Sealers penetrate the wood and enhance its color and clarity. Sealer is the first product used in the finishing process unless staining the color of the wood is desired. When sealer is applied without staining, it will give the wood its “natural color.” Only one coat of sealer is usually needed. Sealers have very little “build” and therefore aren’t to be thought of as a means of protection. However, a good sealer will:
- Promote good adhesion for the finish
- Penetrate the wood so the finish won’t
- Prevent side-bonding and panelizing(more on side-bonding and panelizing on the common problems page)
There are many different types of sealers on the market, but the three prominent ones are oil-base, water-based, and de-waxed shellac. There is a slight color variation to each one.