How Many Coats of Primer on Wood?

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This is a relevant question, How many Coats of Primer on wood surface to get a good finish? We know primer is like a best friend for professional painters to prepare their painting walls. It helps the painting to look shiny and glossy, which makes the painting more eye-catching. But did you ever wonder which primer you should use?

The number of the coat of primers plays a big role in making your painting better than others. Wood surfaces are usually not even and not smooth. But if you prime them before painting over them, the surface will become even. Here in this article, we will discuss how many coat of paint you should apply on wood.

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How many coats of primer on wood?

Wood without any paint or unfinished wood on its porous surface requires minimum of Two Coats of Primer. Oil-based primers are great for painting wood. When you apply the first coat of the primer, give the surface 12 to 24 hours for drying. And when you use a water-based primer, you need to wait for 2 to 3 hours for the surface to dry. Once your first coat of the primer is dry completely, apply the second coat, if necessary. Wood that has a dark color  it will require more coats of primer to confirm that is fully covered the previous color. 

How many coats of primer on bare wood?

Bare woods are the most porous wall material. You also can use an oil-based primer over the surface of bare wood. You just need to apply one to two coats of primer to prepare the surface. Then allow the surface to dry completely, and they usually take 24 hours to dry. If you use newer oil and latex primer, it will also require two coats for an effective seal. We would suggest you not use water-based primers as they can make the wood swell a bit. But still, you want to apply them to make sure to sand the surface before you apply the second coat. More than one coat of primer will confirm that the wood or dark color will be able to be seen through the light paint.

Types of Primers should you use on Wood
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What Types of Primers should you use on Wood?

The most difficult substrate is bare wood for painting over it. So you need to prime the surface properly so that you can paint easily. Every good oil-based primer takes plenty of time to dry, even though it takes a longer time, but the wood can soak properly and sticks better than other types of wood primer.

Oil primers are most old-fashioned and take a lot of time, so there are a group of people who don’t like to wait for a day. So they can use latex-based primers; these primers are also good for woods and dry faster than oil primers. Still, they provide proper adhesion for paint topcoats. 

But if you can keep some patients and wait for the surface to dry, then we would always recommend you to use oil-based primers. Working with them may feel like a hassle, but they provide you the best finishing. In case you want to avoid the hassle of painting your bare wood, you can also use the other option of latex primer before applying the finishing coats. 

Self-Priming Paint Benefits 

For materials with a medium porosity, self-priming paint might be an excellent option. This new paint and primer blend, on the other hand, can be a gamble because it doesn’t always function as stated.
If you’re going to use self-priming paint, be sure it’s a good brand. In the end, the extra expense will pay off visually.

Top 3 Best Primer Suggestions for your Wood:

If you are looking for the best suggestions for primer, then you can choose one from our top 3 best primer suggestion:

1. Zinsser Bulls Eye

With one quart can of this Bulls Eye primer, you can cover up to 100 square feet of the surface area easily. Besides, this primer is a good choice for use on any surface, also great for woods. If you want to paint on new concrete that has a high pH surface, Zinsser Bulls Eye will suit them best. 

2. KILZ Original Multi-Surface Primer/Sealer 

This primer is one of the best primers for stain blocking, and they also come at a reasonable price. It is an oil-based primer, and they contain heavier smells. They need more stringent worksite ventilation, but this KILZ Original Primer works great on woods. Please note that they are only deliberate for internal uses. This is a great choice for priming a new wood surface that you will use with your baseboards.

3. Zinsser Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer

Having stains of water, smoke, and nicotine on the surface of the wood is a common scenario, and Zinsser Cover Stain Interior is master of them. This one is great for using on woods, and they are arguably one of the best primers for exterior woods. Another good thing about this product is they work really well with all paints and sands effectively.

>> Related Post: 10 Best Primers for Bare Wood in 2021: Expert’s Picks

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are 3 coats of paint better than 2?

Choosing the right number of primer coatings is a necessary step to prepare the wood for painting. You may think that probably 3 coats of paint are better than 2 coats, but that’s not like that. The coatings of primer depend on each project, surface, and color as they are not similar for every painting. But one thing you should know that the number of three coats is the maximum, and more than this may ruin the wood surface. 

Can you apply latex paint above an oil-based primer?

Yes, you can apply latex paint above an oil-based, but it is not ok to apply an oil-based paint color over latex. You need to make sure that you have prepared the painting surface before you use latex paint over an oil-based primer. Use a good bonding primer first, then let the primary dry completely. Now apply two coats of high-quality latex paint. 

How soon can I paint over primer?

The situation has to decide How Many Coats of Primer on wood/wall and when you use a latex primer, it may take up to 30 minutes, sometimes an hour. But it is advisable not to paint color the wall until the primer dries completely, and it may take up to 3 hours. And when you use an oil-based primer, you may need to wait for a day to dry the primer before you start painting the wall.


So you have just learned how Many Coats of Primer on Wood surface you need to apply and which type of primers you should use on wood. We would recommend you not to use a water-based primer for wood. We all may know that woods are not a good fit for absorbing water. 

If you are looking for a good quality primer to use on wood, then you should choose among the three mentioned primers; they are the best pick for priming your wall. We really hope you find this article helpful for learning something important about primer.

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