Which primer to use?

I want to paint some wood windows which are currently varnished. I assume it's varnish or shellac because the house was built in 1953, and these are the original windows. I plan to sand them and then prime them. Is it ok to use a water base primer? I put on one coat, but it went on thin. I can see the wood through the primer. Is that the way it's supposed to work? Thanks.
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oil willl bond latex may not you really should talk to the manufacturer or go to a real paint store
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What brand of primer did you use?
I got the same results from Kilz 2, which is why I'm switching to Zinnsler or maybe Kilz Premium next time. Even the Kilz 2 can says that their oil based or premium products are better. I've been using 2-3 coats of the regular Kilz 2, which is why I'm making the switch to something better.
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I'd use a quality long oil primer and spike it with a liberal dose of Penetrol. You want something that'll try and penetrate deep into the fibers of the wood.
Acrylic primers tend to stay on the surface.
It'll be a lot of work but don't scrimp on the prep!!

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