How To FIX Wood Bleed Through White Paint

Why is the white paint on my (fill in the blank) makeover turning pink? This is a question I get asked often and I figured it was about time I wrote a tutorial.



I'm going to use an upcycled carved wood tray with nasty bleed through to demonstrate how to fix wood bleed through white paint. Because trust me, your project is not ruined!



How to fix wood bleed and stubborn stains from coming through white paint. Demonstrated with an upcycled carved wood tray makeover with paint bleed.

How To Fix Wood Bleed - Carved Wood Tray Makeover

I remember all too well how shocked I was the first time it happened to me. All the hard work that went into painting a piece only to come back a short time later to discover pink blotches. Thankfully, it's a very easy fix and I'll show you how.



You can see in the photo below how the underside of the tray turned pink after it was painted.



How to fix wood bleed and stubborn stains from coming through white paint. Demonstrated with an upcycled carved wood tray makeover with paint bleed.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to get rid of the dreaded pink wood bleed, almost all of the DIY projects shared here at Interior Frugalista have step-by-step tutorials so why not get your budget DIY on and subscribe. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.



This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.



So What The Heck Is Wood Bleed Anyway?

It's caused by the tannins in the wood bleeding through the paint. It's especially common with walnut, red oak, cherry, and mahogany. It's more noticeable when you paint wood in a light color, especially white.



How to fix wood bleed and stubborn stains from coming through white paint. Demonstrated with an upcycled carved wood tray makeover with paint bleed.

It's even more prevalent when you open the pores of the wood after sanding. I gave the tray a light sanding with 150-grit sandpaper to give the paint some bite, as suggested in my how-to prep furniture for chalk paint tutorial. Being walnut, just that little bit of sanding caused the tannins in the wood to bleed through my fresh white paint.



How To Fix Wood Bleed

What's the secret? Stain-blocking primer! It doesn't matter that you've already painted your project, add some stain-blocking primer right over the paint. Even better, use it before painting natural woods that are prone to staining.



If after you applied one coat of primer and you are still seeing pink or brown wood bleed (or stubborn stains) then apply another coat of primer over those areas. That's what I had to do with my wood tray to finally get rid of the nasty paint bleed.



The photo below is after one coat of primer and you can see there is still some pink showing through in some areas.



How to fix wood bleed and stubborn stains from coming through white paint. Demonstrated with an upcycled carved wood tray makeover with paint bleed.

Here it is after the second coat of primer and it's looking much better.



How to fix wood bleed and stubborn stains from coming through white paint. Demonstrated with an upcycled carved wood tray makeover with paint bleed.

What Primer Should I Use To Stop Bleed Through?

These are my go-to stain-blocking primers Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer, KILZ Stain-Blocking Primer, Shellac, and BOSS. I used the latter on my tray.



No more pink paint on the underside of the tray after it was painted the color Fluff Dixie Belle Paint Company that I had on hand.



How to fix wood bleed and stubborn stains from coming through white paint. Demonstrated with an upcycled carved wood tray makeover with paint bleed.

Now you'd think I'd had enough of the color pink after all that paint bleed but nope. This time, however, the pink was added intentionally just where I wanted it with Fusion Mineral Paint rose gold furniture wax.



How to fix wood bleed and stubborn stains from coming through white paint. Demonstrated with an upcycled carved wood tray makeover with paint bleed.

So the takeaway is not to be afraid of the dreaded paint bleed because it's completely fixable with a little TLC.



How to fix wood bleed and stubborn stains from coming through white paint. Demonstrated with an upcycled carved wood tray makeover with paint bleed.

One thing I cannot pass when thrift shopping is wooden trays. Who couldn't use a tray around the house, right? But they also make wonderful gifts. For more upcycled tray ideas visit my upcycled serving trays page.



Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!



If this tutorial was helpful or you enjoyed the carved wood tray makeover, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Helpful Painting Tips or Upcycled Tray Ideas board on Pinterest.




How to fix wood bleed and stubborn stains from coming through white paint. Demonstrated with an upcycled carved wood tray makeover with paint bleed. #bleedthrough #paintbleed #woodbleed


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Comments

  1. Ah. Marie, you are a smartie...I'm always in such a rush, I never prime. I really need to keep this in mind and take my time. Thanks!!

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    Replies
    1. I normally don't prime either, Kim. The less steps, the happier I am. However, on those furniture and decor finds made of red and dark brown stained wood, it saves a lot of back tracking by priming first because guaranteed, they are gonna bleed.

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  2. Great job, Marie! I have a couple of trays I am going to transform, so I am pinning this! Wishing you a lovely weekend ahead :)

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