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Latex Paint on Water Based Stain

HI- I am new to the community. I am a novice DIYer and am planning on building a outdoor patio table this weekend using the wood from old pallets. I have all the plans in place, but have a question about painting the table. For reference, this is the table I am going to build:


I really like the way that the underlying wood color shows through the paint. However, the wood I have is very light in color, and I would like it to have a darker tone so it shows better against the white paint (like in the picture). My question is:


Can I stain the table with a wood tone, water based stain and then follow it up (after it dries) with a latex paint? Or will the paint not stick/dry on top of the stain? Also, its an outdoor table so I will need to waterproof it. Should I use a waterproof  semi-transparent stain and an outdoor waterproof paint or just use a clear waterproofing sealant after its all said and done.


As I said, I'm a novice, so I may not even be asking the question right! Any thoughts from the community would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted 2012-06-29T18:33:10+0000  by bweisenberger bweisenberger

Hello BWeisenberger!


Thanks for the Private Message to follow up on your inquiry!


When I looked at the table in the link you provided, it appears to be an old school "whitewash" finish.


Whitewash was used in frontier America when settlers could only transported small quantities of paint ... most likely due to the weight of a gallon of paint. In an effort to extend the utility, the paint would be thinned with water ... allowing very thin, see-through coverage on multiple buildings. This practice was very common and today we repeat this practice as a craft.


Should you choose to darken the grain of your wood, by all means stick with water-based stain. Conduct a test on a remnant piece of wood and establish a wipe-off timeline to prevent making the body of the wood too dark.


Based upon the image you shared, I would say your goal should be to darken the grain of the wood without darkening the body of the wood too much. Try a flash coat of water-based stain ... wiping off the stain in about thirty-seconds. This should darken the grain enough that it will show prominently through the whitewash.


Next, use an exterior paint in a satin finish to make your whitewash. Thin several samples using tablespoons to measure 1-to-1, 3-to-1, and maybe 5-to-1. Apply these over different sections of your stain sample to determine how much each will show-through. Simply apply and allow them to dry ... you should not have to wipe-off this coating.


Once you establish the stain and whitewash combination that creates the "look" you seek, be certain to follow the same sequence over the entire project.


NOTE: Most water-based stains and water-based clear coats are interior only products. And, exterior grade oil-based clear coats are not typically applied over water-based stains or paints. The reason I'm adding this detail is to make you aware that your exterior craft table may have be created using interior products. The exterior satin paint (used to create your whitewash) will provide some protection without being too shiny. However, just be aware that your craft table will likely fade over several years ... I would consider this adding to the natural beauty of the piece. You can also add more whitewash several years later ... you might consider thinning the recoat mixture even more than the original to prevent completely covering the wood grain underneath.


Again, thanks for the kudos in your private message!


When you complete your project, please take time to post images so The Community can share your success!

Posted 2012-07-03T13:37:31+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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