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How do you know if you need a primer?

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How do you know if you need a primer?

About to embark on my first upcycling project. I am going to sand the top and apply chalk paint the rest of the drawer. (The drawer is in its natural colour).  

I watched so many you tube videos to see if I  need I to prime to prevent dark wood bleeding). But did not find much info.


Any advice would be appreciated. TIA



Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Hiw do you know if you need a primer?

Hello @awhina


Welcome to the Bunnings workshop community. It's a pleasure to have you join us, and thank you for sharing your question about painting your drawer.


I understand your worry about old stains pushing through causing wood bleeding. This often happens with really dark-stained furniture or very old pieces that used shellac as a sealer. Your drawer cabinet does not seem to be that old and looks moderately stained. I suggest sanding it down to see if you can reach the timber base of the cabinet. You'll notice that once you reach the raw timber there should be none of the original colour left.


However, if after sanding through and you notice that there are stubborn patches of colour that will not go away, that is an indicator that you'll need to use a primer with a stain blocker. A good example would be Zinsser Stain Blocker. This primer is specially formulated to block stains from bleeding into the main coat of the paint.


It sounds like a fantastic upcycle project, any updates you can provide while working on it would be much appreciated.


Here are some fantastic upcycle projects our Workshop members have shared:






Let me tag our experienced members @craftyhopper, @DanaR, and @lifestylebymari for their recommendations.


If you need further assistance, please let us know.




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Experienced Contributor

Re: Hiw do you know if you need a primer?

Hi @awhina 

This is going to look great! 
I am someone who cuts corners all the time! I didn’t prime either of my projects, but used a different paint. 
What colour are you planning on using?

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