Product Review: Zinsser Bulls Eye Zero Primer

Zinsser Bulls Eye Zero Primer

Zinsser Bulls Eye Zero Primer

It’s a pain in the butt to extensively research the perfect eco-friendly craft supply that also, you know, WORKS.

It sucks if you buy something that’s eco-friendly but doesn’t perform the way that you want it to, or if you feel as if you have to buy something harmful to the environment in order to get the result that you want.

It feels terrible to accidentally buy something harmful when you know that eco-friendly alternatives exist.

However, it feels AWESOME to buy something that’s eco-friendly AND that performs perfectly while looking even better than the conventional stuff.

I buy (with my own money–this is NOT a sponsored review), Zinsser Bulls Eye Zero primer, and I have used it probably every single day this month for the millions of furniture refinishing projects that I’ve been doing for my new house. Here’s why I like it:

1. The paint is eco-friendly. I will buy toxic paint if I feel like I really need it for a project (I don’t even want to think about how much work refinishing these lockers would have been without spray paint), but never if there’s an eco-friendly alternative that also performs well. Bulls Eye Zero has no VOCs (which means it doesn’t smell–yay!), and it’s water-based, which means that it cleans up easily and the brushes also clean easily. This is also good because my kids have a hand in nearly all my projects–

Card Catalogue to Studio Storage

–and if they’re using it, they’re wearing it.

2. So is the packaging. The container itself is made from recycled plastic. Specs say that both the container and label are also recyclable, but I seriously doubt that either will be paint-free enough when I’m done with them for my recycling center to accept them–I’ll ask, though!

3. And it works GREAT! I generally do some sanding on my furniture refinishing projects, but not reliably, and I often work with weird surfaces, such as all kinds of janky laminate. In the past month, I’ve used this primer on sanded wood and two different kinds of unsanded laminate, and on black metal. I used it to cover stickers and chipped paint on my steel lockers, and permanent marker on my card catalogue. I put on two coats, let it dry for a day, then painted and sealed. The primer works just the way it’s supposed to–

Zinsser Bulls Eye Zero

–which is exactly what I need.

Although I have a primer that I love, I still haven’t found a brand of interior paint that both works great and is as eco-friendly as I want. If you’ve got suggestions for some good brands for me to check out, leave them in the Comments below!

[I bought this primer with my own money and received no compensation from Zinsser for this post.]

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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  1. I also use the bulls eye zero primer. The paint I use is Yolo Colorhouse. Good coverage, no voc, no smell, etc. Very green!

  2. We painted the whole inside of our house with Mythic Paint 5 years ago, and it has held up great. It’s some type of polymer, so not only is it zero VOC, but it’s also non toxic. It can be hard to find, though, if there isn’t a retailer within 25 miles of your address, the shipping is free!

  3. How is the adhesion of this primer? Has it held up? For paint, it would be hard to find a durable one for furniture without some odor. From what I heard Zinsser Zero isn’t without odor. Zero Voc only means it will not create smog. It doesn’t exactly mean it is safe for health, as they have exempt toxins that are unhealthy for humans, but do not create smog, that are allowed in paint. And can be listed as “zero voc”.

    Back to paint. Safe paints I found as a painter: Benjamin Moore’s Ben line is great for being low odor and safe. Their Ultra Spec Semi in white might be safe, a little more odor but a little more durability than Ben Semi. Their Natura line is more durable, more expensive, but also lower odor than most. I found a product called Hard Coat, can be found on Home Depot’s website, that is a paint additive that makes paint more durable. It has ceramic micro beads that can make a less durable paint like Ben, much more durable. So a safer, durable option.

    AFM safecoat has a line of probably the safest paints out there. Hard Coat added would do the same in making them durable.

    For a safer poly finish, Vermont Naturals has a Heirloom finish that is low odor. Their others not so much. Heirloom is nice, not as durable as other poly’s and maybe not perfect for a table top, but suitable for most things. It is partially made from Whey from leftover cheese.

  4. Air bubbles formed on wall after painted. What caused that? Had it mixed at store and stirred before painting. Had to sand bubbles before second coat. Otherwise it was great paint.

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