Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dealing with Bleed Through

Over the years, I've had the pleasure of painting some lovely, but tired, mahogany pieces.  The quality of furniture built in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s is amazing and my heart sings whenever I get my hands on one.  But if you've ever attempted to paint a reddish mahogany piece, you know there is a high probability of getting the reddish dye to seep through your paint and mess up your hard work.  It is referred to as bleed through (and affectionately known as a pain in neck!).

The dresser below was not only a reddish mahogany veneer, but it was peeling like crazy!  This turned into quite the project!

The classic bowfront hepplewhite styled dressers are one of my favorites....but I know there will be massive bleed through...

But you'd never know after seeing it all painted and prettied up!  :)

This three piece set was definitely getting some shellac!

I couldn't find the "before" picture of this lovely French dresser, but I'm guessing you get the idea by now!

The dresser below was not red mahogany, but a brown walnut.  It still presented bleed through....So you never know when it is going to strike!

The 1950s Drexel buffet was painted in layers of French Linen and Paris Gray, but still needed something to stop the bleed through.  It's not only useful for when you are painting with whites, but even deeper saturated colors can't cover up the bleed through.

And these mid century modern end tables definitely need a stain blocker.....

Even though is cherry secretary was painted in layers of blues and greens, I tested the paint technique on a drawer to see if any red was peeping through.  There was, so I reached for my remedy.....

Which is good old fashioned shellac!

It's been a great 'go to' product, but it has such a strong odor, I've dreaded using it every time.  

I was so thrilled to hear General Finishes was introducing a water based stain blocker!

It spreads on beautifully and smoothly...very similar to their milk paints.  Because it is water based, I was concerned it wouldn't sand smoothly, but a little 220 between each coat smoothed it out nicely.

It is recommended to wait a couple of hours between each coat, and a full 12-15 hours before applying your paint.  I wasn't thrilled with the necessary wait time before getting on with the fun part of painting, but managed my project around it (worked on prepping another piece!).

Do you want to see a piece that got the #General Finishes Stain Blocker?

Boom!  2 coats of stain blocker, 2 coats of Snow White Milk Paint!

And the best part is there is NO ODOR and it cleans up with water!  Woohoo!

The gang at GF did send me this sample as it wasn't available at my local retailer.  It's no secret I am a fan of the General Finishes product line and my opinions are based solely on my experience with the product.  I am so thankful they've introduced it!

If you've tried the new Stain Blocker, I'd love to hear what your experience was with it!

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. I hate bleed through too! I use the the shellac also when needed! so many great transformations Robin.

    1. Thanks, Darrielle! Shellac has been a life safer, and I've gotten used to the strong smell, but when I first started using it, I'd have dreadful headaches for the rest of the day! I love this new stain blocker!

  2. I love the trunk. So beautiful!