Beating the Bleed-Through Blues

It finally happened to me.  The dreaded bleed-through.   What the WHAT is it and why does it happen?!! Oils called tannins are seeping into the water-based product you're using, which causes the color change. The stain moves through the paint and to the surface before the paint dries. 

If this happens to you, don't panic!  You've got this!  The solution is need to seal the stains so they can't leak into your beautiful new paint job.

Now, I'd heard of red, pink and orange bleed-through.  But, I got a rainbow of colors with orange, blue and green as a bonus.  Since it was St. Patrick's Day I chalked it up as some crazy leprechaun's funny little trick. 

My mission was ReStyling my client's antique oak-colored writing desk to a vintage white.  It was a simple one I thought...

Here's the desk before I got started.  It had been sitting in a garage for a long time, so I gave it a good cleaning and got to work.



I started painting my first coat of van Gogh Halo and to what did my wondering eyes see? Orange, blue and a little touch of green!  And since they were crashing my painting party as uninvited guests, they needed to leave ASAP!

If you've never seen it, it looks like this...


And this...

And this.

I knew I had a few product choices to remedy this problem quickly.  Shellac or a sealing-primer. Since I was painting the desk white, I needed to seal AND cover the stains so I chose Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer.  

I painted on the first coat of primer and unfortunately the green remained and lots of it.

Not a good look, right?

Not a good look, right?

 It was time to bring in reinforcements.  The big guns to fight stains -  Kilz primer.

A quick coat of Kilz and every single bit of bleed-through was gone.  Seriously, just like that.   {Insert me jumping up and down for joy!}  Kilz will now be my weapon of choice for fighting the dreaded bleed-through.  

Now that I've conquered it, I'm no longer intimidated by bleed-through.  And after reading this, neither should you! And should it happen again, Kilz is my new BFF.  And I promise, once you try Kilz, it will be yours too.