How to Fix Watermarks on Painted Furniture

Have you ever started to paint a piece of furniture, only to have a watermark start to appear in the paint? Or, maybe you have an unfinished piece of furniture with sap stains you want to paint.
Here is a simple technique to seal any stains on wood prior to painting. It requires only one product. Zinsser Bulls Eye Spray Shallac. This product will seal the mark or stain and prevent any bleed through. Dries in 5 minutes and can be sprayed over unfinished wood or on top of a mark that has already come through paint.
Here is a water ring that started to appear after my first coat of paint.
Here is the same dresser top, after spraying the ring with two light coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye Shallac. Followed, by a another layer of paint.

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  1 question
  • Mark Bertness Mark Bertness on Feb 18, 2018
    What can be done to fix old water damage on an antique oak table that is in the grain and not superficial?
    • Debbie Debbie on Feb 18, 2018
      Hi Mark! For my post, the shellac worked because I was covering the stain with paint after. In your case where you want to maintai the wood finish, there are several things you can try. First, you can start rubbing the spot with mayonnaise on a cloth to try to disperse the spot. if that’s doesn’t work, try rubbing the spot with a mildly abrasive toothpaste. If that doesn’t remove the spot, you can add an equal part baking soda to the toothpaste to makena slightly more abrasive rub. And...if that doesn’t work, you can try to rub with minetal spririts...however, for this technique, try first in an inconspicuous spot on the furniture first. Follow all of these steps with a paste wax to protect, seal and even add depth in color to wood. Old water spots can be a little trickier...Good luck!


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