Paisley Vintage Blog

Painting Orange Pine – A Bedside Table Makeover

Orange pine…. at some point in our not too distant history (the 80’s maybe?) every home seems to have possessed a piece of orange pine furniture. The reason I’m so sure of it is that I find it everywhere now – in garage sales, auctions, op shops, and yes, I even have some at my place. Clearly there was some craze of orangeness and we all fell for it! The great thing about these now is that they look fabulous all made over!

Painting Orange Pine 1

I recently met local Louise, who was looking for a dresser for her soon to arrive twin girls. As we were chatting about the natural dresser I had for sale (you can see it here) she mentioned she had an old pine bedroom set and would love to have them painted. Here they are…

painting orange pine beforePainting orange pine before 2

A great solid set – the dresser looks fantastic, but the colour is dated. And of course that’s where I come in!

Pine can be a funny creature – I’ve painted straight onto the wood without any issues, and other times I’ve had insane bleed through. What’s bleed through? Well, it is essentially the tannins in the wood seeping through and staining your paint work. These can be anything from a dirty yellow / brown colour to a dark red colour. They generally happen in an uneven looking bruise like appearance, and can take coats and coats of paint to cover. If you’re painting and this happens it’s not cause for panic, just a deep breath!


My best suggestion is a good primer with stain blocking properties. I use Zinsser, and they have a range of water and oil based undercoats for whatever project you’re working on. (nope, this is not a sponsored post, just what I use!) I’ve tried other, cheaper options, but always come back to this one. I know certain brands of paint will say that they block bleed through completely howeve, I’ve had inconsistent success and find that rather than wasting my time and effort painting directly onto the piece and then seeing the horrible bleed start coming through, if I think it could happen, I prime first. Especially if I’m painting something white. Darker colours will often have a better coverage, but with white it’s worth the extra effort to start with a primer.

painting orange pine 3

My other advice is that you will know after the first coat of primer if you’re going to experience REAL issues with bleed through. I mean really pink or red bruise like stains coming through. This has happened to me, and a shellac, oil based primer is best here. And patience. And if you’re anything like me, chocolate!

As an aside, I was also chatting to someone on Facebook this week and suggested that when painting with white I would typically use the undercoat as the first coat (at least) as it’s cheaper per tin than my favourite specialty paint. To me it makes sense to save my favourite (yes I’m that person who saves her favourite choccies in the box till last!) for the second and and any subsequent coats, when I know I’ll be doing more than one!

This set had two coats of Zinsser 123 Bullseye Undercoat & Primer, and then two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White. I lightly distressed, and finished with L’Essentiel Beexwax Polish. I still can’t get over how much I love that smell! I’ve started on the dresser following the same process and will share that one next week.

painting orange pine 2

Have you painted anything that has had bleed through? Any tips you would share?

Thanks for stopping by…



PS Just in case you’re thinking things were looking all very serene… this was happening the ENTIRE time I was taking photos.Yep, the blurriness is him jumping on the bed!

painting orange pine 4



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