Stain Blocker Primers – Benjamin Moore Fresh Start or Vista Paint PrimeZall

One of my recent projects was to prime and paint some cabinetry for a break room at The Bank Of Hemet. I removed the doors and drawers to paint them in my shop. The primer I intended to use was Vista Paint PrimeZall, unfortunately I had left behind the primer on the job. Remembering I had a a gallon of Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Universal Primer, I thought I could just use that. The reason I was going to use PrimeZall was the outstanding adhesion strength it has along with the ability to block stains. Fresh Start also has outstanding adhesion strength but I was not sure about it’s stain blocking abilities. Reading the Fresh Start label as it reads “suppressing most bleeding type stains including crayon, graffiti, grease marks, water stains”  I felt comfortable in applying Fresh Start as a primer coat for the cabinetry which can have mild stains from grease and water. We prepared the surface by sanding and given it a solvent bath, the results follow.

After Spraying 2 coats of Benjamin Moore Fresh Start (click on pictures to enlarge)

Fresh Start Stain BlockingFresh Start Stain BlockingFresh Start Stain Blocking





Re-sanded and re-coated with Vista Paint PrimeZall

PrimeZall Stain BlockerPrimeZall Stain BlockerPrimeZall Stain Blocker

As the label reads. “unparalleled stain blocking”

Though Fresh Start Universal Primer lacks the stain blocking capability, it is a great primer for adhesion strength and I would use it for that reason. I do feel the label is a bit misleading as it did not suppress mild staining. When I need a primer for both adhesion strength and stain blocking capability, Vista Paint PrimeZall will be my go to primer. I must note that the two primers mentioned are not comparable as Fresh Coat is a water based 100% acrylic primer and PrimeZall is water based epoxy primer. This was review is soly based on the stain blocking capability

Here is the finished product

3 replies
  1. Meryl Logue
    Meryl Logue says:

    I picked up this link off the painttalk site while researching water vs oil primer for 101-y-o cedar (stripped) siding in Portland OR. This photo is impressive… certainly gives your forum posts a new perspective!!! Thanks for your good words and sharing your experience.

  2. randy
    randy says:

    great post,will prime zall stick to electrical conduate and galvanized pipe? large project ceiling (wood) with pipe everywhere.trying to find one primer for all.this seems like it would work,give me your opion please thank you.


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