Asked on Dec 6, 2019

Can you help me troubleshoot a chalk paint job?

Christina Faye RepurposedMeganEmy Flint | Semigloss Design


I left a question a little bit ago but didn't get pics added. I saw all the lovely chalk paint posts. They say how no prep is needed. I don't remember any saying anything about bleed through until yesterday when I was almost finished with my project. I used DecoArt Americana Decor chalky paint and did the hidden test It looked good so continued. The only sign of any problem was on the top. I thought if the bleed through on the top of my chest didn't cover with several coats I would only have to sand the top to bare wood and start over on it only. After 4 coats bleed through is occurring on the whole piece. I haven't put the minwax polycrylic protective finish on yet. Do I need to sand the whole chest down a start over? The bleed through didn't start showing until the 4th coat had dried for over 24 hrs.

10 answers
  • Gk
    on Dec 6, 2019

    Here's an idea for you. Go and pick up a spray can of Rustoleum clear sealer. It is not a poly it is just a sealer. Sand down your dresser LIGHTLY with a extra fine grit sanding sponge so it feels smooth with your hands. You don't have to do much sanding--just a few minutes. You don't have to take off all the paint--just make sure it feels smooth. Wipe off all the dust with a damp cloth thoroughly. Let it dry a bit and then spray it with the clear sealer. Once it's dry you can add another coat of paint. You should not have any bleed through. If you can't take this outside to spray then use a thin coat of "water based" poly (you already have that!) once your dresser is lightly sanded smooth and clean and dry. You can use chalk paint over that water based poly.

  • Mogie
    on Dec 6, 2019

    A good primer will prevent bleed thru.

  • Johnavallance82
    on Dec 6, 2019

    Hello there,

    You could use Stain Blocker from paint dept. or ESP ( Easy Surface Preparation). and then paint again.

    Mind you the bleed through is not unattractive as far as i can see. Might look even more interesting with Antique wax applied. Best wishes.

  • Sharon
    on Dec 7, 2019

    I would use a primer like Zinseer Bulls Eye to prevent the wood bleeding through the paint. I always use a primer - prevents bleed through, and creates a smooth surface for painting.

  • Dee
    on Dec 8, 2019

    Here is what I have done, because I had this happen to me. I lightly sanded down my dresser, very lightly just to give the wood some grip. I then used Kilz and primed the entire piece and repainted. Make sure to let the primer dry overnight.

    It will be beautiful when done. Also do not use polyurethane for a top coat, it will yellow the piece. Use poly acrylic.

  • Shellac will block the bleed through permanently. Just brush it on and let it dry. It may need 2 coats, especially where 2 pieces of wood meet (in corners). Let it dry and paint over it.

  • Megan
    on Dec 10, 2019

    I am a Shellac person also! Spray the spots that have bleed through and repaint. Also when you are working on a large surface area furniture paint pads can be a paint friend on getting an even application! Add a small amount of water to the paint and then spread it on your piece.

    Here is what a furniture paint pad looks like. They are around $1 at Wal-mart! :)

  • Christina Faye Repurposed
    on Dec 20, 2019

    Spray the areas with two light coats of spray shellac!

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