Zinsser Cover Stain


Zinsser Cover Stain is an all-surface, all-purpose, oil-based primer, sealer, and stain killer for interior and exterior use

  • For use on difficult to paint surfaces
  • Sticks to all surfaces without sanding
  • Seals water, smoke and nicotine stains
  • Zinsser’s best exterior wood sealer
  • Blocks cedar and redwood bleed
  • Touch dry in 35 minutes
  • Recoatable in 2 hours
  • Available in 2,900+ colours, inc. RAL, RAL Design, BS, NCS & the new NCS 2050 colours

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Professional decorators, estate maintenance teams, restoration contractors and project managers have another problem-solving product from Zinsser. Cover Stain is an all-surface, all-purpose, oil-based primer, sealer, and stain killer for interior and exterior use, and is recoatable in just 2 hours.


Cover Stain can be applied to metal and other glossy finishes, without the need to sand the surface down prior to application. It is ideal for surfaces including:

  • Panelling
  • Wood trim
  • Old wallcoverings
  • Glossy paints
  • Clear finishes
  • Siding
  • Externally facing shutters
  • Doors and windows
  • Metal
  • Cured masonry

- and much more!



Porous surfaces, including:

  • Plaster
  • Bare wood
  • Masonry
  • Previously coated drywall

Cover Stain can also be used to seal exterior woods, new or old, weathered, or untreated, and blocks tough cedar and redwood tannin bleed.


Blocks tough stains and odours:

  • Nicotine discolouration
  • Smoke damage
  • Soot
  • Water-stains
  • Mildew
  • Graffiti
  • Rust
  • Dark colours


Outstanding adhesion

Sticks to hard-to-paint surfaces, including:

  • Ceramic tiles
  • PVC
  • Weathered wood
  • Glass
  • Glossy enamel paint

Cover Stain can even be used on metal office cabinets and bookcase, transforming old-fashioned looking offices into new, modern and cutting edge designed workplaces at a fraction of the cost.

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Features & Benefits

  • For interior and exterior use on difficult to paint surfaces
  • Sticks to all surfaces without sanding
  • Seals water, smoke, and nicotine stains
  • Zinsser’s best exterior wood sealer
  • Blocks cedar and redwood bleed
  • Touch dry in 35 minutes
  • Recoatable in 2 hours
  • Available in white and eight mid tone colours

Product Specification

Technical Data
Zinsser B-I-N
Volume Solids: 56.3%
Solids By Weight: 74.5%
Stain Sealing: @ 20°C / 50% RH: 45 min
Flammable Limits in Air: Lower (LEL): 1.2 - Upper (UEL): 9.6
Smoke development 5
Sheen level @ 60°C: 12% to 13%
Limitations Cover Stain is not intended for application to floors, decks, roof surfaces or any surfaces subject to immersion or prolonged contact with water.
Shelf life: 60 months @ 24°C
Storage / Handling: Store indoors 4° - 27°C

Recommended Uses

  • Recommended for application to fire, smoke and water damaged surfaces, including interior ceilings, walls, doors, trim, cabinets, furniture and related paintable surfaces.
  • Exterior siding, fascia, soffits, trim, doors, walls, foundations, railings, and related paintable surfaces that may have been damaged by fire, smoke, or water.

Drying Times

Drying Time @ 21°C
Dry to Touch Dry to Recoat Cure Time
35 minutes 2 hours 4 to 7 days


  • 9.8m2 per litre. Coverage may vary depending upon method of application and surface porosity.

Surface Preparation

  • Surfaces should be clean, dry, sound, and free of dust, dirt, excessive chalky material, grime, grease, oil, wax, mildew, wallpaper adhesive or any contamination that may interfere with adhesion.
  • If unsure, always wash surface with an appropriate ammoniated cleaning solution or solvent (do not use tri sodium phosphate- based cleaners).
  • Remove any peeling and / or unsound coatings.
  • Sand any remaining paint film edges smooth.
  • Lightly sand exposed exterior wood with 80 to 100grit sandpaper to remove loose or weathered wood fibers and mill glaze.
  • When priming over stained areas, first attempt to remove as much of the stain as possible by washing, sanding, scraping, etc.
  • Remove interior mildew with an interior mildew cleaner, such as Zinsser Mould Killer & Remover.
  • Allow surface to dry completely before priming.
  • Countersink exposed nail heads, spot-prime and fill all nail holes and gouges.
  • Wire brush rusty areas.
  • Spot prime knots and sap streaks with B-I-N Primer-Sealer before whole surface priming with Cover Stain.

Application Methods

Product Information
Application: Brush, Roller, Pad or Spray
Airless Spray: Use 0.15” to .017” tip at 1800 to 2200 P.S.I.
Thinning: Cover Stain is designed to be used without thinning
Application Temperature: Between 5°C and 32°C
Relative Humidity: Less than 85%

  • Shake or stir before using. In most cases only one coat is necessary to prime most surfaces.
  • If excessive absorption occurs over very porous substrates a second coat may be necessary.
  • Spot priming is recommended only under high hiding topcoat paints.
  • For best results prime entire surface before painting.
  • Allow to come to room temperature before use.
  • Use in a well-ventilated area avoiding high humidity. Shake can vigorously until ball inside can rattles.
  • Turn can upside down and continue shaking for one minute, shake occasionally during use.
  • Spray 10”-12” from object with short dusting strokes.
  • Over-coatable after 30 minutes.
  • To clean spray for future use, turn can upside down and spray until clear gas is emitted.
  • Note that temperature and humidity directly affect dry time of the product. Higher temperatures and lower humidity will accelerate the dry time while lower temperatures and higher humidity will slow down the dry time.

Clean Up

  • Clean up spills and drips with a rag soaked in mineral spirits or paint thinner.
  • If spills or drips have dried, use paint remover.
  • Application tools may be cleaned using paint thinner – rinse tools repeatedly in mineral spirits or paint thinner until solvent runs clear and tool is thoroughly cleaned.
  • Use Zinsser BIN Brush Cleaner to remove dried paint from brush.

Health & Safety

  • Refer to the safety data sheet in the attachments section above for further details.
Product Details

Data sheet

For Use By
Consumer Use
Interior / Exterior Use
Interior & Exterior
For Use On
Ceramic Tiles
Application Method
Standard / Ready Mixed
Pack Size
Brush, Roller, Spray
9.8m² per litre
Touch Dry
35 Mins
UN Number
Base Type
Exterior / Interior Use
Exterior & Interior Use
Suitable For Use On
Suitable For Use On
Suitable For Use On
Suitable For Use On
Suitable For Use On
Suitable For Use On
Suitable For Use On
Suitable For Use On
Ceramic Tile
Suitable For Use On
Suitable For Use On
Suitable For Use On
Application Method
Application Method
Application Method
Stain Blocking
Product Type
Primer & Sealer
Product Range
Cover Stain
Fastest Delivery
Next Working Day
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family
Colour Family

Customer agrees that before placing an Order, Customer has read and understood the most up to date Product Data Sheet for the Product. Where we have access to the Product Data Sheet from the manufacturer, we will either provide a copy on request, or include a link to the Product Data Sheet available on the manufacturer’s website. Customer further agrees that we have no liability for any errors or omissions contained within the Product Data Sheets. For more information, please see our Terms & Conditions of Sale.

questions Bicola on 2023-02-08 18:13:11

Can this be used as an undercoat for Suretherm Anti Condensation Paint?

Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

N-Virol Suretherm Goodbye Mould Thermal Anti Condensation Paint is usually applied to internal wall or ceilings, if you wish to apply this over the Zinsser Cover Stain we would recommend testing on a small area prior to full application for compatibility and adhesion.

questions Stephen Coke on 2022-05-10 08:45:17

Is this suitable for priming a new already treated timber gate? I'll be using Zinsser All Coat as a top coat.

Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

Yes assuming the timber is bare, clean, dry, sound and prepared as detailed in the technical data sheet this would be an ideal primer for application under Zinsser Allcoat Exterior.

questions Mike on 2022-03-17 15:27:36

Does this paint give damp proof protection?

Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

No, this is an oil based primer, sealer, stain killer that can be applied to metal, painted finishes, wood and cured masonry.

questions Roger on 2021-08-27 08:45:27

What colour primer is best to be used if topcoat will be RAL Silver Grey, is is white or should I use same/similar colour?

Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

You would either use the same colour primer or a slightly lighter shade shuold you wish to ensure you do not miss any areas with the topcoat.

questions Jane Duoe on 2019-11-12 22:58:43

Are the fumes after painting harmful if painted indoors? The odour is quite strong

Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

Zinsser Cover Stain is sold for use in domestic properties and therefore is safe to use in this situation. Good ventilation during use should be provided as with many solvent based paints. A good flow of air through open windows will minimise solvent fumes. You can download the safety data sheet from the 'Attachments' tab on the product page on our website if you have any further concerns.

questions Kyle Drewett on 2019-05-23 14:15:36

Would this be suitable to use as a primer before painting a wooden porch with black Zinsser AllCoat Exterior Gloss?

Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

Yes as long as it is not used on any floor areas.

questions Gemma on 2018-06-04 09:16:16

I want to paint over slightly Yellow nicotine stained white emulsion walls without having to wash them down, is there a product that mimics the effect of normal white Matt emulsion that I can just paint over the walls with?

Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

The best product for this job would be the interior Zinsser AllCoat (Solvent-Based). This has a matt white finish and can be left as the finish coat. It may take 2 coats to cover if you are not washing down but if the staining is very slight you may do it in one coat.

questions MARK RANDALL on 2017-03-20 14:05:58
Question: Hi I want to paint a varnished wooden framed settee and chairs to use outside. It is very intricate so virtually impossible to sand. Will your cover stain primer bond sufficiently well to it to allow a top coat? Thanks
Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

Zinsser Cover Stain should be fine for this. Provided the surface is clean and free from any waxes or spray polish type materials, the Cover Stain will bond well to the old varnish and provide a good base for a suitable exterior top coat.

questions Peter Dennett on 2016-02-29 17:07:31

What is the best primer/sealer/undercoat to apply to exterior marine ply and softwood? Planning to apply 2 coats of Sadolin Superdec on top.

Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

Zinsser Cover Stain would be the best primer to use.

questions Paul on 2016-02-19 09:35:27

Can you thin cover stain?

Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

Zinsser Cover Stain shouldn't be thinned for application as it is designed to be applied as supplied but you can use White Spirit for clean up.

questions Roger baker on 2015-05-28 11:21:24
Question: Can Zinsser Cover Stain be used to seal weeping knots?
Answer from Rawlins’ Technical Team: 

No. You would need to scrape away any residue, thoroughly clean the knots with methylated spirits and then apply 1-2 coats as required of Zinsser B-I-N.


Question about the product

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Zinsser Cover Stain is only available with the shipping and delivery timescales listed below - please do not contact our Customer Support Team with enquiries about alternative or earlier shipping and delivery times.

Saturdays and Sundays, as well as Bank Holidays, are not classed as working days.

Orders placed after the cut-off for this product will not be processed for earliest dispatch until 9am the next working day.

All delivery costs below are excluding VAT

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*All estimates are based on theoretical consumption rates and do not take into account any substrate deviations or wastage

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