Zinsser 123 Plus

Zinsser 123 Plus

Zinsser 123 plus primer, a review.

Zinsser 123 Plus

Zinsser 123 plus primer is the new and improved version of Zinsser 123 primer, which has been around for a while and is tried and tested. 123 primer is a water based paint that’s great to use if you want to prime a surface that might not usually take paint so well. A coat of Zinsser 123 and then you can paint away as normal safe in the knowledge that each subsequent coat will stick to the surface and not peel away.

Zinsser 123 was never very good at blocking stains though, but that’s ok because if you need to block a stain then Zinsser BIN primer always does the job or you can use Zinsser Cover stain which really works a treat on stains, from smoke to water.

Recently Zinsser brought out a new and improved version of Zinsser 123, and has called it Zinsser 123 Plus.

This is what Zinsser says has to say about some of the benefits of Zinsser 123 Plus:

• Low odour, water-based formula
• Primer, sealer and stain killer.
• Unrivalled adhesion.
• Blocks the toughest of stains – even water and smoke.
• For any interior / exterior surface.
• Dries in 30 mins, recoat in 1 hour.
• 12.5pH Alkali resistant.
• Ultra low VOC.

This all sounded good to me so I decided to try out Zinsser 123 Plus on some interior aluminium windows that were to be painted white.

Before using the Zinsser 123 Plus on the aluminium windows I needed to prepare the surface first. Using some wet & dry sandpaper, 240 grades, I rubbed down or keyed the surface of all of the aluminium windows that were to be painted.
Next I dusted down the windows and then wiped the surface clean using a rag with some methylated spirits. Once clean and dry it was ready to paint.

The tin of Zinsser 123 Plus was given a good stir first before use. Using a good quality synthetic paint brush the first coat was applied. Straight away it was apparent that this paint covered very well, the windows had been a dark, nearly black colour and with one coat of Zinsser 123 Plus they were practically white, so far so good! They say unrivalled adhesion and I have to agree, this paint seemed to be welded to the surface once dry.

Zinsser 123 Plus

Half way through the job of priming these windows. As you can see, one coat covers very well.

Once the primer had dried, I started on the first undercoat. They say Zinsser 123 Plus is ready to be recoated after an hour but it was about 3 hours before I got back to it. The windows were then given an undercoat using a Colortrend waterbased undercoat.

This is where the first problem started.

After painting with the undercoat for a few minutes it became clear that all was not well. For some reason the bone dry Zinsser 123 Plus was having a reaction with the undercoat. The primer that had been welded to the surface suddenly started to come away. Thinking it might have something do with the waterbased undercoat I decided to stop for the day. A little while later a large hole in the window reveal next to these newly primed windows was being repaired with some bonding. As the hole was being filled right next to the windows, some of the bonding ended up on the dry Zinsser 123 Plus. Straight away the same reaction occurred that I had noticed with the waterbased undercoat. My guess is the moisture in the undercoat and the moisture in the wet bonding reacted somehow with the primer. I decided to give it 24 hours and try again with the finish coat.

24 hours later and the finish coat went on without a hitch.

It seems that this particular primer needs to be left 24 hours before recoating, not 1 hour later as advertised.

On another note, it doesn’t block stains very well, if at all. I have tried it a few times with water stains and it just won’t block out the stain. If you need to block a stain then Zinsser BIN primer is the way to go.

I give this primer 6.5 out of 10


Zinsser 123 Plus – conclusion

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