Types of Primers & Sealers

As with paints, there are two broad classifications of primers and sealers:

• latex or water-based products
• oil-based or alkyd products

Virtually all paints will adhere well to either type. However, some oil based paints can tend to crack prematurely if applied to a latex-based primer, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Latex primers and sealers – especially those with acrylic binder – perform at least as well as oil-based products in all but two instances:

• oil-based primers provide the best performance over severely staining wood
• oil-based primers offer better adhesion to heavily chalked surfaces

If you decide to use an oil-based primer on any wood surface, be certain that the wood is very dry before applying the primer.


The core content for Painting Tips is provided by the courtesy of Dow Chemical as found on CaliforniaPaints.com.