This dresser here is an example of bleed through, I painted it white, distressed it, put it in my room only to have it turn pink! So what do you do to prevent this?? Prime it. But, how do you know when you have to prime it?
This is called the “bleed through test” and it will help you determine when you have to prime a piece before you paint it.
Keep in mind this is only necessary if you are painting a piece of furniture white, light gray, cream, or any very light color. Otherwise the paint pigments for other colors will be strong enough to cover any bleed through that may occur.
Here’s the test: