Can I Use Afm Sealer On Oil Based Paint?

After painting on any surface, you need to apply additional coats to protect and spruce up the paint underneath; these coats are known as finishes or topcoats. Sealers are a group of finishes with several uses, and today’s focus responds to the question, can I use Afm sealer on oil based paint?

It’s a resolute yes! It doesn’t end at that! AFM sealers serve different surface finishing roles, including priming for other top coats, a barrier between clashing finishing coats, sealing pores on wood surfaces, and adorning surfaces with a glossy touch. 

Herein, I’ve given a detailed definition of AFM sealers, oil-based paints, characteristics of oil-based paints, how to apply oil-based paints (including when to use the AFM sealer), and all other things to the effect of the title above. So stay put for an informative and entertaining read as below:

What Is AFM Sealer?

AFM sealers are wood surface finishing products used for various purposes like filling in pores to produce a smooth surface, priming to lay down other wood finishes/topcoats (e.g. lacquers, dyes, and stains), and for food-grade sealing. 

All sealers serve the same purpose; the AFM prefix for AFM sealers indicates the manufacturing company, AFM Safecoat, located in the United States. The company manufactures a host of other products like stains, wood finishes, paints, etc. 

The standout feature of AFM Safecoat products, including AFM sealers, is environmental friendliness. It means they come with minimal risk to human health and environmental pollution or degradation. 

What Is Oil Based Paint?

Image of an auto paint so Can You Paint Over Existing Auto Paint? Oil-based paints are slow-drying paints whose molecules are suspended in drying oil, like linseed oil. A pigment plus resin in a solvent thinner constitute oil-based paints. Following application, the thinner evaporates, leaving the resin that forms a hard coating. 

The addition of solvents such as white spirit and turpentine alters these paints’ flow properties; the addition of varnish enhances their luster.

The paints mentioned above are long-lasting and ideal for long-term use that doesn’t need frequent repainting. 

Modern uses of these paints are in the finishing and protection of lumber and metal surfaces. They are also used for decorative purposes for household items and in artistry. 

The thickness of an oil paint coat determines its drying time; thinner coats dry faster than thicker coats.

How Do You Apply AFM Sealer?

The process of laying down an AFM sealer is generally the same, but there are subtle differences depending on the task at hand. As mentioned earlier, the sealer is used as a primer for subsequent topcoats; it’s used as a barrier between discordant finishing layers, it’s used for embellishment for a more shiny finish, and on food-grade products due to its non-toxic attributes. 

AFM Sealer as a Primer

The sealer is applied after painting the wood or concrete surface as a primer for other finishing coats. If you have a large working surface, like floors, I recommend using sprayers to lay down your sealer. For smaller working surfaces, like timber planks, use a paintbrush.

Apply the AFM sealer on your working surface and let it dry for 24 hours. Then, sand the sealer coat lightly using finer grit sandpaper (400-600 grits). The light sanding restrains you from getting to the underlying paint and damaging it.

Vacuum off the dusty surface, and your workpiece is now ready for the top/finishing coat of your choice.

AFM Sealer as a Barrier

The ability to be used as a barrier is another aspect of AFM sealer versatility.

Take, for example, your lumber or concrete surface has glossy oil-based paint and you want to apply latex paint; here’s where you will realize how much AFM sealer has to offer. So, how do you go about it using an AFM sealer?

To begin, clean up your surface with soapy water and let it dry overnight. Then, spray paint or use a painting brush to lay down the AFM sealer on your workpiece and let it dry for 24 hours.

Apply a second coat of AFM sealer to completely cover up the oil-based paint and wait for another 24 hours. You can then apply the latex paint without any worries. 

If you directly apply the latex paint on the existing oil-based paint, the chemical constituents of the two paints will react with one another. It goes without saying that this will result in a messy finish and even a damaged floor. 

AFM Sealers for Surface Adornment

AFM sealers are also used for glistening wood or concrete surfaces to give them a visual appeal. How do you make this materialize?

The above application uses the sealer as the topcoat or finishing coat. After you’ve laid down the base coats, sand your surface and dust it off using a vacuum cleaner.

Follow the previous step by applying your AFM sealer using a painting brush. As usual, let it dry for 24 hours in readiness for recoating. Then, apply a second coat of AFM sealer and follow the same protocol in preparation for the third/final coat. Lay down the last coat gently and let your surface dry and cure before active usage.

Characteristics of Oil-Based Paints

  • They harden, forming stable and impermeable films; This is typical of traditional oil paints, containing drying/causative oils. 
  • These paints have different causative properties (iodine numbers), which measure their drying ability; the higher the iodine number, the greater the ability to dry. Linseed oil, the most common agent of oil paints, enhances causative properties. 
  • These paints dry comparatively slower than other paints, such as water-based paints. 
  • Turpentine and other thinning agents readily dilute oil-based paints. 
  • Some oil-based paints are water-mixable, making them less toxic and easier to handle. 

What’s The Difference Between Oil-Based And Water-Based Paint?

Oil-based paints vary from water-based paints in many aspects. In this segment, I’ll take you through the distinguishing features that make the paints named above what they are. Take a look:

Sheen Levels

Sheen means luster or glossiness! Oil-based paints have a higher sheen percentage than water-based paints. The reason for this is rather apparent as oil usually shines more than water. 

The trade-off is that oil-based paints lose their luster faster than their water-based counterparts. A point to note is that sheen percentage and durability are unrelated! Therefore, the rate of sheen loss does not directly do not mean loss of durability. 


Oil-based paints dry harder than water-based paints; this gives them high abrasion resistance. The downside to this is the lack of elasticity and increased likelihood of cracking.

Oil-based paints also become brittle, chalky, and yellow in their lifetime, but that takes a long while. Modern water-based paints have improved flexibility, enabling them to contract and expand with varying weather; this reduces their vulnerability to cracking. 

Exterior/Outdoor Vs Interior/Indoor Use

Water-based paints show superb performance on outdoor surfaces because they are more resistant to UV radiation. Oil-based paints work best on interior/indoor surfaces.


Oil-based paint requires a more gentle application due to its dense and viscous nature; this makes the laying down process slower than water-based paints.

Water-based paints have low VOC levels, leading to a softer “new paint scent” effect. Also, oil-based paints have a more robust “new paint scent” due to high VOC levels.

It’s important to highlight that VOCs are essentially harmless as they are organic! They are only a concern if you are allergic to strong scents.

Cleaning Up

Water-based paints are relatively easy to clean or wash off since water is their primary constituent solvent. Oil-based paints are a little challenging to clean up because oil is their principal constituent solvent; they require special chemicals like turps and thinners to wash off.

Drying Times

The drying times and cure rates of these two paint types vary, as I’ve shown in the table below:

Oil-based paints Water-based paints
Touch dry: 6-8 hrs Touch dry:30-60 mins
Recoat ready: 16-20 hrs Recoat ready: 2-3 hrs
Total cure: 1-4 weeks Total cure: 2-3 days


What Are the Types of Oil-Based Paints?

In terms of composition, oil-based paints differ only in one aspect, giving rise to two types of paints: those containing natural oils (linseed) as the base and those containing synthetic oils (alkyd).

Even so, both of the above categories work perfectly to produce top-grade finishing on wood. The alkyl based paints are increasingly becoming more common due to their affordability and strength.

Another difference in the brands, a minor factor, is based on the manufacturing company. The different brands primarily contain the same components of oil-based paints, so you can purchase from whichever brand suits your taste. 

All oil-based paints are suitable for external house painting works, indoor furniture, trims, and kitchen cabinets; you only have to lay down the paint correctly, and it will work its magic.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Oil Based Paint?

In this section, I’m going to lay down some of the benefits that you will get from oil based paints. Much as these oil paints have their good sides, they also have areas where they come short of expectations.


Some of the advantages that comes with oil based paints include:

  • Oil-based paints are easy to apply.
  • The paints have a broader surface coverage. 
  • These paints are highly durable and resistant to low temperatures compared to latex. 
  • They have a richer hue than water-based paints. 
  • The paints blend easily, making it easy to vary between color shades.
  • You can paint oil-based paints in layers thanks to their miscibility with turpentine and other thinning media. 


Here are the disadvantages:

  • Traditional oil-based paints have very toxic pigments! Most were withdrawn from use thanks to environmental-friendly initiatives. 
  • It’s challenging to clean accidental spills after painting; you must use turpentine or paint thinners.
  • The paints take a long time to dry; this makes for a long wait before applying a second coat.
  • Some emit high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that cause nose, ear, and eye irritation, respiratory problems, and allergic skin reactions. 

How Do You Apply Oil Based Paint On Bare Wood?

Oil-based paints are highly viscous; therefore, they need a slower and more gentle application than water-based paints. 

Before applying the oil paint, you have to prepare your wood for the paint to adhere well. The principal preparatory practices are priming and sanding. 


The sanding sealer is the best for priming because its formulation allows easy sanding upon drying. Spray three to four coats of this sealer atop the wood surface and let it dry. The lumber is now ready for sanding.


After the sanding sealer has dried, sand the wood using fine sandpaper of 400-600 grits. The reason for using fine-grit sandpaper is that a sanding sealer enhances easy sanding.

Be careful not to sand off the entire layer of the sanding sealer! I advise you to sand off 70%-80% to minimize the risk of sanding into the bare wood underneath. 

After the steps mentioned above, vacuum away the accumulated dust from the wood surface. Your workpiece is now ready to receive the oil-based paint. 

Applying The oil-based Paint

First, ensure your working area is dust-free to avoid contamination of the paint and/or dirt spots on the painted wood.

Take a clean natural hair bristle brush, dip it into the paint, then paint gently on your workpiece. The gentle approach to painting using oil-based paint is due to its highly viscous property compared to water-based paint.

If the primer coat still shows through the oil paint finish, it means you painted too thin; reapply the oil paint coat until the primer coats are covered completely. Then, allow the paint to dry and cure.

A uniquely commendable attribute of oil-based paints is that you can easily erase any mistake by smoothing over the painted surface. It’s is because they take a little longer to dry. 

Here’s a Video On How to Paint Bare Wood:

How Long Does Oil Based Paint Take To Dry And Cure?


One of the most challenging steps in oil-based painting, and other types of artwork in general, is getting the drying and curing times right. Different paint types have disparate drying and curing rates due to different constitutions. 

Oil-based paints take 6-8 hours to dry to touch and 24 hours to be ready for additional coating. Curing takes longer, i.e., seven days, because it involves the paint getting into the wood fibres, hardening, and integrating completely. 

What Is The Best Paint Brush For an Oil-Based Paint?

Different wood surfaces require different types of oil paint brushes; this depends on the surface texture of your timber. If the lumber has a rough surface, I recommend a natural hair paintbrush with stiff bristles.

If the wood surface is smooth, use a natural hair paintbrush with flexible or soft bristles. 

How to Clean Oil Paint Brushes

Cleaning up oil-paint brushes is not the most pleasing facet of oil painting, yet it’s vital! Actually, you have to clean up right after you’ve finished painting. First, collect the brushes and take them to the cleaning area. 

You must clean up properly and use the proper techniques so that your brushes last longer—the cleaning paraphernalia range from solvents, soaps, and detergents to chemicals. 

Whether you are using a natural hair brush, synthetic bristle brushes, or sable, I’ve got you covered with the following to help you clean up the brushes:

  • Select a Suitable Soap or Detergent for the Brushes

There are a variety of soaps and detergents available for the cleaning mentioned above process. The soaps are affordable and non-irritating; therefore, they are easily accessible and safe.

The Master Brush Cleaner is my go-to choice, but an ivory soap bar works equally well for synthetic brushes. 

Soaps and detergents work by emulsifying oils, thus detaching the paint from brush bristles; this makes it easy to wash off with water.

If you attempt to wash off the oil-paint brush using water only, it won’t come off as the water will only skid off of the oily bristles. Remember, water and oil are not miscible, and that’s where the detergents and soaps come in. 

  • Cleaning the Brush

First, wet your soap bar with water! The soap foams up on the bristles as it emulsifies the oil paint. Then, gently rub the soap on both sides of the brush bristles. Ensure you don’t press hard on the bristles to avoid bending or breaking them. 

  • Rinse the Paint Brush

After the soap is mixed and foamed into the brush, rinse with water; preferably, running water from a faucet/tap or a hose. 

Most of the paint will wash off! Repeat the above steps to remove any remaining paint from the brush. The number of washing cycles before the brush is completely clean depends on the amount of oil paint trapped between the brush bristles. 

Now let the paintbrush dry before storing it away. 

How to Dry And Store an Oil-Paint Brush

After the brushes are clean, it’s time to let them dry out; but how do you dry and store these brushes? It’s best to keep an oil-paint brush, and all other brushes, with their bristles completely paint-free and water-free.

There are many drying methods; the simplest is airing out the brush as you shake it occasionally. When airing out, lay the brush down or rest it off an edge at an angle to dry.

The second method involves attaching the cleaned paintbrush to a roller-spinner to fling off the water using centrifugal forces. Use a clean rag as a follow-up to blot off the water for both methods named above. 

Never position your oil-paint brushes to dry vertically with the bristles facing up; water or paint will trickle down into the frame attachment and destroy it. Also, don’t position the paintbrush on its bristles; it makes the bristles bend and fray or breaks them altogether.

For storage, suspend the brushes by hanging or laying them down flat. 

How Can You Tell If Paint Is Oil-Based?

Most paints used by painters and DIY enthusiasts are water-based due to the low costs and easy usability. Oil-based and water-based paints leave an attractive, near-identical finish on wood surfaces, making it challenging to tell them apart. So, how can you know if the paint is oil-based?

The best and most reliable way is testing by rubbing with alcohol! First, wash the originally-painted wood surface using warm water mixed with detergent and dry it with a clean towel.

Then, dip a cotton ball or a cotton swab in denatured alcohol and rub against a small area of the clean wood surface. If the paint doesn’t come off, it is oil-based; if it rubs off, it is either water-based or latex-based. 

It’s also possible to distinguish oil-based paint from the others by feeling its texture; oil-based paint has a characteristic smoother feel to touch.

However, it’s important to note that vastly experienced oil-paint users use this method; less experienced users may not feel the difference and may even misconstrue their findings. 

It’s imperative to know if your oil paint is water-based, oil-based, or latex-based; this is equally pertinent for bare wood surfaces or an initially painted wood surface. 

The third and most elementary way of telling if your paint is oil-based is checking the labels before you purchase paints. The labels do not only contain information on the type of paint; they have a lot of helpful intel regarding the varnish. Please don’t ignore them, as is usual with most buyers.


Excuse the pun; sealers play an integral role in the painting realms to finish this article. You can use sealers before painting, after painting, and between different coats of paint to attain the all-important top-grade paint finish. In that regard…

Can I Use Afm Sealer On Oil Based Paint

It’s still a yes on my side, and now that you’ve read the above review, I reckon it’s a yes on your side as well. To add, you can use AFM sealer for various other functions, like priming, embellishment (adding sheen), coating food-grade products, and as a barrier between conflicting finishing coats.

I’ve also highlighted the basics of oil-based paints, including the definition, applying oil-based paints, differential features compared with water-based paints, oil-paint brushes, and other pertinent topics. 

You now understand the above subject matter better and can therefore set off on a DIY journey regarding anything that I’ve discussed above; you only have to read and get your purchases hitherto.