A primer is your best defense under light-colored paint.
Another technique to avoid the slight color change that sometimes occurs when applying topcoat is to add 10-15% of the paint you are using to your topcoat. This technique layers additional coats of color over your piece as well as providing the protection of a topcoat. If you don't like measuring, just add enough paint until you can see a bit of the hue in the topcoat. This method works with a brush or a spray gun.
To maintain the full-strength protection of the topcoat, DO NOT TINT YOUR FINAL COAT of topcoat.
Remember, NEVER EVER paint an existing piece of furniture with a light paint without proper preparation AND a stain blocking primer. Topcoats can activate tannins in the wood, or dyes in the previous finish, causing yellow or pink bleed-through. We recommend General Finishes Stain Blocker, which has been developed specifically for upcycling furniture and has proven to be 100% effective when two coats are applied, or Zinsser BIN.
Here is a sample finishing schedule:
- Prep clean and sand
- Three coats of paint (or four if needed)
- Two coats of topcoat mixed with 10-15% paint
- One coat of topcoat