Paint & Products

A Big Tip Before Painting Antique Mahogany WHITE!

Through pain and suffering I finally accepted the need to prime old wood, especially dark stained antiques. I wanted to paint one white making it doubly important to get the prep right. Here my experience using different products to prepare furniture before painting it white.

Not just any store bought primer will prevent bleed through!

I’ve used water based primers on the market labeled as stain blocking such as Kilz. It is super disappointing when, after getting two coats of paint applied, then the first top coat reveals the wood stain coming up.

Oil based Primer or Shellac work

Both are stinky smelly and both require clean up using Mineral Spirits. So for the past year or so, every piece I painted got a prime job with either one of these products.

I enjoyed the confidence of painting without stain bleed through and the low cost, but I hate cleaning out brushes with mineral spirits. As a work-around I buy cheap throw away brushes. I get them at the dollar store or Walmart.

Dry time for oil based primer is quite long – one full day! It’s hard for me to wait that long. Shellac takes less time but . . . . it’s not as dependable to block stain, it’s kind of runny so I get drips and runs.

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General Finishes Water Based Stain Blocker

I hesitated to use this product when I first learned about it earlier this year. The price is a killer but it IS the product to use when painting antique furniture white or very light color. You will great stain blocking capability, when used as directed. It’s dense white pigment produces a solid white or light color paint coverage. I found it at Windy Hill Market (217 N. Jackson Street) DOWNTOWN Jackson MI.


  • I love that it is water based and I need not buy and use cheap brushes any more!
  • The pigment and coverage is awesome.
  • It goes on so smooth, no tugging or dragging.
  • Dry time is only a couple hours! yay!
  • Brush cleaning is super easy with soap and water.


  • It’s expensive $45 per quart but should get me through 4 or 5 pieces of furniture depending on size. For now I reserve it for use under white or very light paint colors.
  • Requires two coats

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