An attentional capacity limit was recently suggested for faces, such that only one face can be processed at a time. We measured interference and repetition priming caused by irrelevant distractor faces. Participants initially performed male/female judgments for central faces or symbols flanked by distractor faces. Interference (slower responses for sex-incongruent target-distractor pairs) occurred for central symbols but was absent for central faces. In subsequent fame judgements, previously presented distractor faces had no repetition priming effect on response times. Relative to new faces, event-related brain potentials revealed a right occipitotemporal negativity ∼400-600 ms for faces previously shown as distractors flanking central symbols (but not distractors flanking faces). These findings support a face-specific attentional capacity limit, showing that event-related brain potential priming effects can reveal covert distractor processing.