A Labour of Love


This article is about painting dark wood white.

Seasoned shabby chic-ers need not read on as you’ll be fully aware of the… how shall I put this… ‘challenge’ that the above poses. Newcomers, pay close attention. I wish I had known all this before I started the chairs pictured here. (Although they do look beautiful so it was worth the effort 😉

If you can avoid painting dark wood white, DO. If you absolutely must, take heed of the following advice. These points assume you are using chalk paint (as opposed to something thicker/stronger which may have a built-in stain barrier):

  1. The first layer of white (or other pale colours) on dark wood always looks rubbish but it’s the necessary first step. Once it’s dried, use this as a chance to closely examine where the wood resin is coming through and basically turning your masterpiece orange.
  2. Get yourself some Zinsser BIN Sealer/Protecter. It comes in a red tin. It’s less than £20 for a litre (which does go a long way). It’s one of the few things in this world that will seal the orange areas so that your next coat of paint stays white. I learnt the hard way that even if you apply 12 coats of paint, the bleed-through will still keep happening and by this point you will have lost the will to live.
  3. Cover anything in the near vicinity with newspaper/old sheets etc. The Zinsser is very thin so you will find little spots appearing everywhere no matter how carefully you apply it.
  4. Paint in natural light where possible. Artificial light will disguise a lot of the orange and just when you think you have taken care of it all, you’ll see it in broad daylight and have to reach for the Zinsser again.
  5. You will miss bits and have to go back over stubborn areas again. Do a 360 of your project several times to make sure all orange spots are covered.
  6. When you have applied sealer over paint over sealer over paint over sealer and finally got rid of the orange, you will fully deserve to slap yourself on the back and possibly crack open a bottle of wine.
  7. Good Luck 🙂

white dining chairs red blosson cushions 1



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