To Prime or Not To Prime…

…that is the question we put to our technical supremo Richard Aylen. In a new series of posts, he  tackles the subjects he most often gets asked about. Today, it’s all about what goes underneath.

Modern wood flooring surface treatments come in a variety of types, the most popular being lacquer (normally polyurethane) followed by Oil and Hardwax finishes. Often, what goes underneath is equally important and there are several issues which need to be considered when selecting a suitable combination of products, to ensure that the result is hard-wearing, looks good and is cost-effective.

 Do I need a Primer? If the floor is sanded to bare wood and a water based seal will be used for the top coats – then the answer is yes. One of the main purposes of a primer is to stop the lacquer top coats from bonding the floor boards together. That way the floor can move naturally with the seasons and large gaps can be avoided.

As it’s the first coat applied to the bare wood, the choice of primer will often determine the final colour of the floor. A primer will also help to avoid side-bonding and the effects of natural oils in the wood. Generally, water based primers (Junckers Prelak) will bring out lighter colours in the floor whereas organic solvent based primers (Junckers Base Prime or Proseal) tend to enhance rich, golden and brown colours. For floors made from oily, tropical timbers the correct choice of primer will avoid discolouration or adhesion problems. For oily woods we recommend our Baseprime.

When the primer has dried the floor is ready to receive the lacquer coats.

Richard Aylen, Technical Services Manager, Junckers

Richard Aylen, Technical Manager, Junckers Ltd 

If you have any questions for Richard or like his advice you can get in touch with him at

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