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Painting a table

I built a table out of lumber and I now want to paint it multiple colors.  What is the best primer to use? what is the best paint to use? and what is the best sealer to use to make it stain proof and waterproof?
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Posted 2015-07-25T17:17:27+0000  by wprice5 wprice5
You'll want to use only an oil based paint or a waterborne alkyd paint.  Do not use ordinary wall paint, it's surface isn't hard enough for a table top.  You don't need anything over the paint.

As for a primer, what kind of wood did you use?  The knot holes of some of the softwood likes pine can "bleed" so if you used one of those woods, then use a stain blocking primer like Zinsser's BIN or Cover Stain.
Posted 2015-07-26T01:19:16+0000  by Adam444

Non-water based primers do an excellent job of sealing the wood and not raising the grain. They can be lightly sanded to leave a very smooth surface to accept the paint. If this in a table to be used outside, I would opt for the Cover Stain, rather than the shellac based BIN. BIN does not hold up well in exterior applications.

I would agree with Adam444 that acrylic based paints should be avoided. True oil or water based alkyds will give a hard, durable and non gummy feeling surface.

Again, if this is an exterior picnic type table, it would be beneficial to have all the parts at least primed before assembly. Every joint of bare wood on bare wood is a potential extry point for water. Water in the wood will eventually lead to paint failure.

Posted 2015-07-28T04:49:10+0000  by ordjen
Hi wprice5,

Absolutely on board with Adam and Ordjen ... exterior rated solvent-based primer followed by alkyd paint for durability.

And, I particularly like Ordjen's instruction to prime before assembly.

And, Adam is so right ... you don't need anything over the paint.


When you ask for primer, topcoat, and sealer for lumber, I immediately think of Behr Solid Color Stain rather than paint.

Four reasons to choose solid color stain:

1) Self-priming ... solid color stain is designed to absorb into the wood and adhere very well;

2) Exterior rated and looks like paint ... solid color stain has ultraviolet light inhibitors and finished as a durable solid color coating;

3) Waterproofing included ... solid color stain contains both waterproofing sealer and colorant; and

4) Lower maintenance ... when paint fails you scrape off flake, sand, prime and paint again; when stain fails you simply clean and re-stain.

So, before you make your choice, take time to investigate the full benefits of choosing solid color stain over primer followed by paint. 

You might be pleasantly surprised!
Posted 2015-07-28T15:24:26+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
Hello again wprice5!

While reviewing earlier threads, I came across one that made me think of your project:

You've gotta love Savannah's creative use of the table from her childhood.

Please take time to follow up with photos of your project.
Posted 2015-07-30T20:47:08+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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