Glidden Vs Kilz PVA Primer: (Comparison and Guide)

It’s primer time. You don’t just want any standard primer—no, you’re choosing between Glidden and Kilz PVA primers. But you’re not sure which would be better for your paint job.

Glidden vs Kilz PVA Primer

 Both brands design their primers specifically for drywall, have excellent sealing properties and will provide the perfect finish. How are you supposed to choose between two fantastic options? Consider this:

Glidden primer is more affordable for DIYers on a strict budget: a 5-gallon container of the product can cover 45 sheets of drywall for $64. The Kilz primer is slightly more costly but is also more effective in sealing stains from sharpies, pencils, and water.

In this article, you’ll read more about the similarities and differences between Glidden and Kilz PVA Primer. By the end, you should be able to make the most informed decision for your priming project.

Glidden Vs Kilz PVA Primer: Which is More Accessible and Affordable?

Of course, you’ll want to choose a primer you can actually find in your vicinity. Before making your decision, ensure it is available locally at the store around you. 

Fortunately, both Glidden and Kilz brands are reputable brands that should be easily accessible from wherever you are.

In addition to accessibility, the cost of the primer is also an important metric to consider. 

On the Home Depot website, a five-gallon container of Glidden PVA primer costs $64. The same quantity of Kilz primer costs around $70, making it a more expensive paint primer.

That’s about a $6 difference per container. But is that the only thing you should consider?

Glidden Vs. Kilz PVA Primer: Stain, Moisture, and Odor Resistance

priming drywall

While they are both excellent primer choices, Kilz is probably the better of the two, especially if you’re dealing with stains.

According to many user reviews on the official Glidden website, the product does not always cure properly and allows underlying coats of paint to bleed through even after using a topcoat. Kilz doesn’t seem to have this problem as frequently.

Kilz PVA primer adheres well to sheetrock drywall and mud and becomes dry to the touch within one hour. It’s better suited to new, uncoated drywalls.

Kilz also has better coverage with one base coat than Glidden, as you can use one gallon to cover 400 square feet of drywall in a single coat. The same amount of Glidden PVA primer can cover 250 to 300 square feet of smooth, non-porous surface.

Which Primer Dries Faster?

Your preferred primer should dry faster to save time and reduce the chances of messing up the paint. On average, most primers dry within one to four hours. 

It takes about 30 minutes to one hour for Kilz PVA Primer to dry to the touch. This makes it a faster-drying primer than Glidden PVA primer, which becomes dry to the touch in about 2 hours.

However, factors like temperature and humidity may increase the drying time of either primer. And if you have extra time for your project, this extra hour to an hour and a half may not be a big deal. 

Is Benjamin Moore’s Freshstart PVA Primer any good?

Benjamin Moore's Freshstart PVA Primer is applied to a drywall surface

Perhaps you’ve expanded your search to other primers. Another excellent choice you can go is Benjamin Moore’s PVA Primer. The brand has built quite a reputation for its ability to prime smoothly, cover harsh stains, and seal in strong odors effortlessly. 

A 5-gallon Benjamin Moore’s Freshstart goes for about $42.99, which is a bit on the high side if you ask me. Its lower cost makes it a fantastic choice for you if you like the Kilz and Glidden primers but want to save about $20 to $25 bucks.

This high-quality primer works like magic on bare, dry walls and saves time as you don’t need to recoat. It’s an excellent option that’s cheaper than both Kilz and Glidden.

What to Consider When Choosing Drywall Primer

It is a bit tricky working on drywall, especially if this is your first time doing it yourself. Drywall surfaces are really dry with open pores that are not good at absorbing paint. 

So you need an all-purpose primer that will seal up the pores and reduce the paint needed to cover the drywall. 

Using a coat of drywall primer will seal those pores. But, you must choose the right one for the best results. Here are some things you can look out for when selecting a primer for your wall:

Drying Time

putting primer on a drywall

You want your results to last forever, not the curing time. It’s vital to know the drying time of the primers you choose. You should always go for primers with no more than an hour or two of dry time.


All paints and primers contain a significant amount of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. But some primers have fewer. Given the possible ramifications of high VOC exposure, it could be a determining factor in priming your home.

If you’re priming a room with limited aeration, the safer option would be a product with fewer VOCs


Generally, Kilz primer is a better stain blocker for heavy stains and odor catcher than Glidden PVA primer, but KIlz is more expensive per container. 

You can also go for Benjamin Moore, which is another excellent primer at a lower price point.

Ultimately, your decision relies on whether you prefer a great stain-blocking primer or a cheaper primer.