Painting is indeed the best way to renovate something, whether it is a room or furniture. New colors provide a new look and new breath of life. Before painting, it is important to properly prepare the surface to get the best result. Priming is the key to good surface preparation. To ensure the good quality of paint that lasts longer, it’s important to use the right quantity of good quality primer. Now, many questions arise in our mind, like why primer is necessary? What is the best quality primer? How many coats of primer should I use on wood? Should I use primer at all? And so many questions. 

Hold on, These all queries will be cleared today. Primer is basically the best friend of paint. Because to get the shine in the new color, it is important to make your wood surface ready to accept the paint. Priming wood is the most important part of any DIY project. Priming a wood is important, whether it is a new piece of wood or old wood that will be repainted again. Primer actually provides a smooth and shiny texture to the painted wood. Solvents, resins and some pigments are combined to make a primer. Resins help in sealing the porous surface into a smoother one. This will help the paint stay longer and provide the best shiny look to the wood.


Usually, without a primer surface is more likely to absorb a larger amount of paint. Primer reduces the amount of paint and provides a smooth surface ready to paint. So, the correct primer will save your cost by reducing paint.


There are three main characteristics of primers are.

  • High solids to fill the pores
  • High adhesion
  • Fast drying time 


There are generally two types of primer. 

  • Oil-based primer
  • Water-based primer

Oil-based primer generally works better on painted woods, while water-based primer is used for bare wood. Oil-based primer usually takes 12 to 24 hours to dry and prepares the wood for the next coat. While water-based primer dries in 1 to 2 hours and is ready for the second coat. Also, water-based primers require light sanding to create a smoother surface.


Before painting and priming the wood, you should keep some important considerations in mind. The number of coats of primer that needed to be done depends upon certain factors.

Type Of Wood

The first and foremost consideration for choosing the coats of primer is the type of Best Wood Finish, whether it is new unfinished wood or old repainted wood. There is a huge difference between both in terms of painting and priming. Because the new wood is a porous surface, it will absorb a lot of paint than that wood that is being repainted. So it’s important to prime it properly before painting it. While the old wood doesn’t need as much primer because of its previous paint coat, it might have absorbed old paint molecules deep inside the wood, sealing the empty pores.   

So priming depends upon the type of wood. Already painted wood wouldn’t need to be primed a lot compared to the bare piece of wood.

Type of wood

Quality Of Wood

While choosing how much primer and what kind of primer should be used, it is also important to check PAINTS FROM WOODEN WALLS quality. 

If the wood is stained, tinted primer is the best choice to cover the stains. In case you are using an old piece of wood having a dark color. You would need to cover it with more coats of primer to readily accept the new color without showing the old one. 

For bare wood that’s never been painted and primed, generally, oil-based primers perform better, but water-based primers can be best in providing the smooth surface. 

For painted woods, oil-based primers should be used.

Quality of wood

Type Of Paint

The type of primer also depends on the type of paint. If you are using exterior paint, you will need to use a high build primer to maintain the durability of the paint. However, if you are using latex paint, you will need latex primer. Latex is a water-based primer that will ensure the glossy look of a wood.

Type of paint


There are a lot of amazing brands of primer in the market that you can find easily. But how one can decide it’s the best primer. Here are some important qualities of the best primer. 

  • Water-based
  • It can be used for interior as well as exterior purposes
  • High coverage
  • Can cover dark paints
  • Can block light to medium stains
  • Can provide a smooth surface


Before priming the wood, there are a few essentials that you will need to gather.

  • Sandpaper
  • Painting mask
  • Paintbrushes
  • Primer
  • Paint color
  • Plastic drop cloths


In order to prime a wood efficiently and effectively we need to follow these step:


Sanding is the first step before priming. It allows the wood to accept both primer and paint. This step cannot be avoided even if the wood is repainted. If you are using an old rough piece of wood, it is necessary to sand the wood with good quality sandpaper several times to make it smoother to accept primer.

Sandpaper is a rough hard structure used to scratch the extra bumpy surface, making it even.



Once you are done sanding the wood preparing it enough to accept primer, the next step is to clean the wood. For this purpose, you need to use an air compressor to get all the dust particles off the surface fully. Besides this, make sure to dry all the moisture from the surface completely. If the surface is wet, it wouldn’t be primed well and eventually affect the paint.  After scratching, dust can be produced by sanding. Dust particles should be cleaned properly to prepare the surface well for primer.


3.Application Of First Coat Of Primer

The third and main step is to apply the first coat of primer. It is important to fill all the pores on wood if it is bare wood with the first coat of primer. For a smoother finish, apply it cleanly. A paint roller or brush can be used for applying primer. The roller is better because it gives a thin and fine primer layer on the wood. For a fine coat, each coat of primer should be sanded lightly with sandpaper before applying the next coat. After that wood should be cleaned with a cloth to remove excess dust particles produced by sanding.

3.Application of first coat of primer

4.Application Of Second Coat Of Primer

Let the first coat be dried properly, then go for the second coat. Wait for at least 24 hours in case of oil-based primer. Apply the second coat of primer only if you see some stains or spots still present after the first coat. Sometimes only one coat is enough to paint the surface. Usually, this happens with repainted woods. But if you are using bare wood, you would definitely require a second layer of primer onto it. Apply the second layer just like the first one but with more precision because it’s a final layer. Apply and distribute the primer well on the wood, making it smoother.

Application of second coat of primer

5.Application Of Paint 

Once all your coats of primer have been dried, it’s time to get the final look of the wood by painting it. Follow the same procedure as applying primer to ensure an even and smooth coating. Cover the primer properly with paint so that any primer color cannot peek through. You can apply the second layer of paint to make it even smoother and cover all the spots. 

5.Application of paint 


The number of primer coats mainly depends upon the type of wood and its quality. It’s all based on trial and error. Sometimes only one coat is enough to provide a smooth and shiny texture. But in some cases, you will need more coats to cover the stains or the old color of the wood.

Using One Coat Of Primer

One coat of primer is usually enough for an old repainted wood, especially when previous paint is in a light color. Already painted wood doesn’t have a porous texture because of the coverage of old paint particles. It doesn’t require many layers of coats of primer. A painted surface is always ready to accept the new color. Sometimes bare wood also needs one coat if it is smooth and without pores. So only one coat will be enough for new wood also.

If, after painting the wood, it doesn’t look as smooth as it should be with a single coat of primer and paint, then a second coat of paint will make it better.

Using More Than One Coat Of Primer

Some woods are in dire need of high coverage. In that case, more than one coat of primer would be needed. Mostly it happens with bare, unpainted wood that’s never been painted or primed. Due to its porous texture, it might need extra coats of primer before painting. Porous surfaces absorb a lot of paint. So it’s necessary to prime it with more than one coat before painting it. Two coats of primer will do the best job as the first coat will be absorbed by the porous surface, and the second coat will do the remaining finishing by filling the tiny thin spots.

  Another situation when we use more than two coats of primer is when the repainted wood has a previous dark color that cannot be hidden with a single coat of primer. So in this situation, you will need to coat it more than once to make it ready to accept the new color without showing the stains of the previous one. 


Primer seals the pores providing a smooth surface. The paint won’t stick effectively on wood if you skip this step, resulting in stain blockage. The color bleeding can happen. 

Excessive use of primer will cause peeling, chipping and cracking of the paint.

It depends on the type of primer you are using. Oil based primer will take a longer time to dry as compared to water-based primer.


So the overall crux of the whole discussion comes at this point that how many coats of primer should be done on wood depends on quality and type of wood and whether it is bare wood or painted wood. Sometimes it will need a single coat, and sometimes it will need  more than one coat to make it more smooth and shiner. Primer actually protects the wood, enhances its durability and creates a smooth surface for the amazing finish. So it is necessary to prime the wood before painting it. Whether it is new or old, every wood needs to be primed. A good primer can save your time as well as cost. Hence priming the wood is as important as painting the wood is. However, coating of primers can also be done based on trial and error. You can figure out on your own how much primer you need and how many coats a wooden surface would need to be prepared. And last but not least, oil-based primers should be preferred over water-based primers because woods are not a good fit for absorbing water.