Pouring gray paint

January 2015

The most important distinction you need to understand is that a primer surfacer is intended to be sanded while a primer sealer is not.


Surfacers are designed with fillers and pigments that make them easier to sand and powder when cured. The fillers also tend to do a better job of leveling imperfections. Surfacers have less concentration of resin and typically have higher volume solids than sealers. This makes the primer cut easier and prevents the clogging of sand paper.


Sealers are at the opposite end of the spectrum. They will have lower amounts of fillers and pigments and higher concentrations of resin. Because of the higher resin amount, sealers may often look smoother with less orange peel after curing. Sealers can be applied at lower film builds and have a topcoat applied after a short flash which is called a “wet-on-wet” application. Avoiding the sanding process can ultimately save time and the money spent running a bake cycle.


That being said, sealers do have the ability to be sanded and surfacers can be applied “wet-on-wet” with a topcoat. Depending on your final finish requirements and facility throughput, these factors may not make a difference. It is important to note that the chemistry of the primer you are utilizing doesn’t necessarily have an impact on its surfacer or sealer capabilities (epoxies and urethanes can be sealers and surfacers).


Take the time to evaluate the primer you are utilizing and ask yourself if it is the right type of product for your facility and if you are using it the way it is intended to be applied.


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