Glidden Gripper Vs. Kilz [Best Primer for Home Projects]

Kilz Original is better than PPG Gripper at hiding stains and killing odors, making it the top choice for tough jobs. However, PPG Gripper is a more durable paint that is safer to work with and easier to clean up. Although Kilz wins when tackling tough smells and bad stains, PPG Gripper is a better choice for priming spaces that don’t have these flaws.

Glidden Gripper vs Kilz

What’s the Difference Between Glidden Gripper and PPG Gripper?

In 2012, PPG purchased Glidden paints. Now, all Glidden paints are sold under the PPG family. This means that Glidden Gripper is no longer available on the market. Instead, a product similar to Glidden Gripper is now sold as PPG Gripper.

  • The Glidden company was purchased by PPG in 2012.
  • The product known as Glidden Gripper has been reformulated and is now sold only as PPG Gripper.
  • PPG Gripper contains fewer solids than Glidden Gripper, leading some to consider it an inferior primer.

Shortly after the purchase, the “Gripper” primer formula was altered by PPG. While the original Glidden formula contained 46% solids, the PPG gripper formula contains only 39% solids. This means that PPG Gripper is a thinner paint than Glidden Gripper, which may cause it to be less effective at covering stains and bright colors with a single coat of paint.

What’s the Difference Between Kilz and Kilz 2?

Kilz Original is an oil-based primer and sealer, while Kilz 2 is a water-based primer. Kilz Original has better stain coverage and odor-blocking capabilities than Kilz 2. However, because it is oil-based, Kilz original is harder to work with and more difficult to clean up. Oil-based primers also release more fumes than latex paints, making Kilz 2 more suitable for interior work.

  • Kilz Original is an oil-based primer.
  • Kilz 2 is water-based.
  • Kilz Original is superior at hiding stains and eliminating odors.
  • Kilz 2 is easier to clean up and produces fewer fumes.

In addition to these two varieties of primer, Kilz 3 is also available. It is a water-based primer with excellent stain-hiding properties, giving it the benefits of both Kilz Original and Kilz 2, without drawbacks.

Glidden PPG Gripper vs. Kilz: Head-to-Head

For this comparison, we will be pitting Kilz Original versus PPG Gripper. Both primers are commonly found at big-box stores, making them popular choices for DIYers. We’ll cover the benefits and drawbacks of both these quality paints, then deliver our final verdict on which is the best choice for your project.

Stain Blocking

Kilz Original is a superior primer for covering stains and bright colors. Because Kilz Original is an oil-based primer, it is less likely to allow stains to bleed through than water-based paints. PPG Gripper is acrylic paint (water-based). Therefore, it’s not uncommon for heavy stains to bleed through several coats of PPG Gripper.

  • Kilz Original is better at covering stains with fewer coats of paint due to its oil-based formulation.
  • PPG Gripper is an acrylic paint, making it less suitable for covering stains.
  • In addition to powerful stains, Kilz Original is also better at covering bright paint colors.

Not only is Kilz Original superior to PPG Gripper when it comes to hiding stains, but it will also hide bright paint colors in fewer coats. Rather than apply several coats of PPG Gripper to a hot pink wall, use Kilz Original on the entire surface.

Odor Reducing

When it comes to masking the odor of mold, cigarette smoke, or pets, Kilz Original outperforms PPG Gripper. Again, this is because Kilz is an oil-based primer. Shellac and oil-based primers form a barrier against water vapor and odor, making them the top choice when eliminating odor while repainting.

  • Kilz Original outperforms PPG Gripper as an odor-killing primer.
  • Because Kilz Original is oil-based, it forms an odor-proof barrier as it dries.
  • PPG Gripper is water-based, which allows odors to pass through the primer.

Water-based primers, such as PPG Gripper allow water vapor to pass through the paint after it dries. This means that foul odors like cigarette smoke will pass through the primer even after multiple paint coats are applied.


Acrylic paints, such as PPG Gripper, are considered the most durable type of paint on the market. This makes PPG Gripper the clear winner regarding longevity, whether it is used indoors or outdoors. Although oil-based primers used to be the gold standard for durability, new acrylic formulations actually hold up better.

  • PPG Gripper is more durable than Kilz Original.
  • Modern acrylic paint formulations are more durable for interior and exterior applications than oil-based paints.
  • If you are not covering stains or blocking odors, PPG Gripper is a longer-lasting choice.

Although it doesn’t have the stain-hiding or odor-killing power of Kilz Original, PPG Gripper will withstand use and exposure to the elements better than Kilz Original. This makes it a great choice for many DIYers looking for longevity out of their paint surfaces.


PPG Gripper is a safer paint to work with than Kilz Original. This is because the acrylic, water-based formula of PPG Gripper releases less dangerous fumes than the oil-based formula of Kilz Original. Oil-based paint fumes can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat if you are painting in close quarters.

  • PPG Gripper poses fewer health risks than Kilz Original.
  • Kilz Original releases toxic and irritating fumes if used in unventilated, close quarters.
  • PPG Gripper releases low-irritant fumes in comparison to Kilz Original.

To reduce the safety risks of Kilz Original, avoid painting indoors with the windows closed. Whenever possible, paint in a well-ventilated area. If the space or the weather does not permit ventilation, PPG Gripper is a safer choice.


Water-based paints, such as PPG Gripper, are much easier to clean from hands, brushes, floors, and other surfaces than Kilz Original. As long as PPG Gripper is not allowed to dry, you can remove it with water. Because Kilz Original is oil-based, any spills, spots, or personal cleanup involves the use of mineral spirits or other powerful solvents.

  • PPG Gripper is much easier to clean than Kilz Original.
  • You can use water to clean PPG Gripper off your hands, brushes, and other surfaces.
  • Cleaning Kilz Original requires the use of mineral spirits or other specialized cleansers.

Many DIYers find it much easier to clean water-based paints, such as PPG Gripper, off rollers, and brushes after use. If you want to avoid using chemical paint thinners and mineral spirits, use PPG Gripper instead of Kilz Original.

Which Paint is Better: Kilz or Glidden PPG Gripper?

Whether you should use PPG Gripper or Kilz Original depends on the job you’re tackling. Here’s a quick breakdown of which primer to use when:

  • Covering stains or bright paint colors: Kilz Original
  • Blocking strong odors: Kilz Original
  • Creating a long-lasting paint job: PPG Gripper
  • Working indoors in poorly ventilated spaces: PPG Gripper
  • Looking to avoid complicated cleanup: PPG Gripper

Because of its superior durability, fewer safety concerns, and ease of cleanup PPG Gripper is the better paint for routine repainting tasks. If you need to cover water stains or eliminate odors in a home, Kilz Original is the superior choice.

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