Kilz vs BIN Primers: (Comparison and Review Guide for DIYers)

How do you deal with the stubborn stench of cigarette smoke and pet urine in your new apartment? Sometimes, it’s not enough to clean the ducts or add fresh coats of paint. You need a high-quality primer to seal in the stench for years to come. 

Most professional painters would agree that Kilz and Zinsser BIN primers are top products in this area. Although the Zinsser BIN is twice as expensive as Kilz, it dries faster and covers more square feet. But Kilz has less of a chemical odor than BIN during application.

This article will explore the differences between these brands to help you choose the best fit for your D.I.Y. painting.

Kilz vs BIN Primer

Why Choose Between BIN and Kilz? 

Bleach and water are not enough to remove those heavy stains and odors from the carpet or walls. These are temporary solutions since strong smells like pet urine only grow stronger with time and can’t always be entirely removed with these products.

 BIN and Kilz primers are the go-to choice for professionals and DIYers because they:

  • Have a faster dry time
  • Seal in odors better than other primers 
  • Are easy to apply to various surfaces

Is Zinsser BIN the Same as Kilz? 

BIN is one of the numerous primers under the Zinsser brand, while Kilz is a separate brand of primers. Popular products under the Kilz brand include the Kilz Original and Kilz 3 Premier. 

Additionally, these products have different compositions. For example, Zinsser BIN is a shellac-based primer, while Kilz has oil-based primers and water-based primers.

Main Differences Between BIN and Kilz Primers 

floor with urine stain

So, what are the functional differences between these products? Which is beneficial for your specific task? 

To understand the differences, we will gauge the brands on the following criteria: 

  • Odor
  • Dry time
  • Longevity
  • Coverage
  • Consistency
  • Bleed-through
  • Price range

Both products are solid competitors, so hopefully, this article will help clarify which is best for you.

BIN vs Kilz for Odors

Tobacco smoke, fire smoke damage, or pet urine odors can seep into your interior or exterior surfaces. Sometimes, using bleach is not enough to remove the stench. So, which primers can do a better job removing odors? 

For this comparison, we’ll compare the Zinsser BIN shellac primer with the Kilz Premium High-Hide Stain-Blocking Interior/Exterior Primer.

The BIN primer seals in a variety of odors with ease. It is also suitable for different surfaces. However, it emits an unpleasant odor during application, which may be problematic in poorly ventilated spaces. But the smell is temporary, as it dries quickly.

Likewise, the Kilz Premium High-Hide Stain-Blocking seeps into porous surfaces and prevents odors from filtering out. However, it does not emit a foul smell since it is water-based. 

Final thoughts: Both products are excellent for masking odors. However, it’s a bit easier working with the Kilz Premium High-Hide stain-blocking primer due to its minimal smell. 

Kilz vs. BIN: Which Primer Dries Faster? 

Kilz vs. BIN comparison for pirming floor

Most primers will dry to the touch within one to four hours. Since we’re reviewing top brands, the drying time is often considerably less.

For this comparison, we’ll review BIN against another primer in the Kilz product line, the Kilz Restoration Interior Primer. 

The Zinsser BIN shellac primer becomes dry to the touch in 15 minutes. This means you can add another coat within 30 minutes. In most cases, a coat of BIN primer is enough to seal in tough stains and odors. 

Despite its fast drying rate, you should wait a few hours before applying a top coat. 

By contrast, it takes 30 minutes for the Kilz Restoration to become dry to the touch. Furthermore, the primer cures within one to two weeks. 

Humidity and temperature affect the drying rate. Sometimes, your primer may dry slowly under high temperatures and humidity. Primers will dry up when the room temperature is within 40°F to 80°F, and the humidity is less than 85 percent. 

Final thoughts: Zinsser BIN primer dries about twice as fast as equivalent Kilz primers under ideal conditions. But both primers have faster drying times than other primers, and you should still wait for any primer to fully cure before applying a top coat.

Kilz vs BIN: Which Performs Better 

applying primer to a molded wall

For this comparison section, we’ll review the BIN primer against the Kilz Max Stain & Odor Latex Primer. We’ll gauge both products based on longevity, coverage, and consistency. Let’s start with the Kilz Max Stain and Odor blocker, a popular Kilz primer for its powerful odor and stain removal properties. It has a thicker consistency that seals different stains and odors in just one coat of paint. 

Many users recommend applying two coats of the primer for foul odors and heavy stains. 

With the Kilz Max primer, stains don’t bleed through when you apply a top coat. Another fantastic feature is the product’s versatility: It is effective on floors, walls, drywalls, and exterior surfaces like masonry and wooden decks. 

The Zinsser BIN shellac primer is a favorite for professional painters. It also has a thick consistency but easily covers more square feet than the Kilz Max Stain and Odor Blocker. 

DIYers can easily use a 5-gallon container of BIN to cover 1,200 to 1,600 square feet. However, it’s only suitable for indoor surfaces.

Final thoughts: Both primers are great at blocking odors and covering stains. BIN has more coverage than Kilz, but Kilz can be used both outside and inside, whereas you can only use BIN indoors.

BIN vs. Kilz: Which Primer is More Affordable?

Price is an essential metric that DIYers need to consider. However, the cost of BIN and Kilz primers may differ by state or region. So, we’ll compare the cost of these products in popular eCommerce stores like Amazon, Lowe’s, and Paintstore. 

A gallon of BIN costs $70 on the Paintstore platform, and you can purchase 4 gallons of the primer for $266.36. By contrast, a gallon of Kilz Max costs $42.73 on Amazon. The five-gallon container costs $204. 

Final thoughts: Kilz primers tend to be more affordable than the Zinsser BIN primer per gallon. You can buy more Kilz primer for a lower price.


Both products are effective in covering up stains and blocking odors. 

However, BIN falls short in terms of versatility since it’s unsuitable for exterior wood and other surfaces and price point because it’s more expensive. Kilz primers take longer to dry but are more versatile and cheaper.