Coo-Var Shellac Prime All Review – Adhesion Primer

Updated May 17, 2024 | Posted Apr 10, 2018 | Product Reviews, Paints | 1 comment

This is my Coo-Var Shellac Prime All review, I hope you find it useful.

Prime All is a shellac based adhesion primer which is suitable on most surfaces. It is also a very effective stain block on anything from nicotine to water marks and knots in woodwork. Interior use only I’m afraid and recoat time is around 4 hours. You can buy this product online, or any Crown Decorating Centre. Click here to see online prices.

I was sent 5ltrs of Coo-var shellac based prime all to try and test for a product review. Now with all the product reviews I carry out on various products for many companies, I always test these products vigorously in a working environment. Not in a laboratory, but day in day out exposure to meet the needs of the end users such as myself. If for any reason I find fault this is always reiterated in my product reviews. Now the Coo-Var shellac based prime all has many different uses as it offers multiple solutions for various situations.


Coo-Var Prime All as a Primer


Firstly, I’ll start with it as a primer for all new and bare wood including knotting being shellac based. I was faced with some beautiful 6 inch natural timber skirting board which to be honest is rare as many opt for the pre primed mdf now.

Not this client. They prefer the natural aesthetics and the Shellac primer would be suited to this task perfectly. Following a thorough shake in my local suppliers I set to work on priming this bare timber.

The first thing I really noticed with the Coo-Var product was the overall consistency of the product. It felt thicker than a well-known rival which is Zinsser BIN. The Coo-Var Prime All felt more like a traditional waterbased undercoat. This meant it passed through the brush beautifully and the layoff was sublime!

Now I have 7 frames and roughly 45 metres of skirting to prime and I tell you one thing I loved every minute of using this product. I was confident in the finish it would produce and decided to go the full way with this sample. Knots were over painted accordingly, and the finish was solid. Scratch test was passed within hours of application and I knew I had a solid base for my topcoats.


Prior to the painting I had to use an awful lot of caulk as unfortunately it is a period property and it does not benefit from well, I’ll say flat walls. One of the most single frustrating things for a decorator in my opinion is the cracking of caulk. I overlapped the primer just shy of 8mm onto the wall to cover the caulk also. Could this prevent the waterbased topcoats from cracking?? Certainly did! I love this product for priming.


Coo-Var Prime All on Stains


Again I had the perfect situation, another client the following week had a dried water stained ceiling following a plumbing disaster. Coo var Shellac primer put to the test again. This stain was quite severe and large therefore I applied 2 coats of the shellac based primer to the stain and surrounding areas. Followed by 2 coats of vinyl Matt in white it was as if it never existed!

Coo-Var Prime All the Adhesion Primer


Lastly, I thought I’d try the Coo-Var as an adhesion primer over varnished woodwork. This is a proper test, as not even oil-based undercoat adheres to varnish.

Prime-All does though!! One advantage of using a shellac-based primer over varnished timber is it will stop tannins bleeding through and spoiling your paint finish. Just prep the timber as normal, then apply a generous coat of primer.

The Coo-Var Prime All works brilliantly for this. It adheres well, leaves no brush marks and is surprisingly easy to use. It is much easier to apply than any other products of its type I have used. Oh, and opacity is fantastic too!! Click here to see current prices.



Coo-Var Shellac Prime All Review - Adhesion Primer - Decorator's forum UK

Coo-Var Prime All is a shellac-based adhesion primer used to tackle difficult problems in interior decorating.

Product Brand: Coo-Var

Editor's Rating:


  • Great opacity.
  • Easy to use compared to its competitors.
  • Good for stain blocking.
  • Fantastic adhesion.
  • Good at blocking knots.


  • This is one of the best shellac paint products on the market, but there are better and better water-based alternatives being developed all the time.

Updated May 17, 2024 | Posted Apr 10, 2018 | 1 comment

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.

1 Comment

  1. Jamie

    As it shows on the tin. Is it any good for tiles? Bathroom/kitchen and have you performed a scratch test


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