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Expert Advice: Sealer Secrets

Painting expert Brian Santos reveals which surfaces require a sealer. Read more in his new book, "Painting Secrets."

Author Brian Santos

Q. How do I know when to use a sealer?

Brian Santos: Use a sealer before painting porous surfaces such as these:

  • Any unpainted surface, including new plaster, drywall, and old woodwork that has been stripped.
  • Bare open-grained woods such as oak and maple.
  • Bare woods, such as redwood, that bleed through or discolor paint.
  • Large areas of wallboard joint compound or patching plaster.
  • Masonry surfaces like unglazed brick, cinder block, and concrete.
  • Metal surfaces; use an oil-based primer-sealer with rust inhibitors to prevent corrosion.
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