The ideal solution for many finishing problems

he first coat of finish that you apply to wood forms a thin barrier known as a sealer coat. That barrier isolates all subsequent coats of fin ish—called topcoats—from the wood. Any finish that forms a film over wood acts as a sealer, whether you apply it over raw, stained or filled wood.

As a rule, your objective in finishing is to seal the wood against moisture and dirt with the first coat, and then build protection and beauty with subsequent coats. In some cases, such as when you use Danish oil (an oil/varnish blend), you may need two coats to completely seal the wood. With these finishes, the third coat starts building the film In most cases you can use the finish you've chosen for the topcoats for the sealer coat. There are certain situations, though, when applying a special sealer can help you avoid disasters anc achieve the best results with your chosen finish. Here are five common finishing problems and the special sealers used to solve each of them.

Fisheyes can appear in a waterborne finish if the wood's surface is contaminated. Seal with dewaxed shellac first.

Porous end grain looks unfinished, even with three coats of varnish. A sealer coat of glue size solves the problem.

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