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1950snottypine 06-17-2009 12:01 PM

Covering 1950s Knotty Pine
Can Knotty Pine be covered with Kilz and painted cream but still look good? The wood goes up and down not across and is very dark has keep knots.

handyguys 06-17-2009 12:42 PM

Yes - The texture will show through of course. The knots should be primed with the kilz shellac based product or similarly BIN. Don't use the latex versions. use this just on the knots, maybe two coats. Then prime everything with your choice of a regular primer and then finish with a good top coat of paint.

If you want to get really crazy you can try to smooth over some of the knots. Something like Bondo actually would work well.

Nestor_Kelebay 06-17-2009 03:18 PM


The reason why the knots in knotty pine will bleed through a latex primer is because the knots have a lot of tannin in them, and tannin is soluble in water. Tannin is brown in colour, and so most woods that are yellowish or reddish in colour (like cedar, Southern Yellow Pine, Red Oak, Redwood, etc.) will have lots of tannin in them. Priming these woods with a latex primer is likely to result in the tanning discolouring the primer. Typically, people call that "bleeding through", but what's actually happening is that the tannin from the wood is dissolving in the water of the primer.

A shellac based primer like BIN will prevent tannin from discolouring the primer (cuz tannin doesn't dissolve in alcohol), but if you still see the knots after applying the shellac based primer just cuz of insufficient hide, then use a high hiding alkyd primer to hide the darker knots.

The hide you get will depend heavily on the colour and gloss level of the paint you choose. If you have a high hiding paint, you don't need to use a high hiding primer.

jillianrose 08-21-2012 03:11 PM

I wish it was just the knots. I thought I had checked all this before I bought the primer which says it will hide tannin. I have a whole room to do and a hall. Started in hall. 2 coats later..still tannin showing. Which is better..oil base primer or shellac? Thanks for the help.

nealtw 08-21-2012 04:34 PM

shellac is the best for those knots.

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