Is Stix Really A Good Primer?

You might have heard the hype about INSL-X Stix bonding primer, but is Stix really a good primer?
The short answer is Yes! In many cases, you will be amazed at the adhesion that this primer promotes.

stix primer urethane acrylic white

What is Stix primer?

Stix is a waterborne bonding primer that will stick to glass and tile if prepped right.
The resin type of this primer is acrylic urethane.

This means that there is almost no odor compared to solvent-based primers.

After it is dried, which usually occurs in 16 hours, it becomes a hardened film that can be top-coated with almost any product.

You can use Stix for interior and exterior jobs.
It will dry in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check out how it performs below.

Does Stix primer block stains?

Although Stix is a great bonding Primer it will not block stains or tannin bleed.

Especially if you are painting with light colors.

If you are using Stix to paint oak kitchen cabinets I would suggest doing a second coat of water-based primer such as Benjamin Moore Fresh start.

In most cases, you will encapsulate any stains.

But if there is still a brownish stain visible, you will have to spot-prime those with an oil-based primer.

This aerosol will work great for that.

Related article Best Oil Based Primers For Wood And More

oil based cover stain primer

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Is Stix primer thick?

Stix is not thick and can be applied in one thin coat.

It has the consistency of chocolate milk almost.

You can brush and roll, or you can spray it on without any major learning curve.

Does stix need 2 coats?

Stix is for creating an adhesion promotion between your substrate and your paint.

Therefore, you do not have to apply a heavy coat or even a second coat.

One Coat is enough.

It is not a high-hiding primer, so if you are expecting a white canvas after priming, then I would suggest using BM FreshStart again as a second coat.

It will give you a super white base that is great for when you are painting light colors over it.

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In Conclusion

Stix is a great bonding primer. One of the best if you do not want to use solvent-based (oil) primers. Unfortunately, it is not a very good stain blocker, and it takes 16 hours to dry. We still absolutely love it here at 518 Painters.

Do not let that discourage you from making this your go-to water-based primer.
I would not suggest using it for raw wood or any wood that is known for tannin bleeds, such as Cedar and Redwood.
Other than that, if you clean and prep your surfaces right, you will have great success with this primer!

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36 thoughts on “Is Stix Really A Good Primer?”

  1. Thanks for this article. I was thinking of using Stix as a durable undercoat for mdf cabinet doors. J was going to roll on shellac seal coat to keep the fibers from raising, then do a couple spray coats of Stix. Do you find that it sands crisply?

    Thanks again

    • Sounds like a plan! I have great success wet sanding stix. I’ve heard other contractors say it doesn’t sand well for them but for me, it seems to work well.

  2. I’ve used Stix before and the adhesion is second to none. I recently used Bulls Eye 123 for a home furniture primer and after two days it can be scratched easily off. Can I apply Stix over the Bulls Eye?

    • You can use stix over Bulls Eye but you’ll have to sand your surface again. If the Bulls Eye is peeling already then that means that there is no adhesion/bond to your surface. Anything you paint over that will most likely fail.

  3. I have a double-wide to test paint kitchen cabinets. I will use Krud Cutter, then a sanding block to scuff. I believe they are veneer cabinets, the boxes look in decent shape.

    My plan was to use the Inslx Stix waterborne enamel as the first coat. I know they also have a cabinet product out, but haven’t seen much feedback on that.

    Question is, what would be the best second primer to put on that before a finish coat, all water-Based?

    • If they are laminate then you’re right, Scuff them and use INsl-X stix primer and let it dry for 16-24 hours.

  4. I had a kitchen backsplash installed while out of the country, and the color doesn’t match new kitchen quartz countertops. I thought about trying STIX as sort of a “white-wash” over the backsplash tiles — which aren’t shiny — to lighten the backsplash. My question: Can STIX be tinted? I looked on the Ben Moore site, but didn’t find any info about tinting it.

    What do you think? Thanks

  5. The best I have ever used by far.

  6. I was thinking of using Stix to paint a covered concrete patio? Would it be good for that?

    • Porch and Patio Enamel should do if it is just regular porous concrete.

  7. Will stix hold paint on ceramic tile floor? I’ve used Gripper and Kiltz with no luck. Any suggestions?

    • I’ve used it on tile plenty of times. Clean the tiles with TSP then scuff with 80 or 100 grit sandpaper. Then use the stix. Let me know how it went.

  8. Would Stix work on my wood trim that is painted with a gloss light brown paint

    • If it’s not oil-based paint then yes. I suggest lightly scuffing up the surface with a green brillo pad first. Wipe off the dust with a wet rag and after it dries you can go ahead and prime. A regular water-based primer such as Kilz would work if the previous paint is not oi-based. Kilz would be a cheaper option as far as price.

    • I haven’t compared them directly. Extreme bond is great but Stix has not let me own yet.

  9. I have a concrete slab in my she-shed that I am wanting to paint and then stencil. Would I use Stix and then any latex paint or would I be better off using garage floor paint? (I will be sealing it with a varathane when finished.)

    • If it’s porous concrete then you do not need a primer. Sherwin Willaims has a few products for concrete that work really well. If you have a Sherwin-Williams store in your area then that I would check them out and see what they have.

  10. I noticed the reply above to a comment glossy paints. I need to prime high gloss oil based paint on 18 doors. Do you think this will work or no? I tried SW Extreme Bond (sanded) and it did ok but great. I am wanting to stay away from oil based.

    • Unfortunately, oil-based paint is so dense that it really needs an oil-based primer. Anything else is just a hit or miss.

  11. I was asked to get rid of the batten strips and paint VOG walls in a not so old double wide. I removed the strips, cleaned all the areas with Krud Cutter and let dry. Then I used spackle and caulking in some areas, sanded next day. Cleaned again, used Stix waterborne enamel primer over the spackled areas. Is next day too soon to do a full coat of the Stix on the entire wall surface with a roller? Is two coats of the Stix even necessary before a final top coat?

    • 2 coats are not really necessary. Your topcoat will bond to the stix considering it’s not scratching off.

  12. I want to know if I can use this on my bathroom tub and shower walls before I use a tub and tiling refinishing kit.
    also want to know is it okay to use in tub where water is and will it peel up?

    • If you are using an epoxy bath and tub kit you will not need to prime it with stix. The 2 part Epoxy is sufficient.

      • I find this interesting and feel a bit differently… we used a tub and tile refinishing kit… exactly as per directions… and we’ve had nothing but trouble. When we applied sticks to areas that peeled off… its help. our question now is can we just use sticks for the whole area? it seems to be doing a way better job than the refinishing kit.

        • The stix primer will stick to almost anything. I’m not a big fan of the bathroom kits. You really have to clean the surfaces thoroughly with harsh chemicals before using them.

  13. I have primed my ceramic floor tile with stix. I want to do a checker board effect on my tile. Do I have to cover the white stix with any thing or can I leave it?

    • I would add a layer or 2 of white. Stix looks grey/yellowish after a while.

  14. I have decided to paint a large laminate header instead of replacing the sheets. Will this primer adhere well to it and what sandpaper would you use to scuff?

    • Yes, it would.
      I would use 220 grit to lightly scuff it up first.

  15. Hi there,
    My trim and doors are all done on a spray lacquer by the builder. I am wanting to repaint with Benjamin Moore’s scuff-x( it is water based) Is priming required? And if so will stir be appropriate? If not what primer would you recommend?

    Thanks so much,

    • If it’s lacquer you’ll have to scuff it up with 220 grit sandpaper and use an oil-based or shellac-based primer.

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