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May 2010
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Glidden Gripper Primer

Painting is the most common finishing technique for your home. It is either validation of all your efforts or your worst nightmare highlighting areas that were not done properly.

One of the most important steps in painting is using primer. Primer performs  important functions. It seals the surface,  blocks stains,  and it covers very small imperfections depending upon application. The larger ones can be caught and fixed before you start painting that expensive color paint you bought. Because it seals the surface, the coverage of that expensive paint will come close to what it says on the can, and you may need only one good coat.

The photo on the left is Glidden Interior/Exterior Gripper Primer Sealer. I was turned on to this by the paint guy at the orange store while buying BEHR Premium exterior paint. This is the only primer you will ever need. This is a full bodied, solid color primer with incredible gap filling and coverage.  This is one of those products that make me want to paint more stuff, and painting is not on the top of my list of things to do.

I experimented with primer/paint products and they just don’t get the job done. Most notable was the complete coverage of the inked  mill marks on the lumber for the Fascia and Outdoor  Table projects. Also the gap filling on weathered wood.

Here is your 411 heads up. Quality finishes require quality prep work. If you want stunning results in painting you will need to primer. Get over it. Painting is one of the things that you cannot get an ‘app’ for. So you might as well use the products that will give you the best results. Gripper is the primer I recommend. It is really that good.

P.S. Try not to get it on you. It sticks really well and is harder than hell to get  off your skin.

66 comments to Glidden Gripper Primer

  • aimee

    I ran out of Gripper and used another well known primer for 1 window. I still have to touch up this ***** window all the time.

  • What a great picture, thanks for posting it! I generally shy away from Glidden products in the paint aisle of The Orange Store and The Blue Store, but now I’ll seek this one out.

  • jackie

    Gripper is the only primer I use after having failures with a number of other brands including Behr, and Benjamin Moore/Coronado products. It has amazing adhesion qualities and hasn’t produced any peeling for me to date.

  • Katherine

    I currently am trying to paint some Ikea shelves (read: cheap light laminate) and bought this Gripper primer for them. I needed two coats of the primer, had it drying overnight and it’s still sticky to the touch this morning. Tacky, as they say.
    The can recommends 4 hours of drying before the topcoat. It IS a bit humid here in June in Chicago. I’m very nervous to paint the topcoat yet. Should I wait a day or two until it feels like it’s totally cured? Or does it need even longer?

  • Katherine,
    Wait for sure.
    One of the things that will help you paint shelves like this, which are probably melamine rather than a laminate is to lightly sand them or use a product like a de-glosser or liquid sandpaper.
    This will knock down the glossy surface and provide a good surface for painting.

  • Tex

    I am a “believer” in Gripper primer. We recently painted our dining room, living room, master bedroom, master bath, main bathroom and upstairs hallway and we’ve used Gripper for all those rooms. This is a great product and the only primer you’ll need.

  • Thanks so much for recommending Gripper – it does seem to cover much more thoroughly than other primers I’ve tried. I’m looking forward to seeing if it can hold up to heavy use. I’m painting dining room chairs black.

  • JJ

    Can this product be tinted?

  • Ann

    JJ. Yes this can be tinted but they also have it premixed in grey for dark colors.

  • Michelle

    Can Gripper primer be used for priming kitchen cabinets that I plan to paint?

  • Yes. You will want to clean the cab doors and frames if they are painted in place.

  • cj

    I just painted two coats of grey gripper primer over my kitchen wall paper. How long should I let this dry before I paint? I’m painting the walls dark red with Behr Premium Plus high gloss latex enamil

  • cj,

    Seriously? Painting over wall paper is never a good idea. Paint and or primer usually soaks the paper and loosens the glue causing bubbling which shows up on your finished surface. This leads to peeling, seam separation and just basically a real bad finish.

    In the kitchen it is even worse. Despite whatever exhaust fans you may have,dirt, grease and grime has a tendency to soak the wall paper as well. This shows up as paint bubbles under the paint where it doesn’t stick. Remember that Gripper is a water based primer.

    Even if you got lucky painting over the wallpaper, and had no grease spots, I don’t think that you will get a real nice high gloss finish with the Behr product.

    My personal observations are here:(last paragraph)

    But hey good luck!

  • Victor

    I love this product and use it exclusively. However, for exterior priming I use Rustolium oil-base paint which I think “soaks” into the wood a little and offers better moisture protection. Then I cover with Gripper and a top coat. What’s your thought about this?

  • Chris H

    A guy at big Orange store working in milwork was selling me on the point of using less expense wood for a cabinet and since I was painting it he said get Gripper. Well #1 it’s frickin stupid how this store had the Gripper by paints and _not_ by the primer section. WTH. At first, I thought milwork guy was out of touch. But I found it. NO KIDDING, this stuff is like elmers glue in coverage. I used it on the high grade pine and it made the little blemished disappear under it’s thick film. Highly recommended. Crazy part is that I am going to go post it on my Facebook and I don’t ever rave about products. FYI for comparison in August I used Kilz and Kilz2 for projects including painting over wallpaper and wish I had know about this before!!! no kidding.

  • Robyn

    Also a fan of Gripper. I used to to paint over my scarred and stained parquet wood floors. Used a bunch of wood filler for the deep holes and the primer just goes right over. Makes the paint and top coat really smooth.

  • Roy

    Can Gripper primer be used to cover minor mildew stains without having to previously wash the areas?

  • Dori

    I have always wanted to paint my kitchen cabinets, but they are thermofoil, and I was always told it couldn’t be done successfully. I just heard about Gripper paint. Can I use it to prime thermofoil kitchen island and be proud of the finished product?

  • lou

    can i use gripper primmer on masonite ?

  • amuzex

    Man, you got it right about sticking to your skin! I got a 5 gallon bucket of this to prime my house after a fresh plastering, and so far it seems amazing. I used kilz 2 for one room and it peeled when I put the paint on!

    To be fair, I think I did not wait long enough for the plaster to cure, it was winter, the windows were not open for air flow, and I painted after 1.5 weeks. Let that be a lesson to all of you, wait for the plaster to cure fully…

    This time I waited the recommended 30 days and got the good primer. So far so good, this stuff really soaked in.

  • lou,
    Yes you can paint masonite with it. you might want to scuff the face of tempered (the dark brown stuff) for a real good grip.

  • Dori,

    Thermofoil or melamine finishes can be painted, but the success will be determined by surface preparation. Thermofoil and melamine are both engineered to resist staining and be durable and easily cleaned.

    I would either scuff the surface with a fine grit sandpaper (180 or so) or use one of the Liquid Sandpaper products. Liquid Sandpapers are solvent based products like paint strippers and raise the surface of materials to provide a base for painting.
    Be advised that they are toxic and need to be used with extreme caution.

    Kitchen Cabinets present challenges by their location. Moisture from water and grease residue from cooking need to be cleaned and removed for the success of any paint, regardless of manufacturer.

  • Candy

    Does anyone have experience with using Gripper on composite decking? I need to paint the boards black for steps.

  • Cheryl

    I recently purcased a house, the dining room was painted with that textured faux painting, I hate it! I’ve attempted to sand it off with an electrice sander however, I’m worried about getting a really nice smooth appearance once I paint it again! Has any everyone every attempted to sand faux painintg and use the the Gilden Gripper as a primer?

    Any suggestions or advise would be greatly appreaciated!

  • Jim


  • Kevin

    I have the same question. i Just bought a couple gallons and used it on my walls. I went to get more 2 days later and they said it was recalled.
    I dont know what to do and i cannot find any information about it.

    My only thought is maybe there is a certain lot# associated with the recall and the paint we we able to buy was not in the recalled lots.

  • ellie

    just the 2 gallon bucket in certain lot numbers. i work for home depot, we did pull them off the floor after an email was sent out to pull them for inspection. For some reason the register isnt allowing customers to purchase quarts or gallons either. I’m looking into that right now.

  • Zonker

    Recommended to me by my contractor, and it’s the best I’ve ever found. I use it indoors and outdoors. Probably my most profound example was when I changed the exterior house trim from dark chocolate brown to Swiss coffee white, and after one coat of Gripper, it was white and ready for the finish color.

  • David

    Im recently bought a house with a nice basement freshly painted. after a year the basements paint started to bubble up from ground water. Was wondering if gripperwould be a good paint to use on my basement floor. Is gripper a waterproofing paint when applied to masonary? Any replys would help

  • MM

    i need to paint trim and doors that are presently dark brown. Under the dark brown paint is an oil paint. the dark brown is chipping all over. I would like to paint it all white now but am worried about the chipping to continue since the brown laytex was painted over oil. Will using the gripper before painting white help with the chipping?? any other suggestions?? thanks!

  • David,
    No, Gripper is a latex product and is not a ‘walkable’ product.
    You are going to need some sort of a epoxy paint as your surface.

    You are going to have to investigate where the groundwater is coming from, whether it is a drainage problem(not having rain shed away from your house) a broken or leaking water or sewer pipe, or a high water table with soil that retains water.

    I have used the Quickcrete product with good results on a couple of projects.

    Three Acres has a great post about using Rustoleum

    I hope this helps.

  • peach

    I am looking to cover a tile bathroom with “gripper”
    there is a lot of tile… will it stand up to hot showers?
    How many coats? roller instead of brush?
    and most importantly, Is there a glaze that will put back the

  • David

    The head lemur
    I have fixed most of the water problem, I.E. french drain 8 feet down around the foundation of the house. I just need something that will bond the top coat paint to the masonary of the floor. I will look into epoxys. Thankyou

  • Betsy1981

    I am wanting to paint my kitchen cabinets that are oak, will this gripper cover the grain look???

  • peach,
    No, gripper will not work on your tile. Tile has a waterproof glassy glazed surface, which is why it is used in showers. You could redo your bath in marble for the expense not to mention the time it would take you to remove enough of the finish to use any primer to refinish your bath.

  • Betsy1981,

    Probably not. Despite the great gap filling properties of Gripper, oak has a large open grain, which probably has the pores filled with stain and sealer/poly/glaze used to finish them originally.

    If you really want to get away the grain look, you will need to strip off the finish completely, including a fine brush to get the sealer out of the pores.

    You will then need to procure one of the commercial grain sealer products, coat the wood completely, filling the pores, (basically skim coating the entire surface) and then sanding it down, cleaning it, and them priming and painting.

    It is a lot of work. You may be better served by having it either done commercially or have your cabinets ‘refaced’.

  • heartwoode

    Can Gripper be used successfully to paint laminate countertops in kitchen? Looking for smooth coverage with no chipping down the road.

  • Diane

    I have all wood grain trim throughout my house that I am going to paint white. May have a sealer on it, not sure. Can I paint over with the Glidden Primer Gripper? Do I need to sand everything first?

  • heartwoode,

    Gripper is a latex primer. Recoating laminate counters is a whole different thing.
    Rustoleum is offering a product recover laminate counters.

    I have not used it, so I cannot comment on its utility or longevity.
    A posting by Centsational Girl has a good overview of it.

    Good Luck

  • Diane,
    Any trim is likely to have a sealer on it. You will need to prep it before priming. Sanding is one option. Using a deglossing product is another.

    Deglossing products are petroleum based and require ventilation as well as safety gear like gloves and/or masks to control fumes.

    They work great but you must read the directions for a quality job.

  • Diana

    I am in the process of refurbishing a chair. I have taken all the stain off and sanded smooth. Could I use the Gripper primer for the chair???

  • Theresa

    Hey! Does it work well on metal? I need to paint the trim around my windows outside. I have a metal plate above each window and it has a bit of rust on it. Will this work well for that or should I get some other rust covering primer?


  • rita

    Can I paint aluminum siding with gripper?

  • Dan

    Could you leave the gripper as a finish, without putting a top coat? How does it handle mildew? Painting a steeple 100′ up and want to reduce cost on crane rental.

  • things

    I live in the mtns. at 9800 ft and have a lot of UV. Added onto the house 4 years ago and have cedar siding. Used Behr Premium solid stain with a 20 yr. warranty. Paint is pealing badly now. If I power wash and give plenty of time to dry will Gripper work ok ourdoors on cedar. I am concerned more about adheasion than filling cracks and grain but that would be ok IF I don’t have to repaint every 4 years.


    okay, here is my delema….I have a cottage and in the kitchen there is paneling…it is the old 70’s style were the wallpaper is already attached. the paper is bubbling an peeling off and it looks terrible so I want to remove it. It is so old it is pulling right off, but leaving a tacky surface behind. I can not remove the glue it is not you normal wall paper paste. My question is if I lightly sand the walls will this Gripper primer adhere to the surface enen if it is still a little tacky?

  • Gordon

    Someone just told me about Gliddens Gripper. We want to paint over some old paneling and the old stained wood mouldings in a house we bought. I was told that if I use Gripper after washing down the wood with Dirt X that I shouldn’t have to sand it all down first. does this sound right, or do I still have to sand it all down first?

  • rebecs

    can you use gripper to paint over oil based paint (walls) and a latex on top?

  • JAT

    My question is the same as “rebecs”

    Hope to hear your reply soon!
    Much appreciated…thanks!

  • mark

    just primed my newly skimmed joint compuund ceiling. Found that the gripper is peeling off in sheets .can you help me understand why. I had a old textured ceiling and just skimmed it smooth.