I am making some trim board. We had some ash wood milled and kiln dried for this. I primed it with a trim primer (it is very thick and white) and already put on 3 coats of trim enamel paint (water based). On some of the board, where there was a variety of colors in the grain, the lighter areas are bleeding through the paint and show up as yellow. My question is two-fold:

  1. What can I do now to fix this?
  2. What can I do better for the next pieces to prevent this from happening? Since we have to paint this in the house, it would be great if anything oil/solvent-based can be avoided

It is a little hard to see in the picture, but the right side of the board has a yellow hue to it. enter image description here

  • I am not seeing any color bleeding in the photos.
    – jwh20
    Nov 10, 2020 at 20:30
  • 2
    @jwh20 it's difficult to tell, looks almost like it's a shadow, but it's there. If you look at the top of the photo, the middle board, the right half has the bleed through. Nov 10, 2020 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


A Shellac based primer is what you need this will normally seal in 1 coat. The 2 main types I can think of are kilz and zinser these stop the bleeding through. I have found this is the only way to go for freshly milled wood, covering things like smoke stained surfaces that cleaners like Tri sodium phosphate won’t remove. A good coat of shellac primer and then even white won’t show or that has been my experience. I don’t work for or have any interest in either company I have used there products successfully for many years after having similar results with regular primer.

  • Thanks! How bad is the smell on those? And do you think I can just scuff the current paint, go over with the shellac primer, and paint again? Or should I sand to bare wood? Nov 10, 2020 at 20:42
  • I was going to recommend the same thing. The vapors are pretty potent, so have plenty of ventilation. Sometimes they can leave a slightly imperfect surface, little bumps. After curing for at least 24 hours, you can take a extra/fine steel wool pad to it for a smooth, paintable surface.
    – brehma
    Nov 10, 2020 at 20:54
  • I had quite a few coats of regular primer that blend through and then used the shellac over the top and it worked, if you are going to be using these with others that only get 1 coat you might want to sand so the thickness doesn’t show. I was not bothered by the smell it is a bit stronger than standard laytex but it drys much faster so it doesn’t smell as long, to me that would be a wash or about the same overall.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 10, 2020 at 20:55
  • Thank you! This worked like a charm. I ended up using BIN shellac primer. The stuff smells mildly like alcohol and sort of sweet, nothing like an oil based primer (I had worked with Killz brand stain blocking primer before, and that stuff I could never use in the house). Nov 16, 2020 at 14:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.