Zinsser vs Kilz Primers for Urine Removal (Comparison Guide and Review)

Choosing the right primer for covering up pet urine is a necessary but difficult decision. Pet urine can last for years. Cat urine stains, in particular, can actually worsen over the years and may destroy the ambiance of your living spaces. 

Undoubtedly, the right primer will save you from cleaning costs and the lingering stench of pet urine. Among DIYers and professionals, Zinsser and Kilz primers have a strong reputation for blocking odors and covering up stains with ease.

Zinsser primers tend to provide better coverage and dry faster than Kilz primers. However, Kilz primers are generally less expensive than Zinsser.

This article will detail the similarities and differences between the two brands so you can make the best decision for your household.

Zinsser vs Kilz Primers

Why Should I Choose Between Zinsser and Kilz Primers? 

You need more than a few cleaning agents to remove the stink of pet urine from your carpets, floors, or walls. To remove pet urine stains and seal in bad odors, you want a primer that can solve both problems at once. 

Zinsser and Kilz primer products provide excellent adhesion to a variety of surfaces. In addition, both brands are easy to apply and dry faster than other brands. 

Kilz products, such as the Kilz Original, are easy to sand and provide a smooth finish to oil-based paints. 

Main Differences Between Zinsser and Kilz Primers

So, what are the perks or disadvantages of choosing a Zinsser or Kilz brand? Knowing these differences will save you from unnecessary expenses, stress, and disappointment. 

Kilz primers tend to work better on floors than on walls. They also have a slower drying time compared to Zinsser primers. But Zinsser primers have better coverage because of their thick consistency.

Let’s explore these differences in more detail:

Is Zinsser or Kilz Better for Eliminating Pet Urine Odor?

Zinsser vs Kilz in eliminating pet urine odor

It’s embarrassing when your new or old apartment reeks of pet urine. The stench is unmistakable, and you’ll require a solid primer to mask the smell before you invite guests over. 

This review focuses on the Kilz Restoration Interior Primer and the Zinsser Bin Primer. 

The Kilz Restoration Interior Primer is a latex-based primer designed to seal out different odors, including smoke and urine. It acts fast and can block odors in less than one hour. Zinsser Bin Primer is a low-odor, latex-based primer that also traps odors on walls, sub-floors, and cabinets.

The Kilz Restoration Interior Primer forms a seal on porous surfaces and traps stains. It’s suitable for removing pet urine stains on floors, including sub-floors. 

The Zinsser Bin primer will turn white when applied to surfaces. But it gradually becomes clear over time. When this happens, it means the primer is dry and has wholly sealed off any strong smells beneath. 

Which Primer Dries Faster?

How fast does the primer dry off? It takes an average of one to four hours for most primers’ first coat to dry off. However, an ideal primer should be dry to the touch within 30 minutes of applying it. 

Once again, we’ll compare the drying rate of the Zinsser Bin Primer against the Kilz Restoration Interior Primer. 

The Zinsser Bin Primer becomes dry to the touch within 15 minutes and is ready for another coat after 45 minutes. Most times, you only need to apply one coat to seal in odors. Kilz primer is slower, taking 30 minutes to dry to the touch. Its curing time is 1 to 2 weeks.

Final Thoughts: Zinsser primers are the best solution for those who want a quick-acting primer. It dries and cures much faster than Kilz Primers. 

Just note that the Zinsser Bin primer has a strong odor since it contains denatured alcohol. Ensure the room is well-ventilated, and wear a face mask when using it.

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Which Primer Provides More Coverage?

worker applied primer to the surface

Cats will pee on different surfaces to mark their territory, and the urine will often leave a dark stain on walls or floors. So you need a heavy-duty primer that can cover these stains after only one or two coats. 

Zinsser Bin Primer has a thick consistency and can block most stains in one coat. Despite the primer’s thickness, it is easy to apply on surfaces via spray cans. Kilz Restoration Interior Primer has a much lower coverage, requiring 3 to 4 coats to hide cat urine stains.

In addition to this, the Kilz primer takes more time to dry. So, you’ll end up spending more time working with it. 

Final Thoughts: It is more stressful and messy applying Kilz Restoration Interior Primer. You might even end up with a sloppy paint job. The Zinsser Bin Primer primer wins this round. 

How Much Do Zinsser and Kilz Primers Cost?

What’s the cost of your preferred primer? Are you getting enough value for your investment? To navigate these questions, let’s explore the cost of a gallon of primer in popular e-commerce stores. Note that there are slight variations in price due to location. 

You’ll find a gallon Zinsser Bin Primer/Sealer spray for $82.60 on Amazon. The Zinsser Bin Shellac-Base Primer Spray costs $77.18 on Walmart’s online store. In contrast, Amazon offers a gallon of Kilz Restoration Interior Primer at $42.31. That’s quite a discount!

Final thoughts: Kilz Restoration Interior Primer wins here for its substantially better affordability at about half the cost of Zinsser.


Zinsser primers are more expensive than Kilz primers. Nevertheless, you will get more value for your money with Zinsser primer brands: A single coat of this brand’s primer is enough to block urine stench and stains on any surface. Zinsser primers also dry faster than Kilz primers.

If you want something cheaper and don’t mind a little extra labor, though, then Kilz is probably for you. However, the need to apply several more coats may undo any savings.

Now, it’s time to take back your living space and make it liveable again by using the best primer for your own household.