Zinsser Peel Stop Review – by a Decorator

Updated Mar 13, 2024 | Posted Jan 15, 2023 | Product Reviews, Paints | 5 comments

Zinsser Peel Stop is a widespread product, but even some decorators do not understand all its uses or just how good it is. As a professional decorator myself, I’ve been using the product for about 10 years now. I thought I’d take the time to sit down and write a quick Zinsser Peel Stop review, as well as going through some of its uses.


What is Zinsser Peel Stop?


Zinsser Peel Stop is a clear stabilising and bridging solution. Available online by clicking here, it can be used inside or out, on surfaces such as masonry, plaster, timber, plasterboard, and much more. Touch dry in around an hour and recoatable after 2 hours (depending on conditions). Peel Stop creates an acrylic film which is both flexible and breathable.


Using Zinsser Peel Stop on Exterior Masonry


Not a lot of people know this, but Peel Stop is one of the best stabilising solutions for exterior masonry. You’ll find it very porous, so it will penetrate deep into chalky masonry. What’s more, if you’re using it on previously painted masonry and you have removed any loose paint, it will sink into the substrate and glue any remaining paint down. This makes it a fantastic solution for fixing flaking masonry paint.

Another reason I like Peel Stop as a masonry stabilising solution is because it’s fully water-based, whereas a lot of specialist products are oil-based and very sticky.

With these products, you can’t clean your paint rollers out when you’re finished, so you end up throwing them away. Then you need to wait 24 hours after applying the product before you can paint over it.

It is much quicker and easier to use Peel Stop. It performs better too!


Using Zinsser Peel Stop to Prime Wood

  I told you Peel Stop had a lot of uses!! OK, so you probably wouldn’t use it to prime a load of pine skirting board (although you could), but it’s great on MDF. Especially the edges, which are prone to fluffing. Just apply a quick coat of Zinsser Peel Stop, wait a couple of hours, then you’re free to sand. You’re left with the perfect base every time. You might also use it on exterior woodwork as a hardener for rotten areas!! Picture this, you’re repairing a knackered windowsill. You remove a load of flaky paint, dig out any patches of rot, but you need to stabilise everything before you can use exterior wood filler; Zinsser Peel Stop is the perfect product. Not only will it do everything you need it to, but because Peel Stop is flexible, it will also last in the great British weather.  

Using Peel Stop to Fix Crazing

  Crazing is a rather modern problem, be it matt emulsion cracking and crazing over silk, or paint crazing over caulk. Either way, Zinsser Peel Stop makes light work of it. It does a couple of things; it acts as a barrier coat between the substrate and new paint. It also fills any fine cracks. You can even use it to primedecorators caulk before painting. Peel Stop is a silver bullet when tackling problems like this. There’s nothing better.  

Best Tools to Apply Zinsser Peel Stop

  I’m not going to bore you by talking about tools too much, but there is something you need to bear in mind; Because Peel Stop is so thin, you will need a long-pile roller and a paintbrush with a thick stock. For your roller, I’d recommend the Purdy Colossus. You’ll find it holds onto loads of material and distributes is well. Available online by clicking here. You may as well go with Purdy Monarch Elite for your paintbrush too. This has a thick stock, and you’ll find it perfect for Peel Stop. Available online by clicking here.

Final Thoughts


OK, so I’ve explained some of the things Zinsser Peel Stop is good for (there are probably more that I don’t know about). There are a couple of other points I wanted to mention.

Because Peel Stop is thin, you will find it very easy to apply, and because it’s water-based, it is very easy to clean up afterwards. However, it isn’t nice if you get loads of it on your skin. Also, it seems to go forever! One tin just goes and goes.

Available to buy by clicking here.




What is Zinsser peel stop good for?

Zinsser Peel Stop is the Swiss Army Knife of problem-solving paints. You can use it to prime bare wood or masonry. You can use it to prevent or fix peeling paint on plaster, render, or wood. You can use it as a stabiliser for chalky surfaces before you paint. You can even use it to fix mud cracking and crazing.


Can you paint straight over Zinsser peel stop?

You certainly can. Just allow your Zinsser Peel Stop at least two hours to fully dry, then you’re free to paint over it with basically any product. If you paint over Peel Stop too soon, you may experience issues with crazing.


What is the best sealer for peeling paint?

Zinsser Peel Stop is by far the best primer for peeling paint. It sinks into the substrate and sticks down the edges of the paint to prevent further peeling. It also acts as a primer for bare masonry, wood, or plaster, creating the perfect base for you to paint.


Can you use Zinsser Peel Stop on bare plaster?

You can, yes. Some Decorators I know use Zinsser Peel Stop to prime plaster walls before applying emulsion.

Zinsser Peel Stop Review – by Mike Gregory

Updated Mar 13, 2024 | Posted Jan 15, 2023 | 5 comments

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. Tim

    Would this help with a entrance porch
    Have an issue with paint peel
    The porch is 3 external walls , and unheated .

    Previously chipped and sanded back to sound plaster , dehumidirier for couple days , then filled and skimmed with Toutpret interior filler . Allowed to dry , sanded , coated with damp proof , allow to dry and then 2 coats of paint .

    A year later and it’s back

    Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated 👍

    Current state pics

    • Rich Moogan

      Hey Tim. I assume you’re using standard interior emulsion? If so, what you describe sounds like standard emulsion not holding up to near external conditions. Try using a durable emulsion which can withstand more humid environments.

  2. Mark

    Is this good for blistering walls

  3. Daniel

    When using peel stop on masonry is it ok to leave exsposed when dry to rain

  4. Mike Sharp

    Hi Tim
    I have an old building with a history of lead paint followed by acrylic paint and the acrylic is trying to pull the lead paint off. I have tested with zinnser 123 and it seems stabilize the problem. Am I dreaming, or is possible to provide a sound base for a top coat?



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