Painting Advice and Premium Products from Experienced Professionals.
Exterior Wood Primer

This is a much debated question, Oil or Acrylic?, but we feel strongly that a premium acrylic primer like Coronado 410-11 or Benjamin Moore Super Spec 169 is best as a first coat on most exterior wood. Much of the new wood used in new construction is high in moisture content, and the acrylic primer is much more tolerant of that moisture. Acrylic primers give much better surface gripping power if wood grain is tight, as is usually the case with exotic hardwoods. If bleeding occurs, either apply a second coat of acrylic primer, 24 hours later, or if bleeding is severe, you could then consider a spot coat of the alkyd product. We just prefer the safety, ease, and durability of Acrylic products for most projects.

Bleeding Woods
For an alkyd stain blocking primer for exterior wood, we like Cabot Problem Solver Exterior Primer. It seals heavy bleed from redwood or other bleeding woods. However, we usually prefer Acrylic primer and finish for most exterior wood. Premium exterior acrylic primers will block bleeding stains (2 coats required, 24 hrs apart). The advantage of the Acrylic primer is long term flexibility, and some breathability. Alkyd primers typically are non-breathable, non-flexible, and continually harden as they age.

When priming any exterior hardwood, it must be sanded, and have any natural oil removed from the surface with solvent or a wood cleaner for hardwood. We highly recommend specific preparation procedures for a long -lasting paint system.

You must evaluate your specific project requirements when choosing your primer.

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* Pro Tips *
Always prime bare wood before applying patching or caulking compounds.