Have you ever had a piece you were painting that just wouldn’t cooperate?
I have been painting for about 2 years, and until now, I have never had an uncooperative piece. In fact all the horror stories I have heard from friends, clients, and even other painters I have worked with, working with all types of paints, I just assumed they did not prep and clean the piece properly.
Well that was until I had it happen to me.
I inherited a small drop leaf table when we expanded our shop and moved into a bigger spot.
The previous renters had just left, and when they did they left all their furniture. And there was this sweet small drop leaf table I couldn’t take my eyes off. Now it needed work, lots of work. It had liquid stains (of who knows what) all over the top, and the finish was pretty rough.
I started by cleaning it with American Paint Company’s Prep and Brush cleaner. After cleaning I decided that wasn’t enough because it had been in such rough shape so I pre-sanded it to get the finish smooth, and then cleaned it one more time.
After this I decided it was time to paint.
The week I decided to tackle this project was the week American Paint Company had a Tip Tuesday Blog post on Painting White over Dark furniture. This table was dark and I wanted to paint it with a lighter color, so I wanted to try the Tip Tuesday out for myself, but instead of white, I wanted to use one of my favorite American Paint Company colors, Plymouth Rock, which is a very light grey almost white.
The Tip Tuesday says to use grey as a base coat when painting white (or light) colors over dark furniture, so my first coat on this table was Smoke Signal.
As the Smoke Signal started drying, I was horrified to see all the stains bleeding through the paint.
So I whipped out my can of spray-on Zinsser shellac and sealed the top. I have run into small bleed through problems before with many paints and shellac has always done the trick. So once the Zinsser dried, I put another coat of Smoke Signal on, and to my surprise it still bled through. In fact it looked no different. I could not believe it, so I thought maybe it needed two coats, so another layer of Zinsser went on, and another coat of Smoke Signal and still no change.
At this point I was pretty baffled, so I posted my issue in an American Paint Company group, where other retailers can collaborate and get and give advice. This is one thing I LOVE about this company. It is all about sharing, collaborating, teaching, and helping. The retailers that American Paint Company chooses to sell their products not only are a wealth of knowledge, but they are eager to share the knowledge.
It was suggested I use the brush-on Zinsser, not spray. For really tough stains she has always used the brush-on kind. So two coats of the brush-on Zinsser was put on, and another coat of Smoke Signal, and still to my dismay, no change. I just could not believe it. Then it was said “Try our Top Coat!”
Now I have to be honest, I was pretty skeptical our Top Coat was going to fix my problem, but at this point I was desperate and figured I didn’t have anything to lose.
So on went the Top Coat, and another coat of Smoke Signal…voila!
After the smoke signal dried, I put a coat of Plymouth Rock on the top, and our Limited Edition Gun Powder (a very dark gray) on the legs. I distressed the legs a bit, and it was ready for a finish. So the last thing I did was put some American Paint Company Clear Wax on for the finish, and buff it with my buffing brush drill attachment.