Zinsser allcoat (solvent based) review


The absolute holy grail of all in one paints that does everything you will need it to do, an adhesion primer/stain block with all the benefits of oil an water based combined… A paint that is a must have to have in stock.


  • Dries in about 30 mins

  • Great opacity (and dries bright white and flat matt)

  • Sticks to everything

  • Great stain block

  • Water based paints sit over it lovely

  • Works great as an adhesion primer

  • Touches up well

  • Literally no odour


  • It drags when painting over emulsion (you cant go back over what you’ve done)

  • Still hardens in a brush mate (although my fluid may be low)

  • A bit pricey (although only bought from my dulux account, there will be cheaper online)

I recently did a job where the customer had the artex on their front room and dining room ceiling plastered over (I’d priced it when the plaster was still wet). Once I gave the ceilings a mist coat and the first full coat, within an hour yellow stains started coming through in the pattern of the old artex. Straight away I realised it was nicotine stains (both clients smoked although when I asked they said not in the house). So I picked up some Zinsser Allcoat (solvent based) knowing it would block the stains and that it claimed to also be a finish aswell (saving me having to topcoat aswel). It was a bit pricey at £70 a gallon But being Zinsser I presumed it would be good, and it was! When applying it I had a bit of trouble going back over where I had brushed as it would ‘pull’ over the emulsion, but rolling it was fine. Within 30mins it was dry and was a dead flat white finish, There was one bit I could see I missed which I touched up but dried nice and couldn’t see where i had, the ceiling was quite light critical aswell. No stains came through, bang on, did what it said it would on the tin (stain block and finish in one)

After the job and still having some left over that I thought I would try as an adhesion primer (as it says that its Compatible with all standard alkyd or acrylic topcoats). I now use it as my go to with my bridging primer from old oil to WB as all the WB glosses/satins ive tried over it has been great with 1 Allcoat and 1 topcoat (helmi 80, Armstead, caparol and Bedec I’ve tried over yellowed oil gloss). It really has the benefits of oil (stain blocking, great adhesion, Opacity) yet with the benefits of WB (quick drying, no smell). So for me, It’s a must have on board for any decorator.

Phill Southam – Southam Spraying & Decorating

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