Painting wood furniture has its difficulties! Learn to permanently block tannin bleed-through from wood stains and knot holes with these two tried-and-tested options.

How to Permanently Cover Knots and Old Stain

I’ve had painted wood furniture projects that looked great to begin with then, especially ith white or light paints, the tannins started to bleed through. Frustrating

Tannins are naturally-occurring compounds found in wood and other plants, including those in coffee, tea and grapes/wine. They help prevent disease and regulate the plant’s growth.

So just what are tannins?

More than once, I’ve gone through the recommended steps for painting wood furniture: sanding, applying primer, two coats of paint AND 2-3 coats of clear finish, just to see little pink spots coming to the surface.

I’ve tried just about every kind of primer you can buy, even “stain blocking” primers and the only product that has yet to fail me is my old standby shellac.

Painting Wood Furniture: Preventing Tannin Bleed-Through with Shellac

I first used shellac to get a smooth finish when painting MDF, but it also makes an amazing tannin-blocking primer as well. It comes in a brush-on formula or in an aerosol can.

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