Your Questions About Using Primer on Wood Answered

Using primer on wood is a necessary process that has a number of steps that you will have to follow. When applying primer to wood you will have a number of questions along the way. We try to answer them below. Ultimately it has to be noted that adding a primer to wood when painting is a very necessary step that you have to do. We have answered them all below. Do not confuse this with masonry primer or stain blocking primer which are completely different.

How Many Coats of Primer on Wood?

Apply two coats of primer on the wood. However, some people do not use primer on their projects. Why? Because they want to save labour and money. However, they take away from the beauty and quality of their labour without realising it. Choosing the right primer can help you get a great finish, regardless of the type of finish you will use. A primer can give you the best results. It is very important to use a primer in the final step of your project.

Another very common mistake is people using other materials instead of using primers. Do not use paint instead of primers. Paint cannot replace primers. This is because paint cannot perform the task of primers. You should only use paint to get an attractive, smooth finish. And allow your finish to flow out to reduce brushstrokes. Primer, on the other hand, can fill the pores in the substrate because it is heavier bodied. You can, therefore, use a primer to seal the substrate.

Here are the main characteristics of most primers:

High adhesion

Fast drying times – primers do not soak into the substrate

High solids – primers fill pores in the substrate

Varnishes or paints, whether water-based finishes or oil-based finishes, do not have these characteristics. Therefore, you do not need to use varnishes or primers as primers. However, if you use them, then your finish coat may soak into the substrate and it may not seal it properly.

In addition, the coats of finish will soak into the substrate until the finish coats finally seal the substrate. Once the finish coat seals the substrate, it can now form a smooth finish and use very thin finishing coats.

It is extremely important to choose the best primer for your new project. You will apply a coat of finish on top of your first primer. Therefore, the quality of your primer determines how every new finish coat will bond to your first primer coat. Do not use a poor-quality primer.

However, if you do not use a primer, you may end up spending more money to get a smooth finish. This is because it is much cheaper to purchase primer than to purchase finishing materials. You can use a primer to improve the durability and quality of your finish.

How to Remove Primer from Wood?

Severely weathered wood can lower your home’s curb appeal and even lower your home’s value. It is easy to restore weathered wood. You will just sand down and repaint the wood. Use a primer as the first layer before you apply paint on the wood. A primer soaks into the pores of the wood to ensure the paint adheres to the wood. Sanding is the best way of removing wood primer from timber, even though it takes a lot of effort and time.

Step 1

Use a liquid cleaner to wash the wood. The liquid cleaner removes dirt from the wood. Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water in a bucket. Soap off the primer. And use a towel to dry the wood.

Step 2

Use a paint scraper to scrape up the primer from the wood. Rub your paint scraper along the wood grain for easier removal of the primer.

Step 3

Attach a coarse grit to a sanding block. You will use the sanding block to remove the primer. So, choose the right sandpaper grit to attach to the sanding block. However, if you have a power sander, it can make your job easier and faster.

Step 4

Sand in the direction of the wood grain. Sand from one end of the wood to the other side. If you want to minimise visible scratches from showing on your finish, then sand in the direction of the wood grain. Sand one spot until you sand away the primer from the wood. Do not move on before you sand away the primer from one spot.

Step 5

Purchase or rent a floor sander to remove primer from your wood flooring. The large, circular discs on the bottom of floor sanders remove primer from wood flooring.

Step 6

Use a shop vacuum to clean up the debris.

How Long for Primer to Dry on Wood?

A primer takes around 30 minutes to dry to be able to touch it. And a primer takes around 1 to 2 hours to dry enough for painting. However, the thickness of the coat, humidity levels and room temperature determine the dry time of a primer.

Water-based primers take less time to dry than oil-based primers. This is because water takes less time to evaporate from the coating and oils take longer to evaporate from the coating.

How to Prime for Chalky Surfaces

Paint manufacturers have led you to believe that you do not need to prime your wood when using chalk paint. However, you do need to prime for painting with powdery and chalky surfaces. If you do not prime then you will run into issues like bleed through or poor adhesion. Use a specialised primer for this job and not some sort of exterior masonry primer.

Dry Time Between Coats

Leave the primer to dry for around one hour before you apply a coat over it. Water-based primers can take one hour or less to dry. However, oil-based primers may take over one hour to dry.

Make sure the coating is dry and hard enough before you apply a coat. The coating must be hard to support a new coating. If you rush to apply a coating over a primer, your finish may remain wet for a long time. Do not paint over wet coating. The paint will not stick if the primer is still wet.

Additionally, if you rush to re-coat, you may get stained spots. Wet primers contain moisture. The moisture bleeds through your paint to cause stained and dark colour spots on your finish. It is advisable to let your primer dry before re-coating.

How Many Coats of Primer on Wood Furniture?

Apply two primer coats on the surface of the wood furniture. However, many paints claim to be a paint and primer in one. Do not rush to use paint and primer in one. If you want to get a great finish, a primer should go on first. Paint and primer should not go simultaneously. A primer can help the paint stick to the wood. A primer can even make the paint more durable. Use a primer to get a smooth finish. If you use a primer, slight dips and bumps will not remain after sanding. So, prime your furniture before you apply paint.

Check if there is a finish on your wood. If your wood furniture is stained and finished, you can just apply a stain-blocking primer if you are not planning on stripping the wood. Applying a stain-blocking primer does not affect the colour. It also does not affect the way the paint will lay on your wood.

If the wood furniture does not have a finish or stain, then you can use an oil-based or latex primer to get the best results.

Do not under or over apply a primer. Apply two primer coats on the surface of the wood furniture. Use a brush to apply the primer. Once the first coat completely dries, you can now add the second coat.

How Many Coats of Primer on Bare Wood?

Bare wood is a porous surface. That is why it is important to apply a primer on bare wood. A porous surface absorbs so much of what you will apply on the surface than the wood that has been repainted.

If the wood has been repainted, then it can hold on to some of the paint. Some of the paint will remain inside the grain of the wood. You can still give a light sand to the previously painted wood off. You will still not need many coats of primer on painted wood. Bare wood, on the other hand, will need more coats of primer.

If you want to paint a previously painted surface or wood, you still need to apply a primer before you apply a new colour. The new colour will hold on if you use a primer.

How Many Coats of Primer on Wood Panelling?

Apply multiple coats of primer on the wood panelling. Applying over 2 coats of primer can help you get the best coverage and hide the original colour.

Sanding between coats of primer and paint can help you get the smoothest results. Sanding also removes imperfections from the wood panelling.

What Grit Sandpaper for Primer on Wood?

The grit sandpaper for a primer on wood will depend on the material you want to primer. For example, if you want to sand wood, you can begin with coarse sandpaper, like 80-grit. If you choose a higher grit size, you can avoid scratch marks from the previous sanding. 220-grit sandpaper is an ideal grit sandpaper for a primer on wood.

Do I need to seal before applying primer on wood or when I paint bare wood?

When it comes to new/bare wood/unfinished wood it is recommended to always seal with an primer, whether it is an oil based primer or water based one. This helps the future coats of paint adhere to the surface and stops any spotty or blotchy areas from appearing. Wood knots in particular need to be sealed. For these it is recommended to use a shellac primer when applying to wood surfaces.

This stage of sealing should not be confused with use of sealer. Sealer is a substrate finish that applies a barrier between the finish and the  timber. They can also be used over a previous, incompatible finish to help make the new layer stick.

Do I need to sand wood before priming?

It is not always necessary to sand before priming your wood. However, if you are working with new wood then it is 100% recommended you do so. What you need to do is sand the surface and edges lightly to smooth them out. 

If you are working with previously painted surfaces and is flaking then sand the surface with 180 grit-sandpaper and wipe down the dust with a damp cloth.

How many Coats of primer do I need?

To completely seal and prime new timber we would recommend that you use at least two coats. The first coat is there to seal the timber and will mostly be absorbed into the wood. The second coat then rejuvenates the previous coat and gives you a smooth and complete finish.

Does primer fill in sanding scratches?

When you sand your timber you create scratches on the surface with the sandpaper. As you progressively work to finer grits these scratches get smaller and finer until they are nearly invisible to the eye. If the scratches are small enough then the primer can act as a filler for them and let them disappear. However, if the scratches are too big then filling will not be possible and will have to be done with a specialised filler or have to be sanded using the progressively finer grits.

What is the best primer for my timber?

The best way to answer this question is to get in touch with us and we will be able to help you pick the correct primer for your wood.

What do I need to do before applying my primer?

There are a few steps you need to do before you begin priming your surface. First off, be sure that the surface is blemish free. Secondly you need to be sure that it is as clean as possible. Using a vacuum and a damp cloth is a must to get the very best finish.

These are some of the questions you may have when you begin working with primer. Anything else you may need then just get in contact with us and we will answer you.