I want to paint my kitchen table top white. What paint is best to use?

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I do not know what kind of wood it is. I am sure it is some sort of fake wood or something. It was not expensive so it scarred easily. What is the best paint to use and do I need to seal it afterwards? Want to get this done pretty soon please.
  6 answers
  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Aug 19, 2014
    Enamel is more durable than latex, but more difficult to clean up. Polyurethane turns amber, and gets darker with age.

  • Suzanne Lawson Suzanne Lawson on Aug 19, 2014
    First, you need to clean the table top well, with a degreasing cleaner. Don't get it too wet. If there are any gouges in it, fill them with a good wood filler --I like Elmer's (same company as good old Elmer's Glue) better than anything. When it's completely dry, sand the top to smooth the filler and scuff up the existing finish, Make sure you get every bit of the dust off before the next step, which is primer. I swear by Zinsser BIN, It's a bit smelly and expensive but it goes really far and is a great bonding primer -- sticks to just about anything, plus it dries really fast so you can get your finish coat on sooner. it also acts as a sealer so you don't get any color "bleeding" into the topcoat. You may want to sand again lightly ( fine sandpaper ) to make sure the top is free of any imperfections, because these will be magnified in the final finish. As with the primer, make sure you get every bit of dust off before you begin your final finsh. For the topcoat I highly recommend Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Exterior Semi-Gloss White Oil Base. It works just just fine for interior use and can be used on wood as well as metal. 2-3 thin coats will give you a smoother finish than 1 thick one. This is an extremely tough finish and doesn't need any kind of sealer. The down side is that it's oil based so it's smelly, harder to clean up (you need paint thinner) and takes longer to dry than latex. But it's still easier in the long run because latex paint, while it dries to the touch quickly, actually needs to "cure " for a couple of weeks, Until it cures it's very susceptible to nicks, scrapes and even peeling or lifting. It's also inexpensive ($10-12) and widely available. Accept the fact that your table is going to be out of commission for a while.

  • Shari Shari on Aug 19, 2014
    A lot depends on how much abuse the table will get. My husband and I are empty nesters with no grandkids so we're not particularly hard on our furniture. When I painted our dining room table (and other pieces of furniture as well), I skipped the sanding step and used a liquid sandpaper/deglosser product to wipe it down. I don't like the messy cleanup and extended drying time of oil based products so I always use latex. After wiping with the liquid sandpaper, my procedure is to apply a couple light coats of a latex bonding primer (I like Zinsser products) and let that dry. Then I apply thin coats of interior semi-gloss latex paint until I reach the desired level of coverage. As Suzanne mentioned, latex can take a while to cure well, depending on weather conditions. The table would still be usable during the curing process but you do need to be careful about leaving things sitting on the table top until you know it has fully cured; otherwise stuff can stick to it. I don't use a protective top coat on any of my white painted furniture because to me, even the "non-yellowing" products change the look of white paint. If my painted furniture gets a few nicks and dings, it is usually fairly easy to touch them up with a little paint brush and a dab or two of paint. If you want to try it without a top coat, you can always add the protective finish later if you find the table is showing too much wear and tear from daily use.

    • Charlene Neuenschwander Charlene Neuenschwander on Aug 20, 2014
      @Shari Thanks for this info. I do use this table quite a bit. Being retired now myself, I use the table to do my crafts at when we are not using it for meals. So I use it constantly. Thanks for the help.

  • Brianna Brianna on Aug 19, 2014
    Prime it first with bonding primer, then paint, then apply marine varnish.

  • Pagan Raven Pagan Raven on Aug 20, 2014
    If you use what is called chalk paint, you won't need to prime first. (Google/search for Chalk Paint) You can actually make your own chalk paint, which is known to stick to anything, including metal. All it is is a mixture of your favorite paint (latex) and a bit of Plaster of Paris. It can be applied with a brush, roller, sprayer..what ever you desire to use. Normally there is only a need for at most, 2 coats. Then you apply water based Polycrylic which is safe for kitchen table tops and lasts years. It's even resistant to other chemicals. The plus is, it doesn't yellow! (It's made by Minwax) Once you use chalk paint, you'll be looking for new things to paint, I promise!

  • Charlene Neuenschwander Charlene Neuenschwander on Aug 20, 2014
    Thanks Pagan, I was wondering about the chalk paint. This sounds like what I am really looking for.