can I put wood filler over primer?

We’ve all been there: You sand a piece of wood, then priming it seems like the next logical step. But after applying primer and sanding again, you notice that there are still some ridges or holes in your project.

And this is where things get tricky—does that mean you need to go back and apply even more primer? Or is it okay to just use wood filler over the original coat?

So many questions! We’re here to answer them for you. First up: “Should I prime before using wood filler?” It depends on what kind of wood filler you plan on using (more on that later) and how big an area needs filling in order for priming to be worth it.

If we were putting a new coat of paint over our dining table, we’d probably prime it first because we want everything nice and smooth before laying down any color; however, if we were just patching up cracks in our living room floorboards with some spackle (and not covering them with anything else), then priming wouldn’t make sense because it would only make those areas harder for us to reach once they’re already filled in!

Should you prime before using wood filler?

Yes, you should prime before using wood filler. Your primer will seal the wood and prevent the wood filler from soaking into the wood. It will also keep any bleeding to a minimum and help it adhere better to your project.

Can wood filler be applied over paint?

It’s best to sand the primer with a rough grit of sandpaper and then follow up with a finer grit. To get the smoothest result, you can use medium-grit paper for most of your sanding, then finish by going over it again with coarse-grit paper.

If you want to replace old wood filler or paint in an area where there is no existing finish, then yes you can apply wood filler over primer (as long as it has been sanded).

But if there is already paint on the surface that needs to be repaired or replaced, I would wait until after painting was complete before applying any new coats of fillers or paints.

Is primer enough to seal wood?

You can use primer over wood as your sealer for a number of reasons. Primer is not just a good sealer, it’s also a good base for paint and other finishes. It’s made to work with many materials and surfaces, including wood.

Primer gives you an extra layer of protection from the elements that could otherwise cause damage to your home or structure, so if you’ve got something like exterior trim or siding that needs some extra TLC, this might be the product for you.

The consistency of primer makes it easier to apply than regular paint; it won’t drip onto other surfaces as easily as regular paint would (which is why most experts recommend using a brush instead of rollers).

Do you need to sand before using wood filler?

Primer is a very thin paint that goes on before the actual color of your walls. It’s not intended to be a top coat, but rather an undercoat for your next layer of paint.

If you don’t sand it down, then you’ll have an uneven surface when the wood filler goes over it.

Can you use grain filler after primer?

You can use grain filler as a filling material after you’ve applied primer. Primer is a surface sealer, so it will help to keep any wood filler material in place, regardless of whether it’s applied before or after the primer.

However, with that said, there are some advantages to applying your wood filler before your surface sealer:

What’s the difference between wood filler and wood putty?

Wood filler is a hardening compound that is used to fill holes and cracks in wood. Wood putty is a softer compound that is used to fill smaller holes and cracks in wood.

You can apply both products directly over primed or unpainted surfaces.

How many coats of primer should I put on wood?

If you’re applying wood filler over paint, it’s important to use the right primer for the job. The best primer for filling in dings, scratches, and gouges will be different from what you’d want for a whole new coat of paint.

When using wood filler over primer:

  • Apply 2 coats of primer before applying any additional coats of filler or paint. If there are large areas that need filling, apply as many coats of filler as needed until all holes are filled in and smooth or level with the rest of your surface.

Are three coats of primer too much?

The main reason we recommend three coats of primer is to make sure you have a strong, even surface for your paint to adhere to.

The first coat can be thin and smooth, but the second and third layers should be thicker so that the wood filler will really get embedded into the wood.

You can always apply fewer coats if you’re worried about wasting paint or brush strokes, but two is usually sufficient.

If you do want to use fewer coats of primer, it’s important that each layer dries thoroughly before adding another one on top of it—usually, 24 hours between each coat works well enough.


If you have a question about wood filler, we hope this article has helped you. If not, please feel free to leave us a comment below. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and get you on your way!

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Martin Flood

Martin Flood has been working in the construction industry for over 20 years as a general contractor with expertise in remodeling projects that are large or small. He has furthered his career by specializing in epoxy resin flooring, providing excellent service to both commercial and residential clients. Martin’s experience enables him to offer professional advice on how to choose the right type of project based on your needs and budget.

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