PPG Gripper vs Kilz Primer: (Comparison Guide for DIYers)

Are you stuck between choosing the PPG Gripper vs Kilz Primer? Perhaps the hardware store clerk isn’t helping matters, and you want a more detailed and informed guide. Fortunately, we have just the guide for you!

Both primers are excellent for a lot of priming functions. But Kilz oil-based primers are better suited to blocking stains and bright colors and have a lower chance of bleeding through. By contrast, you’ll need more than one coat of the PPG Gripper to blot out stains. 

There’s more to the story than just that, though. This article will give you more information that should help you choose between PPG Gripper and Kilz primer for your painting project.

PPG Gripper vs Kilz Primer

Is PPG Gripper the Same as Glidden Gripper? 

As confusing as it is to have two names for the same product, that’s kind of the case here.

PPG Gripper is mostly the same product as Glidden Gripper. However, there are a few differences you need to take note of, namely who manufactures it and slight alterations to the formula content.

PPG Industries bought the Glidden Gripper company in 2012 and changed its name to PPG Gripper. It also changed the formula by reducing the total solid content from 46% to 39%, thinning the consistency of the product. So PPG Gripper is a lot thinner than the previous version.

According to most users and reviewers, the new product is also weaker in terms of blocking stains and odors. 

PPG Gripper Primer vs Kilz Primer: What Are the Differences?

home renovation with tools, paint and primer

Take a walk through your local hardware store, and you’ll find one or both products stacked on the shelves. 

Both primers are pretty popular, and making a choice isn’t easy. To help you navigate these differences, we’ll compare the products based on their durability, coverage, affordability, versatility, and effectiveness against stains and odors. 

Which Primer is More Durable? 

How durable is the primer when used on outdoor surfaces? Can it withstand heavy foot traffic when used on floors? These are essential questions to consider when priming high-traffic outdoor surfaces like decks and masonry. 

Kilz Original contains calcium carbonate, which is an excellent UV-resistant chemical. In other words, it lasts longer on outdoor surfaces.

On the other hand, the PPG Gripper is an acrylic primer suitable for cabinets, floors, walls, and even outdoor surfaces like masonry. However, it is not as durable as the Kilz Original on outdoor surfaces because it doesn’t have UV-blocking ingredients.

Verdict: Kilz Original is more durable than PPG Gripper and more suitable for outdoor surfaces, while PPG Gripper is ideal for indoor surfaces like floors and cabinets.

Note: PPG Gripper dries faster than the Kilz Original. It is ready for a recoat within 30 minutes, provided the humidity is less than 85 percent. 

Which Has Better Stain Coverage?

Kilz Primer vs PPG Gripper

How well do the two primers block things like water stains, pencil marks, and pet urine? Let’s compare the PPG Gripper with Kilz 3 Premium primer to get answers. 

Oil-based paint primers like Kilz 3 Premium are generally more effective at covering heavy stains than latex-based primers because the oils prevent bleed-through.

For safe measure, apply two coats of the primer to seal in stains and previous paints on surfaces.

PPG Gripper is formulated to block colors on painted surfaces. However, most users of this product report that the previous color keeps showing on the new topcoat. As such, it’s more beneficial for unpainted and new surfaces like drywall and cabinets. 

Final verdict: Kilz primers are the better stain blocker and stain killer compared to PPG Gripper, which doesn’t cover previous stains or coats of paint as effectively.

Which Blocks Odors Better? 

Kilz Original primer is the ideal choice for dealing with heavy and mild odors. It forms an oil barrier on the surface and traps in any pungent stench. Although it has a watery consistency, two coats of the oil-based primer are enough to get the job done. 

Keep in mind that oil-based primers emit putrid odors, which may trigger health complications. Use N-95 masks when applying the primer. Also, switch on the cooling unit and open the doors and windows to dry the paint faster.

On the other hand, the PPG Gripper is a low-odor, fast-drying primer suitable for indoor spaces. It effectively blocks moderate smells from molds and mildews. It’s not as effective for strong odors like pet urine, though.

Final verdict: Oil-based primers like Kilz Original are more effective for blocking odors. However, you’ll have to contend with the product’s foul odor. 

Which Has Better Coverage? 

On the official Kilz website, one gallon of Kilz Original can cover 300 to 400 square feet in a single coat. You can use a gallon of the PPG Gripper to cover 350 to 400 square feet on most surfaces. 

At first glance, the difference is negligible. However, there’s a massive gap when considering the effectiveness of a single coat of primer. The Kilz Original primer outperforms the PPG Gripper since it can block light to medium stains in one coat. 

Final verdict: Although both primers can cover a similar area in one coat, Kilz can cover stains better in one coat of primer.

applying primer on cement wall

Which Is More Affordable?

The PPG Gripper is slightly more affordable than most primers. You can purchase a gallon for $31.98 on the Home Depot website. A gallon of Kilz Original costs just a few dollars more at $35 per gallon. 

Final verdict: Although PPG Gripper is slightly cheaper, both primers are very affordable.


Most Kilz primers are better than the PPG Gripper in blocking stains and odors. Although you cover more area with PPG Gripper, it’s mostly ineffective in sealing tougher stains and bright colors 

When indoors, stick with PPG Gripper for minor stains and switch to Kilz for deeper ones. Also ensure to take caution when using the Kilz Original and safely dispose of materials used during priming.