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I have some doors and millwork in white oak and have noticed that after we prime it, there are, here and there long thin crevices where the oak had some exceptionally deep grain and the oil-based primer just soaks into the crack and disappears, leaving a thin crevice.

There seems to be three possibilities in dealing with these crevices:

  1. sand the primer off near the crevices, fill with wood filler, and re-prime locally

  2. keep adding primer, sanding and drying, and try to fill the crevice up with primer

  3. move on to the painting stage and hope that the two coats of paint will fill the crevices

Which strategy should I use? Or is there a better strategy altogether?

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Wood filler will stick to primer just fine. Fill the places that need filled, sand, prime again if you think it's needed, and paint.

It will take quite a few coats of primer or paint to even out the grain, and it'll never look totally perfect. You're much better off using a filler material first.

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They used to make a product called sanding sealer used to get a extremely smooth finish.

A thinned out wood filler should will also work.

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