I'm prepping a living room and dining room for DIY paint job.

Both rooms have been smoked in for a number of years. Washed all the walls and ceiling with a degreaser, wiped down with clean rags dried em with a microfiber cloths. Patched as many small holes and gouges as I could.

Finally did a quick sand of the walls with a 120 grit and wiped them down to clear the dust.

The current walls are a pale blue and beige, the top coat is going to be a medium grey.

My question is concerning the primer. I was going to primer everything with Killz Restoration, but I'm coming across some nightmare stories concerning Kilz, which has me second guessing my plan.

Is Kilz Restoration the right choice here? There isn't really an odor issue, the walls cleaned up really well, the ceiling cleaned up, but as a flat paint cleanability is limited. Do I need to primer the walls and ceilings or can I get away with just priming ceiling and a primer topcoat, and is Kilz Restoration the right primer?

  • Kilz's reputation is built on odor and stain blocking by its oil based primers, not that water based Restoration product. If you don't need odor or stain blocking, then I would turn away from Kilz. Go with a reputation built on ordinary use cases like yours.
    – popham
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 0:45

1 Answer 1


I worked as a painter for quite some time, mostly doing high end customs. My advice would be to prime.

Why would I recommend priming? Simple, primer is cheaper than paint. So, when making color changes as you described, it will take less paint to cover a darker color like blue when going to gray if you prime first.

You don't need Kilz for this. Just remember, not all primers are created equally.

Make sure you get a primer that is designed for previously painted surfaces.

Sherwin Williams, Rodda and Benjamin Moore all have some. Rodda has Roseal and Scotseal, Sherwin Williams has an Quick Dry Stain Blocking primer that is easy on the pocket book and works great! Similar products are available from BM I can't remember the product name off the top of my head.

Sounds like you've done a great job prepping so far, good for you.

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