Priming & Buffing

At Rex Lumber Company, we can provide several options for priming and buffing. The best time to prime wood is when it is freshly machined, clean and dry, in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment.

Standard Priming

Our standard primer, which is white, is a specially formulated coating designed to be applied on bare wood, bonding with the substrate and providing a uniform surface for the topcoat to adhere to. It also acts as a sealer, forcing evaporation as designed and preventing solvents from the topcoat from soaking into the wood.

The Process

Paint is flooded on the product while it passes through the paint chamber and the excess paint is vacuumed off as it exits the chamber, leaving a uniform thickness. The moulding then passes through a dryer where it is then ready for shipping or buffing, depending on your requirements and needs. The buffing operation “scuffs” the exposed surfaces, which creates better intercoat adhesion between the prime coat and topcoat. It also knocks off any slight fiber raising that may occur.

Our standard priming is provided via one of our two vacuum coater primers with infra-red ovens (added to our production capabilities in 1995). The moulding is fed into the system. The moulding passes through a profiled template, which is custom cut to match the profile being primed and enters the paint chamber. The paint chamber, which is constantly flooded with primer, is the smallest part of the machine and is less than 24″ in length. As the moulding exits the paint chamber it passes through a second profiled template as a vacuum draws off the excess paint. As a result, all 4 sides of the moulding are coated in a consistent layer of primer. The moulding then feeds through the infra-red dryer. As the moulding exits the far end of machine it is dry and ready for packaging. The whole process primes a piece of moulding and dries the piece in well under a minute’s time. After a single prime coat 1 dry mil of primer is left on the moulding, which is equivalent with AWI Economy Grade Priming.


The capacity of the of our vacuum coater primers is 1/4” to 3” in thickness and 1/2” up to 11-3/4” in width.

Buffing &Denibbing

If our standard priming operation provides doesn’t meet your needs, we can buff the surface, sometimes called denibbing, for an additional fee.  Buffing is accomplished by passing the moulding through a separate machine which uses special heads made of sandpaper and brushes to scuff the surface. Buffing typically removes the slight grain raise that can occur, as well as smooth the primed surface slightly, but does not expose raw wood. Priming and Buffing a moulding leaves less than 1 dry mil of primer on the moulding, which is equivalent to AWI Custom Grade Priming. For customers that require high end prime coatings we can prime the moulding a second time after buffing. Mouldings that are Primed, Buffed and Primed have 2 dry mils of primer on them, and are equivalent with AWI Premium Grade Priming.

While our standard primer is a water based acrylic latex, it is designed to accept both water based, and solvent based (oil/alkyd) topcoats. Both interior and exterior primers are available. The exterior option contains both a mildewcide and stain blockers to help prevent most tannins and other compounds from the wood from leaching through the prime coat.

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Spray Finish

If our standard primer does not meet your needs, we have full custom capability using our spray finish line.  In 2008, we began to offer custom sealing, priming, staining and topcoat finishes to almost all types of mouldings using our spray finishing line.

We offer:

  • 100% Acrylic Latex Primer, in both white and tinted colors.
  • Interior or exterior (exterior has stain blocker, mold/mildew deterrents).
  • LOW VOC, non-toxic, environmentally safe.
  • Tinting available.

Alkyd Based Primer (oil)

  • Interior or exterior.
  • Self-Leveling, hard when dry, provides hard, tight film.
  • Penetrates better than acrylic, blocks stains well.
  • Tinting available.

Pre-catalyzed Lacquer Primer

  • Interior only- moulding should be sanded prior to priming.
  • Seals porous surfaces, fills, levels, permits uniform sheen.
  • High end priming- meets KCMA performance standards.

Fire Retardant Primer

  • Water based flat latex.
  • Interior and exterior available.
  • Can be top coated with most water-based paints.

Fire Retardant Coatings – Flame Seal Liquid

  • Clear water-based penetrant.
  • Spray on 4 sides, allow to dry.
  • Can be used under many types of paints and stains.
  • Class A Fire rating.

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