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Do You Use Sanding Sealer Before Stain or After? (Answered)

Sanding sealer is practically a lacquer that is applied to wooden products or wood to get an even top coating. But to achieve all these benefits by using a sanding sealer, proper usage of it on wood or wooden products is a must. 

Thereby, a common question can be raised in your mind that do you have to use a sanding sealer before stain or after. So, let’s quickly find the answers to this query. 

Do You Use Sanding Sealer Before Stain Or After?

Sanding sealer is formulated as a base layer that’s supposed to be applied on bare and unstained wood or wooden floor, furniture, and other products before staining them so that it fixes pores and the wood or wooden products can be sanded afterward to get an even, polished finish.

The sanding sealer is basically an apparent liquid-based product that is designed to be used on natural and colorless wood or wooden flooring, furniture, and any type of wooden product before getting the desired stain on them.

It’s because the sanding sealer is developed with such a formula that would help the woodworkers to improve the quality of subsequent layers of stain or clear polish by sealing pores and fixing the rough texture of the wood or wooden products. 

And with the fixed-up pores, the wood or wooden products achieve a very smooth, poreless, and even surface. Therefore, the stain/paint can spread out decently and cover the wood/wooden products’ surface instead of being quickly absorbed.

Besides, the sand sealer dries in just one hour while leaving a polished wooden surface behind prior to staining. However, it’s always best to sand down the wood/wooden products slightly with a 320 or 400 grit after the sand sealer has dried up and before staining. 

Light sanding will remove the sand sealer from all the less permeable spots while leaving the sealer at more porous spots that help in achieving uniform staining without affecting its effectiveness.

Can You Use A Sanding Sealer Over Stain? Can You Stain Wood After It Has Been Sealed?

The sanding sealer manufacturer companies don’t really recommend using a sanding sealer over the stain

It’s because a sealer is sanded down after sealing the rough, uneven, porous texture of the wood so that it creates a protective base coat for smooth staining in the next stage.

Thereby, if the wood has already been stained, using a sanding sealer isn’t effective, this can’t be used on it as sanding the sealer afterward will abrade away the stain. 

You can stain a piece of wood after it has been sealed only if you sand off the sealer from the piece of wood to a stage where the surface is still smooth but the shine has stripped off fully. It will allow the stain to go through the pores of the wood and will spread out evenly. 

Sand by using a coarse sanding block/sanding paper to remove the polished shiny finish from the wood.

Which Goes First Wood Stain Or Sanding Sealer? Can I Use Sanding Sealer As A Finish?

As the name implies, a sanding sealer should go first always before the wood stain because a sanding sealer functions as the base coat on natural wood surfaces that have been once sanded down already to a bare finish.

When a piece of wood is sanded down to an unfinished bare stage, it still has a rough texture with several pores. So if it’s stained before applying a sanding sealer, the wood will have an uneven rough finish, as a result, the sanding sealer needs to go first before the wood stain. 

As the sanding sealer will fill out pores and rough texture it can be again sanded down to a stage where the excess sealer be scuffed away leaving a smooth yet porous enough surface to soak up the wood stain. 

You can’t use a sanding sealer as the finish over the wood, as the sanding sealer isn’t really a finish that is meant for giving the wood surface a finish coat and even if you use it as a finish it will not hold up well. 

Besides, a sanding sealer is supposed to fill up the pores and fix the wood, it will not add any protective layer as the finish coat does. Rather, it will require a sanding step again that will abrade the stain.

When Should I Use A Sanding Sealer?

You should use a sanding sealer after sanding down the wood to a natural and bare finish and prior to staining it with either a water-based or oil-based wood stain.

If you want to get a better appearance after staining the wood beyond its original finish and want to minimize discoloration, you must use a sanding sealer before you want to achieve your desired stain.

But don’t use a sanding sealer after staining as after using a sanding sealer, it needs to be sanded down to remove excess sanding sealer from flat spots. As a result, the stain can get scuffed away during this process.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Sanding Sealer Before Staining?

Using a sanding sealer before staining does come with numerous amazing benefits or you can say it gives so many reasons that will surely convince you to use a sanding sealer always. And here are the top 5 reasons that you surely will get if you use sanding sealer before staining.

Easily Sandable:

Sanding sealer is formulated with an easy to a sand formula which means if you use sanding sealer before staining, you can effortlessly sand the wood surface down without affecting its effectiveness for even a little bit. Also, it will not stick to your sandpaper.

Minimizes Pores And Corrects Rough Texture:

A sanding sealer minimizes any pores by sealing them as well as correcting the rough texture of hardwoods like ash or oak. As a result, you can effortlessly sand the wood. 

Also, it helps to achieve a better texture and appearance than natural by minimizing the pores and correcting the rough texture.

Gives A Finished Appearance:

Another major reason why you always should use a sanding sealer before staining is that it makes the wood surfaces very smooth and even by fixing the texture and pores. And it gives a finished appearance after the sealer is sanded down.

Also, this smooth surface allows the stain to spread every which makes the wood look finished. 

Adds An Extra Layer Of Protection:

Using a sanding sealer before staining adds an additional protective layer to woods that seals out condensation from pores. Also, improves the stability of both the woods/wooden products and the finish which lessens the threat of distorting of sealing.

Prevents Stain From Seeping Deeply:

Using a sanding sealer prior to staining doesn’t let the stain from flowing deep inside the wood and leave dark smudges. Moreover, it holds back the stain from percolating in unwanted places m wooden surfaces.

How To Use A Sanding Sealer?

A step-by-step instruction has been included in this section to guide you while using a sanding sealer. Give it a read and follow while using a sanding sealer.

Get A Uniform Finish:

Strip the wood or wooden product to a bare natural state and bleach it to get a uniform finish do apply the sanding sealer next. And clean the surface thoroughly.

Apply The Sealer:

First, turn the standing speaker can upside down and shake it industriously for a few minutes then open and thoroughly mix the sealer with a wooden stirring stick.

Then take a small paintbrush and start applying a thin layer of sanding sealer to the joints or detailed areas. But don’t let the sealer fill decorative slots and do not over brush while applying.

And use a medium-sized paintbrush to apply sanding sealer on flat and broad wood surfaces or broad wooden products. 

Allow It To Dry:

Let the sanding sealer dry for about 1-2 hours.

Sand It:

After drying completely, sand the sanding sealer using 320 or 400 grit in the wood grain’s direction. And clean the surface using a very bad clean cloth. Then apply your desirable stain. You can apply a second coat too by following the same steps above.

How Many Coats Of Sanding Sealer?

The highly recommended number of sanding sealer coats is not more than 2 coats, and then finish it with 1 or 2 coatings of stain. Make sure the coatings of the sanding sealer are thin and done at one time rather than over brushing it.

Final Thoughts

Sanding sealer is made for sealing the pores in bare wood or wooden products, so it needs to be applied before staining the wood so that the sealer can fill up the pores and fix rough uneven texture and give a smooth surface to stain evenly. But remember to sand it down before applying a stain.