I painted a new pine bookcase and forgot to prime/seal it first!

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We got a pine bookcase, wood puttied what needed to be, sanded, then painted with bright yellow semi gloss interior latex primer+paint. During the painting it occurred to me that priming/sealing wasn't done (it's been years since I've painted wood). Now, after four coats of paint the wood is still clearly visible, and let's not talk about the knots. Without sanding the whole thing down back to bare wood, is there any product that can be applied over the paint so we can just keep going?


  18 answers
  • You can use shellac.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 22, 2021

    You can rough the last coat and put a primer on it to prevent the knots from bleeding. I would go with Kilz Original or Bullseye 1-2-3. Those are the only ones that block it in my experience. Then paint over that. It will just mean that you quite a bit of paint on it.

  • FrugalFamilyTimes.com FrugalFamilyTimes.com on Jun 22, 2021

    You will need to shellac the knots - even if you primed first these will bleed through without shellac. Do that, prime and then paint. It will still be great. :)

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jun 22, 2021

    Hello. They do make me aerosol primers and shellacs—- that might be an option to consider.


    Knots are very tricky. Our contractor in advertently stained our porch ceiling and nearly every year we are shellacking priming and re painting white over the knotty constellations. They can be particularly annoying and persistent. Good luck.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 22, 2021

    Yes, use shellac to stop the bleed through from the knots. After the shellac has dried, then prime and paint.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jun 22, 2021

    I would use an oil based primer (such as Rustoleum and probably two coats) and then reapply your paint.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 22, 2021

    Another coat should be good but don't put on a heavy coat because you didn't prime. Thin coats that dry completely work much much better. You can always do a 3rd coat if need.


  • Janice Janice on Jun 22, 2021

    You can now prime and seal, then paint two more cats and seal it. No need to sand down to bare wood, but it would make the project look more well-done, if yoou sanded before priming.

  • William William on Jun 22, 2021

    Prime it with Kilz primer and two coats of paint should do it. You don't need to use shellac

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jun 23, 2021

    Hi! It isn't too late! Apply the sealer now and then repaint. The sealer will be more effective if you lightly sand the dried paint first and then wipe it clean. I've had this happen and it will be fine!

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jun 23, 2021

    just use a primer over what you have painted let it dry then add your paint color

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jun 23, 2021

    Put a thick primer on it then keep going

  • Annie Annie on Jun 24, 2021

    After that many coats it should have covered. Perhaps try some acrylic latex or enamel if you can find it....

  • Dee Dee on Jun 25, 2021

    A good stain blocking primer such as Kilz or Zinser 123 should do the trick. Then you can repaint over the primer.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 27, 2021

    Give it a good sand, tack clothe it, then prime with Zinseer Bin to seal the wood oils and knots (I like to do 2 coats on knots), light sand, then use your semi-gloss.

  • Seems odd that after four coats of paint, you can still see the wood. Or are you referring to still seeing raised grain? If that’s the case, it won’t go away. But, you can put on a coat or two of primer and keep going.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 01, 2021

    Use "Stain bloc" all over, May need 2 coats. Good luck!