How To Prevent Bleed Through on White Furniture

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

So as some of you may know, painting furniture white is a pain in the butt!  And if you didn't know, well now you do.

Bleed through is the worst

You need more paint, usually, there's chances of bleed through and other types of yellowing.  Some difficult and dreaded things come with white furniture but white furniture is so pretty so today I am going to talk about how you can prevent bleed through on white furniture! 


If you don't know what bleed through is, it is basically a yellow (sometimes orange or even red) stain that shows through your light color paint from the wood.  It is caused by tannins in the wood that weren't sealed properly, but sometimes it can be from smoke in the home, or just because the piece is old.

This staining can show up immediately, after your top coat is added, or even weeks after you finish that beautiful freshly painted dresser.

I have been victim to this in almost all of those situations.

So I am here to save you before you begin your furniture project (or get too far) and realize that you wasted paint and will have to do twice the amount of work because of this dang bleed through.

How to Prep your Piece:

So, of course you are going to want to scrub down your piece really good.  I mean scrub it like you've never scrubbed before in your life.  Not only will this help minimize your bleed through, it will make paint application SO much easier!

Types of Primers:

Bin Primer with Shellac Base

This primer is one of my favorites!  No only does it come in a spray can for easy application, but it is white so in my opinion it gives way better coverage than a clear primer!

I found that this one worked super well with just 2 coats on my piece I was painting white and it only costs $10 at Lowe's!


This primer also comes in a spray for easy application, but this one is white.

I do like this one as well, especially if you are distressing a piece and don't want the white primer underneath!

This one does have a very strong smell in my opinion, so proper ventilation is recommended.

When I use this one, I like to do 3 coats because it is clear, compared to my 2 coats of the white primer.

This primer retails at $8 at Lowe's, so it is cheaper than the first option.

Dixie Belle Boss

It has been awhile since I have used this primer, but I do remember it being amazing!

This one is sold in white and clear, and it does need brushed on.  But, with this primer it is not as thick as most stain-blocking primers so I don't mind that I have to brush it on.

This one does not have a strong smell, if any, so I love that about it because then I can use it inside!  It does take longer to dry than the other two options I mentioned above, but I think it is totally worth it for a scent free product!

These are my three favorite primers to use to prep my piece before painting it a light color.  I highly recommend any of these, and they all have their pros and cons but all in all they are all life savers when it comes to blocking out stains!

Hopefully you found this before beginning your project and I saved you a load of sadness and extra work!  And, if you already started its okay!  You can save it!

Just scuff sand your piece good and apply your primer and let it dry really well!  Then you are good to apply your paint again and finish up the piece, this time without those terrible pain in the butt stains!

I hope this helped you and if you have anymore questions about bleed through, please feel free to contact me or comment below!

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