Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer Review

By on April 2, 2014
Zinner Primer Review

With a name like Bulls Eye 1-2-3 you know this stuff has to be on the mark and easy to use, right. Well it truly is. It really works great on all wood surfaces and other surfaces with some texture to it, even concrete. I don’t have much concrete in my home but I do have a few of those decorative garden stepping stones and it worked like a charm. You can grab it here if you want to try it out.

The Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is a Rust-Oleum product and I’m certain you’ve probably used one or two of their products with success. This primer will be no different. I really like that you don’t even need to sand after using unless you want to, which makes all projects go just a bit quicker.


  • 1 quart can – covers 100 sf
  • A water-based indoor or outdoor white primer that can be used as is or can have a tint added
  • Can be applied to most any surface and includes a rust protector if applying to metal
  • Dries in about 1 hour
  • Cleanup with tap or soapy water

Dry Time

Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer dries incredibly fast. My primer is typically ready to be painted on within a few minutes of finishing the application of it.


I’ve worked with other primers in the past and many times it is thin and runny. Basically hard to work with. You won’t have that issue with this primer. The primer brushes on smoothly and has a nice density so you may only need one coat unless you’re trying to cover over a dark painted piece of furniture or hiding a stain. If any color is still showing through, then by all means give it that second coat, it will save you money on paint. That’s often why I use this primer. I simply clean the surface of my about-to-be-restored garage sale find, apply one or two coats of my Bulls Eye primer, and then one coat of my favorite paint. The primer is less costly than the paint so my project budget is still in line.

My only slight nag about the primer is that due to it’s thickness it doesn’t really work well with pieces I plan to distress and for pieces with a “lighter” application it can be a bit much with the thickness.

Ease of Use

You can’t go wrong if you’re a novice at painting or priming. The Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer goes on just like any other paint would. Just roll it on with a roller or use a bristle brush and you’re set. Keep your strokes light and even and you shouldn’t have any issues with cracking or peeling.

Price and Availability

I love love love buying Bulls Eye. Why? Because it’s cheap! I’m a girl who loves value and the quality of this primer is excellent especially when considering the price tag that comes with it. It’s also super easy to find. You can grab it in Walmart, online on Amazon, paint stores or any home improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot.

Final Opinion on Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer

I’ve read a lot of reviews about Bulls Eye 1-2-3 and in fact when I first started using it I was hesitant. The problem I always saw was that it was too thick or that it cracked and peeled. The difference however, is most of those complaining about those issues were applying the primer to walls. I don’t have any firsthand experience with walls, but for furniture, this primer is excellent. I love how thick and even it went on and the coverage on dark pieces or stained pieces was perfect and made the paint application easy. If you’re looking for solid coverage for furniture pieces, this is the primer to make that job easy.

Review Score
  • Dry Time
  • Coverage
  • Ease of Use
  • Price

About Misty Spears

I absolutely love all things DIY, especially when it comes to decorating my own home. I’m a thrift store junkie and my head just explodes with ideas to repurpose old junk into something practical and beautiful when I come across that perfect treasure. I’m a wood furniture rebel and try to paint every surface I can to bring color into my life. My life revolves around my family and enjoying every moment that life serves up to me. You can connect with me on Twitter @diyhomeinterior, Instagram @mistyspears and see my pins on Pinterest for a sneak peak into all the DIY projects I am working on and crazy life happenings.


  1. Maanne Lopez

    April 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Very informative review, nice

  2. Jennifer Brown

    April 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you. Doing a lot of painting this spring, good information.

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