Kilz Vs. Bulls Eye Primer: (Comparison Guide)

Trying to choose between paint primers, and it’s down to Kilz and Bulls Eye? Both are fantastic products, but they vary in coverage.

The Kilz and Bulls Eye Zinsser primers are both suitable primers. However, we have to give the extra credit to Bulls Eye as it has better coverage than Kilz—a gallon of the stuff can cover 350 to 450 square feet in a single coat.

But there’s more to paint primers other than their coverage. 

You must also consider the primer’s durability, affordability, and capability of covering unpleasant odors or tough stains in just one coat of paint. All of these properties are valid in making your decision. 

This article will detail all these factors so you can decide for yourself which primer is best for your paint job, whether you’re a DIYer or a professional painter.

Kilz vs Bulls Eye Primer

How Are They Different?

Though these products have similar components, they have unique selling points and formulas, making them better for different things.

Beyond the difference in brand names, these primers differ in coverage, durability, and drying time. For example, the Kilz Original has a longer drying time due to its VOC content. 

This section will compare various Kilz primers with the Zinsser Bulls Eye primer.

Kilz or Bulls Eye: Which has Better Coverage? 

Knowing how much your primer can cover will help you decide the quantity you need. Let’s discuss the coverage ability of primers in this section. Choosing the right one is even more critical if your wall has any damage or foul odors from heavy stains.

Kilz Primer has about 400 square feet of coverage per gallon, while Bull Eye primer covers about 350–450 square feet per gallon. Bulls Eye primer also provides perfect coverage that doesn’t leave chances for bleedthrough where Kilz primers do.

You will need to apply more than one coat of Kilz Original to seal in stains completely.

Due to Bulls Eye’s high coverage, you will not need to use several coats of paint, even on tougher surfaces. But you will have to recoat when using Kilz Primers, especially if there is any damage or heavy texture to your wall. Overall, Bulls Eye is also a better stain blocker.

Which Dries Faster?

man renovating house using primer

Ideally, you want a primer with a faster dry time, especially if you’re working on a tight schedule. Knowing the drying time will help you save time spent painting and know when to apply another coat.  

Most generic primers have a dry time of one to four hours. But Bulls Eye and Kilz primers become dry to the touch within one hour, which is quite impressive. However, you should wait longer before applying another coat of the Bulls Eye primer. 

You should wait at least 30 to 90 minutes for Kilz Primers and even longer for Bulls Eye primers. Oil-based primers like the Bulls Eye have a slower drying rate due to their VOC content, while water-based primers like Kilz have less dry time.

The long waiting time enables the oil-based primer to adhere properly to the paint surface. So, go for latex primers by Kilz if you want a fast-drying primer. 

Which is More Affordable?

Of course, you want quality, but who said there isn’t such a thing as more value for less? When you want value for your money, you can always save extra bucks with a quick market survey. 

Let’s compare the prices of these primers on major eCommerce websites. 

On the Home Depot website, a gallon of Zinsser Bulls Eye costs $32.98, while a five-gallon container goes for $144. In contrast, a Kilz 2 All Purpose primer gallon is $21.98 on the same website, and a five-gallon container of the stuff costs only $99.

Most Kilz products are relatively more affordable than Bulls Eye Primers. Yet in most cases, the price difference is negligible when purchasing small quantities. So DIYers on a strict budget may opt for the Kilz primer.

Ease of Application

a can of primer

The quality of a primer doesn’t end with the individual ingredients or dry time. You also want the application process to be straightforward. The thickness of the primer is a factor to look out for and the various application methods it can allow. 

Bulls Eye Primer has a much thicker consistency than Kilz primers’ thinner consistency. While this gives it better coverage ability, it makes it more challenging to apply. 

Due to its thickness, it may not give a smooth finish if done incorrectly. Kilz Primer is much easier to use, especially if you’re new to DIY paint jobs.


The Bulls Eye primer outperforms Kilz primers in terms of providing excellent coverage against stubborn stains with only one paint coat. However, working with Bulls Eye primers is quite challenging, especially if you’re a newbie. 

Water-based paint primers like Kilz dry faster and are easy to apply on almost any type of surface.