Zinsser Co., Inc. offers several primer-sealer products, including Bulls Eye 1-2-3. Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is a water-based primer/sealer/stain-killer that can be used for interior or exterior applications. My experiences using this primer/sealer product prompted me to write this review and share my experiences with Bulls Eye 1-2-3.
I have no affiliation with Zinsser and have never used Bulls Eye 1-2-3 until recently. This review is based on my own experiences as an end-user. The project that I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 for was an exterior repaint of a four-bay garage. The garage is approximately 40-50 years old with original wood siding. The condition of the siding is terrible as the building has been in need of paint for several years. The customer provided the paint and primer for this project, and Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 was the primer/sealer that was provided. I have been painting houses either part-time or full-time for more than 15 years.
About Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3
The Bulls Eye 1-2-3 web page advertises that this primer-sealer is a “whole house” primer/sealer product . The web site advertising boasts that Bulls Eye 1-2-3 can even be used for gloss surfaces like enamel trim and tile. The labeling on the Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 can advertises that this primer/sealer fights paint that is blistering or peeling, will stick to chalky and glossy surfaces, sticks to all surfaces without the need for sanding, and will dry in one hour. The product label also advertises that Bulls Eye 1-2-3 resists mold and mildew, and inhibits rust. This primer/sealer is can also be tinted. According to the manufacturer’s web site advertising and product labeling Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is an impressive primer/sealer.
Advantages of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3
One of the advantages of using Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer/sealer is that the product is cheap. As of the date of writing (Aug. 23, 2010), Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is available from my local Home Depot store in Billings, MT for $16.98 per gallon. Water-based Behr brand primer/sealer is priced two to three dollars higher per gallon. Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is one of the less expensive primer/sealer products on the market today. Those who are working on a tight budget for their home improvement projects will appreciate this cost savings.
Another advantage of using Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer/sealer is that the product is readily available. Finding Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 does not require a special trip to the paint store. Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is available from Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, and many other home improvement stores. Convenience is a factor in favor of Bulls Eye 1-2-3.
How Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Performs
Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 provides more complete coverage than other primer/sealer products that I have used. Bulls Eye 1-2-3 leaves a surface that almost looks as though it has been painted. Many primer/sealer products apply more thinly. This may have provided an advantage on the older siding that I was coating since the siding had many cracks and chips.
Bulls Eye 1-2-3 seems to offer good stain-hiding as well. I did not use any stain-hiding product before applying Bulls Eye 1-2-3, and very little shows through the primer. I expect a good, even color when I apply the topcoat of white paint.
How well this product performs in the long run will not be known for several years. The garage siding that I am painting is actually in such poor condition that the building should be resided. I will be watching with interest to see how well Bulls Eye 1-2-3 holds up on this demanding project.
My Opinion of Bulls Eye 1-2-3
Ultimately, despite the low cost, ready availability, and good coverage, I will never use Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer/sealer again. Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is an extremely thick, heavy product. This primer/sealer would, by comparison, make acrylic paints look thin. I have never used a paint or primer product that is as heavy as Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3.
Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is very difficult to spread with a decent brush. My soft-bristled Purdy brushes are nearly incapable of pushing Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer/sealer on the siding. Within a few minutes of beginning to apply this primer/sealer the bristles on my brush are pointed in all different directions and the brush is nearly useless. Rolling Bulls Eye 1-2-3 provides only slightly better results. Using this product with a roller is easier than using it with a brush; however, the application is still not smooth.
Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is heavier than any similar product that I have seen or used. Applying this product could most closely be compared to spreading roofing tar or asphalt sealer with a brush or roller. It is possible, but it is not a pleasant experience. If you don’t mind the idea of spreading tar with a paint brush then Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is probably an acceptable, affordably-priced primer/sealer. However, if you like to use a primer/sealer that can actually be spread with a soft-bristled paint brush, you may wish to consider one of the many alternatives to Bulls Eye 1-2-3. The extra few dollars may be money well spent.
1) Rustoleum.com (http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=217) – Site accessed on 23 August 2010 15:45.
2) HomeDepot.com – Site accessed on 23 August 2010 15:45.