition) is weak and needs coats and coats in comparison to KILZ.

Take my advice! DON’T buy another brand.  I used half the can of the non-KILZ primer and gave up and sent my husband to another store to find me the genuine stuff.

Does KILZ make your projects feel like sandpaper?
I am not claiming that KILZ is perfect though. KILZ has had some texture issues at times. For example when I spray the primer on initially, at times it leaves a sandpaper texture on the project. I’ve had this happen multitple times and this week it was consistently reoccurring.

I have a solution. After you have primed your project, use a higher grit sand paper and sand it down after your priming is complete. I used 120 grit sand paper on my electric sander to lightly sand the project surface to remove the sand-papery feel. It worked wonders. Don’t sand it too much; however, because then you’ll have to re-prime which could start the sandpaper texture problem circulating the process. Oh, and make sure that the KILZ is completely dry before sanding it.

Just make sure that after you sand it, you take a damp rag and wipe it clean before you start painting your top coat.

Another tip: I tried the odorless KILZ this week also. I didn’t like it as much and I think the main reason was because the spray spout was different than the original. I would definitely recommend the original over the odorless.

What is this project that I’m working on? Hmmmm I guess you’ll have to wait to find out! :)

Do you have this same sand papery texture when using KILZ? Do you have another solution that I don’t know about? If so, tell me. 😉


  1. says

    i have the same problem! i'm so glad you posted this because i was going to ask! it's been driving me nuts, especially on the little things i've been painting where the power sander is not an option.

    on my little things, i've been using a rough steel wool pad, 100 grit sand paper, or whatever i've got on hand to get it sorted out.

    i suspect that it might be a coverage issue. it seems like if my first coat is too light, the paint dots don't spread out, they just dry as dots, creating roughness. it seems like a thicker initial coat makes the effect better. but i worry that maybe that will impact things in the long run.

    who knows? i'm just glad to know i'm not alone. i wonder what the kilz peeps have to say about this?

  2. says

    I use B-I-N Primer by Zinsser for all my wood, trim and laminate projects. Not to argue with you, but BIN is absolutely the best primer and doesn't leave any texture. It is thin, Shellac-based (so you need denatured alcohol for cleanup) and turns anything into a paintable surface. It also dries in about 15 minutes. It's crazy-awesome, you should give it a try! It also comes in spray form :)

    I still use Kilz for walls, though.

  3. says

    thanks so much for sharing! I've actually just acquired a piece of wood I am using for an upcoming project and having not done much {let's face it, ANY} wood working projects, I wasn't really sure where to start with primer! =) Appreciate the tips and recommendation!

  4. says

    You are a mind reader! I was going to leave you a comment and ask you about this exact topic! I have been doing several projects (which at some point I hope to actually finish and send pics of) and my spray kilz has constantly left a gritty texture…I was about to give up assuming that I was just no good at it! Phew! Thanks for all the awesome ideas…keep 'em coming!

  5. jackieb says

    I am a novice and started using Kilz because of your recommendation.

    I did get that sand papery feel and thought it was natural with primer so just kept going ha ha Glad to know I'm not crazy.

    I have a couple projects I'm playing with. I hope someday to have something good enough to show you.

    thanks for all your tips.

  6. stephsummers says

    My Kilz texture is more like spray snow and leaves a bubbly texture. Two of my friends have had the same problem. If anyone knows the trick for a smooth finish without sanding, please post!!

  7. andrea says

    I'm currently working on a project and I was noticing that sand paper feel, I didn't really think much of it. I'm glad to know that it sometimes happens. I think with the project I'm working on, it brings added charm to the piece. I can't wait to show pictures!

  8. says

    I would only suggest using the kilz spray paint for small projects. Too expensive for big projects and you can use the paint on for a lot cheaper. Who wants to sand. This totally happened to me when doing my entertainment center and it drove me crazy. I finally went and bought the kilz paint on and it was way better to just paint on for a bigger project. I wish I wouldnt have spent so much on the spray paints. Anyways, I agree with you about the spray paint though its great for smaller projects. I dont know if you still check my blog or not but you can see my finished project on there if you would like.

  9. says

    I had this exact same problem the very first time I primed with kilz. I didn't know that this happened. I just hand sanded it in the areas that are hard to get to with an electric sander. It sands down rather quickly. It makes me hesitant to prime again because I don't want to deal with the bumps every time. Especially if the piece I will be working on has fine detail. Hmmmm why does this happen and is there a better solution?

  10. says

    Haven't tried the Kilz yet but I am impatiently waiting for some time to try it out on my bathroom cabinets. I love the transformation that you did in the kitchen and want to do it on mine. But I am planning to start small and see if I get something I can live with. Wish me luck and let's hope I can find the time soon.

  11. Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says

    I have e-mailed the people over at KILZ to see if they have any other recommendations about this issue. I'll let you all know if they respond. :)

  12. One Blessed Mommie says

    You are totally right. Kilz is the best – I've used it for many years. And yes, it does leave an annoying texture. I think it's because it comes out so powerfully and it's oil based so it dries too quickly to "settle" while drying.

    I just use a sanding sponge so it doesn't leave scratches and they last much longer than sandpaper.

    Is it less expensive at Walmart than say Home Depot?

    Thanks so much for all your helpful tips!

    One Blessed Mommie
    Chateau Chic Boutique

  13. says

    Thank you sooo much for this post. I found a gorgeous hutch on Craigslist a few months ago and really want to refinish it. I have been debating and am still debating on what to do with her. I'm so nervous about painting her. I don't want to ruin her beauty. However, when you post great tips and ideas on your site it gives me a little more courage to make it happen. I couldn't do it with out all the knowledge I have gained from you. SO thank you again!

  14. CnR says

    I have been checking reviews on sanders that don't cost more than $50 and am beginning to think that anything you buy will not be very good. I'd like to know if the 1/4 sheet Ridgid Sander that you have been using has a completely flat sanding surface. I'm surprised at how many reviews state that it's not flat, that it rocks back in forth, and can't sand the corners due to the fact that it's warped.

    Have you had this problem with your sander?

  15. says

    Primers have a sand paper feel to them because the molecules (or whatever it's tiny version of it is called) is bigger than paint. It is that way so the paint will go into the open spaces, therefore creating a hold. Or at least that is what the paint guy at Ace tought me :)… I usually sand just a tiny bit with a light grit sandpaper.

    P.S. I lost your blog, and just found it again today. Happy day!! I love your blog!

    Home Decor/Crafts

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