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Bullseye vs Killz, and How to Paint a Door

Updated on September 17, 2014

Making the selection: Bullseye or Killz

I got the idea to check out Bullseye 1-2-3 Primer after talking to a friend of mine who is a general contractor with experience running his own business for the last few years. He has a real reputation for doing things right. Anyway, my project was simply to paint my new back door, along with the surrounding area (the molding), and as such, I needed to prime the door. I had two types of primer in my house already from past projects: Killz and Bullseye (the 1-2-3 Rust-Oleum stuff I'm talking about here). In a word, he told me that Killz sucks.

I took his advice and used the Bullseye stuff, but not before I had already primed a section with the Killz stuff. You couldn't have asked for a better side by side comparison of the two. Holy cow was he right. The Killz stuff had this terrible oil/water separation to it. I had to stir it up right before applying it, and even when it was applied, it kind of looked lousy- like you could still see the previous color underneath.

Then I got out the Bullseye. Wow, what a difference. Now I painted in college (insert gay jokes here), so I do understand paint consistency and things of that nature, so I am at least marginally qualified to sing the praises of this primer here. It's a no-brainer: Bullseye is far better, and the price is essentially the same price. My door looks all the better for having used it, and the work got done that much faster.

How to paint a door

So I had to replace my door a few months ago. I consulted my friend who owns his own contracting business, and who tends to do things the right way, which I really appreciate.

He is the one who advised me about using Bullseye, and definitely not Killz. Here are the steps he gave me to use:

  1. sand area surrounding door
  2. remove handle and deadbolt
  3. prime door (all six sides) and surrounding area
  4. caulk seal
  5. sand primed door (all six sides)
  6. Paint door and surrounding area once
  7. sand door and surrounding area
  8. paint door and surrounding area a second time

I loved having the step by step instructions, and sure enough, using the Bullseye was very obviously better.


Random add-on - a super good deal on a utility knife

This Stanley utility knife (or "box cutters", as my dad used to call them) is the same high quality tool that I used when I was growing up 30 years ago. The quality is still high, and it works more or less exactly the way I expect it to work every time. Even a non-handy dude like me can figure out how to change the blade, but I'll be honest- the price is low enough nowadays that you can almost just replace the whole knife by the time the blade gets dull (or in the very rare circumstance when it breaks). I honestly can't think of the last time I had to replace a blade on one of these, with one notable exception: when I was trying to scrape letters off of my gym's windows. Turns out, they make a window scraper for exactly that, and a utility knife's blade isn't intended at all for that purpose.

What it does insanely well, though, is break down cardboard boxes. This is certainly the chore I have spent the most time using the Stanley knife on, and as mentioned, it works just perfectly every time. The blade is really safe, too, so I can really slice away at those boxes in order to break them down, saving my knuckles from the caveman-style punch technique.

If you're in a pinch, this knife works great on tape as well. I'm not sure if it's the best tool in the world for that, but tape cutting is probably the 2nd most likely thing I'll use this for.

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