Are you freaking out seeing brown streaks come through your chalk paint? I’m here to help you stop and fix annoying chalk paint bleed through because it just happened to me too!
Nothing is more annoying than chalk paint bleed through! Nothing. The whole point of chalk paint is no prep and slap it on to everything for a beautiful finish.
Well, I’m here to tell you that’s a dirty lie. Paint – I mean any kind of paint including chalk paint is made with water.
There is always a chance of bleed through when painting over a stained piece of furniture.
Especially mahogany stains.
Chalk Paint Bleed Through Defined
If you are painting over a stained piece of furniture and an area wasn’t properly sealed with an oil polyurethane, lacquer, or shellac the wood stain will likely be activated by the water in the paint.
What does that mean? You will see red or brown streaks coming through the chalk paint or regular paint.
Typically a mahogany stain is the worst culprit in chalk paint bleed through.
A person’s normal reaction is to keep layering on chalk paint! Sorry to tell you that’s not going to fix it.
The red or brown stains (like magic) will keep coming up to the surface. It’s the most annoying thing ever!
While testing some Annie Sloan chalk paint on a small project, I just experienced this issue.
The furniture piece is an old one that I bought on consignment.
My best guess it was made in the 70’s.
About 15 years ago, I primed, then painted it white, and antiqued it.
That little desk area on the inside got ignored and I wanted to give it new life!
Chalk paint seemed like the right answer, but I should have thought to prime first…
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How-to Stop Chalk Paint Bleed Through or Staining
In reality, you should always test to see if you get bleed through before using chalk paint.
The truth is sometimes this doesn’t always work.
In my circumstance, I tested the main surface and no problem.
Then I painted the sides and poof there was an ugly stain!
So it can happen to anyone and on random parts of the furniture you are chalk painting.
Here is my solution to fixing chalk paint bleed through and it’s easy!
If you experience staining, STOP! More chalk paint will equal more problems. It’s time to get out the stain blocking primer.
In my situation, it was a small stain and in one area, so I kept painting. There are exceptions to every rule.
For example if you are painting a large armoire, SAVE MONEY by using the primer and don’t waste the pretty chalk paint that is creating bleed through.
Stain Blocking Primer to Cover Chalk Paint Bleed Through
Ya’ll know I am a big Valspar fan and I always have a gallon of Valspar Bonding/Stain Blocking Primer on hand for emergencies.
Not only does it de-gloss surfaces, so you don’t have to sand before painting, but it also covers stains. YAY!
It’s great for water stains too.
Depending on the situation you will need to either cover the entire piece with one coat of stain blocking primer to seal it.
OR if you have a small area like I did, then you can just spot treat each area.
For a large piece of furniture, apply the primer like you would paint: use a roller on large expanses and a brush in the smaller areas.
Shake and stir the primer really well. It can look thick and clumpy, so work to get it smooth first.
In my situation, I was able to use a craft brush to apply a thin coat of bonding/stain blocking primer over the stain and surrounding areas.
You WILL SEE THE STAIN through the primer. Primer is meant to SEAL and not COVER.
Please don’t worry, if you still see a little brown showing through.
Let the primer dry overnight. This is important so the stain is contained and the primer is dry, before reapplying the chalk paint.
Here I’ve applied just one additional coat of the Annie Sloan chalk paint and decided to cover the dark detail at the same time 🙂
It’s all better now! It takes just a little effort to seal those chalk paint stains.
So don’t freak out when you see chalk paint bleed through, because now you know how to fix it!
WATCH: Go to Instagram and click my “highlight” Chalk Paint to see this unfold.
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Honest Review of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Now that I’ve finished chalk painting this little desk area I have some feedback on Annie Sloan chalk paint.
As I mentioned, it was my first time using it.
The reason I chose this product is because I’ve never tried it and it comes in a sample pot.
You can see that with wanting to complete such a small project a quart would have been expensive and wasted. The sample pot was $13.
If you are new to my blog, I must share a very large project I did using Valspar Chalky Paint in my dining room and the full tutorial is HERE. This was an expensive piece of Century furniture that used to be stained.
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After using both products, one large project and one small what do I think? Let’s do a quick comparison, so you can judge for yourself:
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
- Limited color palette with only 37 options and custom mixing will create additional colors
- Most novices can’t mix to achieve the colors they want, so I am calling this a con
- $35 per quart
- Sold in sample sizes, which is a plus
- Flakes and shows brush marks
- Good coverage on first coat
- Requires 2 coats
- Limited distribution, only at small retailers
Valspar Chalky Paint
- 2,500+ colors to choose from their paint rack or custom tint another brand
- $30 per quart, no sample pots
- No brush marks and flexible (doesn’t flake)
- Excellent coverage on first coat
- Requires 2 coats
- Widely distributed, sold at all Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores
My honest review fairly comparing both products: Annie Sloan gets a 6 out of 10 and Valspar gets a 8 out of 10! The only way I’d give Valspar Chalky Paint a 10 is if it went on in one coat and came in sample pots 🙂
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All I can say is thank goodness I used the Valspar chalk paint on my credenza – I would have been very upset if it had brush marks and flaking!
Happy chalk painting my friends! Are you curious about the little project I started with chalk paint? Here is the full reveal!
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Until next time…