The color white is clean. It’s crisp. It’s classic. It’s versitile. It’s also one of the most difficult colors with which to paint and that’s why the right preparation is so important before you paint furniture white.
White dressers have always sold very quickly for me. They are classic and neutral. I just wish they were easy to paint. Believe it or not, white is actually one of the most difficult colors to paint over a previously-stained wood because the stain can still bleed-through several layers of paint.
When you plan to paint with white, you cannot just use a regular stain-blocking primer. Trust me – I’ve done it. No matter how many coats of that primer you apply, you’ll still get what looks like yellow stains coming through the white paint – or even a very light color paint.
Zinsser BIN primer is the only way to go. Zinsser BIN primer is a very thin, liquidy (Is that a word?) shellac-based primer. The shellac is the stain blocker.
I asked a retailer once what shellac was. Was it a poly? His answer was simply… No, it’s a shellac.
Two coats of BIN primer under your white or light-colored paint and you won’t have any issues with the prior stain bleeding through.
Here are a some tips for applying the Zinsser BIN primer:
First, shellac primer is smelly; so I only prime with it in my garage when the windows and doors are open. I also wear a heavy-duty respirator mask like this one.
Never work out of the can. The BIN primer is a thin liquid – like a watered-down paint; but it thickens very quickly. So pour just a small amount into a separate plastic cup or glass jar and work out of that, adding more as you need it.
BIN primer splashes so always (no matter how careful you plan to be), paint on an oversized drop cloth and move all other items out of the way. Too often I’ve had other pieces of furniture in my garage only to turn around and realize that I splashed the BIN primer 4 feet across the garage!
Wear gloves and clothing that covers your skin. BIN primer is NOT a ‘soap and water clean-up’ product, so cover up.
Apply shellac primer with a synthetic bristle brush. I use inexpensive brushes to prime furniture. After using BIN primer, you can use denatured alcohol to wash them.
Finally, I always place used brushes outside in a metal bucket or glass jar away from the house and let them fully dry out. I’ve heard stories of sawdust and paint fumes catching houses on fire so please always take proper precautions.
The BIN primer dries very quickly. After just 45 minutes you can apply the second coat.
All of the photos I’ve featured here are showing the dressers with two coats of the Zinsser BIN primer and three coats of Benjamin Moore Advance satin in bright white. As you can see if you spend the time to properly prepare you furniture prior to painting it white, you’ll have a much whiter finished product.
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(Disclaimer: This post does contains affiliate links to products I use myself.)
Okay … should have read this 5 hours ago when I painted a piece ….totally happy with it…then… bleed through AFTER the top coat was applied!!!! why? …don’t know …wish I would have read this prior? …yes! Thank you for sharing this! I hope you have a great weekend!
I’ve made this mistake myself too many times until I found BIN primer. What a difference!