Introducing GARDZ by Zinsser

Yep! It’s that good

If you have not already, its time to consider DRC’s as a new option with unmatched performance, reliability and effectiveness over bare drywall or problem surfaces. No wall primer offers the capability of Drywall Repair Clears today.

Zinsser prides itself on being painter-friendly by offering a wide range of niche product you can apply with confidence. So it’s not surprising Zinsser GARDZ® takes sealing to the next level with a slew of features.


GARDZ Problem Surface Sealer is a unique water-base sealer for porous and potential problem surfaces. It is formulated to deeply penetrate and dry to a hard, moisture resistant film that seals and binds down porous, chalky and crumbling surfaces, paints and texture finishes.

GARDZ is recommended for: damaged drywall, new drywall, spackling and joint compound skim coats, plaster, calcimine, uncoated wallpaper, wallcovering adhesive residue, texture paint, popcorn ceilings and over builder’s flat paint.


With a similar cost comparable to less effective wall primers, GARDZ saves us countless labor hours and material costs.


The product is clear and water-like. It reminds me of waterborne clears but thinner, similar odor.



Take a close look at the photo below. I want you to understand what you are looking at. This is two coats of Sherwin Williams Duration Satin applied over two coats of wallprimer. A patch was made and sealed with GARDZ. I took a brush and painted over the small patch rather than the entire sealed area. You can see a less shiny spot in the center of the shiny area. That is the area I applied paint with a brush before rolling a final coat over the room. This is a non-issue with some other paints.





19 Responses
  • Andy Reply

    Great resume of a wonder product.

    It is the same animal as Halls Beeline Primer Sealer. Been using that in UK since early 90’s, has so many applications it is ridiculous. Wallpapering on laminate? Beeline it first. Priming MDF, Beeline will deal with that, no problem…

    The obvious advantage though of Gardz from what you have said is that it will take a filler directly over the top of it? Beeline isnt designed for that.

    I was always taught priming before filling, to stop the substarte sucking the moisture out the filler. But i am a dinosaur and some things have moved on! eg I used that method the first time I came across Zinsser 123, but it caught me out. The multi purpose filler over the 123 lifted when I emulsioned over the top of it.

    And Zinsser told me well, duh, of course you have to directly fill with our super strong ready patch to the bare surface and then touch in the repair with 123 then a coat overall. So duh, I wont use that OTT spec again in a similar situation! But Gardz is on the list of options now.


  • frank Reply

    Has anyone used Gardz as a sizing or primer under 54″ commercial vinyl type II wall covering?

  • Jack Pauhl Reply

    Check out this link frank. Photos appear broke but the text is there talking about gardz and the like under wallpaper.

  • Denee Reply

    Will This work to cover texture in wallpaper?

  • golazo Reply


    I have removed one coat of wall covering in my house to discover that this is the only type covering that this room ever had–not paint, just shingle sheet wallpapered horsehair plaster for over 100 years! Nice for me–not too much to remove, however, now I am wondering if to use this product as an insurance to a great finish. My current plan is to use a BM oil primer, then a topcoat of nice quality Aura (maybe even F&B!) paint.

    Would it be overkill for me to add Gardz to the mix? Effectively applying, one coat of Gardz, One Oil Primer, then two applications of latex topcoat.

    Thanks for all your help, learning alot!

  • mb Reply

    Will this lock down flaking paint on interior walls (old builder’s flat under a 30 year old paint finish, not a moisture problem).

    I see there is a Peel Stop product by Zinsser also.

  • AlphabetA Reply

    I just wanted to say thanks, Jack, for this site and the info you have posted here and on the various painters forums that have come up via google search. I did a ton of research for my significant home renovation project and I found your arguments regarding primers and sealers to make the most sense of any I’ve heard. Over the weekend I sealed 900 sq ft (floor area… much more surface area) with gardz followed by two coats of Benjamin Moore Aura and I am beyond impressed. Knowing that I could get it right in three coats total without having to worry about primer compatibility issues was huge for me. Additionally, I didn’t need to sand primer coats and wasn’t meticulous about cleaning off every bit of drywall dust due to the gardz and I don’t regret it. Saved me so much time and worry, and the end result is beautiful.. I think I’d be hard-pressed to find a professional company that would offer this quality (contractors in my area are notoriously bad unless you are willing to pay incredibly high premiums… there is enough of a high end market to pull all the good ones out of my price range).

    I highly, highly recommend gardz on bare rock and joint compound. It costs a bit more than primer but it will save you a coat or more, is universally compatible with substrates, doesn’t require sanding (in my opinion), is more forgiving of surface prep, and it even strengthens the surface in the process! It is impossible to see the different between the difference in the final coat (or even the first coat) between joint compound and bare rock.

  • mike caruso Reply


    We have had wallpaper installed in our bathroom that turns out to be porous and

    not at all waterproof. Above the shower stall steam and condensation are wreaking

    havoc and I need a product that will seal and waterproof the wallpaper but dry clear

    and with as little sheen a possible.

    Is Gardz the product for this application? If not, do you know one that is?


    Mike Caruso

  • Andy Reply

    Once I remove the wallpaper should I still wash the walls or skip this step entirely? Instead, scrape off any excess glue and apply directly Grindz over the un-washed walls?

  • Mathew Richards Reply

    Searching the web for a little more info on calcimine and dealing with it when a customer has already painted it with latex without success. Zinsser Guardz is a great product quite a few things. We specify it for ALL wallpaper removal jobs as an arbitrary primer.

  • Dan Alford Reply

    All great info on this product but as a prime, can it be tinted??

    • Brian Havanas Reply

      Dan, It says, “Tinting is not recommended.” I don’t see any reason to tint Gardz with the awesome coverage of todays paints.

  • Elizabeth Norris Reply

    I used Guardz for a friend’s ceiling, and it did a fantastic job. Now, I need to go over some spots where she gouged the wallboard while trying to remove paper from the ceiling. She’s worried that the joint compound won’t hold well over the Guardz’ finish. Does she have anything to worry about?

  • Dale Derix Reply

    We stripped and sanded a popcorn ceiling, then applied Behr drywall primer and sealer. After 2 days of drying, we started rolling on Valspar latex ceiling paint and within minutes, the paint and primer started coming off. It sounds like Gardz might have prevented this.

    My question is can we apply Gardz right over the single layer of Behr primer that is on the ceiling right now?


  • Lisa D Reply

    I am currently stripping wallpaper that has been in my kitchen for 22 years. The wallpaper was put on plastered painted flat walls. Sherwin Williams tells me to use an oil based primer to lock any glue down that water based primers will kick off the glue and perhaps shine thru the paint. Since the walls are already painted with a flat paint should I put an oil based primer over that? I do not want my wall paint to be oil based. Can I then use a flat paint? Would the Gardz product be what I want? Like I say my walls are not bare drywall but plastered? Thanks for any insight you can provide.

  • helen Reply

    Painted straight onto plasterboard, and finish is awful! Could i put gardz on top of paint, then paint on top again? Would this resolve the issue with the uneven finish?

    • Brian Havanas Reply

      Helen, If a flat paint was used over the plasterboard, apply Gardz over the flat, then repaint.

  • rick Reply

    I have an older house and am going to skim coat my walls, the paint on the walls looks to be latex paint is pretty shiny, can I apply this over paint and
    then put my skim coat on.

    • Brian Havanas Reply

      Rick, Gardz is too thin to be applied to a shiny surface. Gardz is very watery. You can apply Gardz over the skimmed mud.

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