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Painting Tongue and Groove Knotty Pine

Our small house was probably built in the 40's or 50's as a summer cabin (900 square feet). We've lived in the home year-round for 32 years with white-washed tongue and groove knotty pine paneling in the living room as well as on the kitchen cabinets.

How can we paint the paneling white without the knots coming through? (It's not sheet paneling - it's the real stuff.) We tried to do this on some of the door trim using Kiln as a primer but the knots show through, leaving a dirty appearance.

Any suggestions?


A. Spruce
Re: Painting Tongue and Groove Knotty Pine

You need to use a stain blocking primer such as Kilz (original, not Kilz2 which is worthless ) or a pigmented shellac. You don't just put one coat on, you put as many as it takes to seal whatever the stain is and keep if from bleeding through.

I would recommend first applying a single full coat across the entire surface, then I'd go back and spot prime the knots and problems spots with one or two coats, then follow that with another full coat across the entire surface. This method will help to prevent "hot spots", or "shiners" where there is a build up of primer in one area more than another. Once you are certain that the bleed through is stopped, then go ahead and apply two coats of your top color.

Application method will depend on the surface. Spraying is easiest, but it doesn't leave behind a very thick layer with which to block stains with. Rollers work well to get the material onto the wall and spread around, followed with a brush to lay off the dimples and work the primer and paint into all the nooks and crannies.

Re: Painting Tongue and Groove Knotty Pine

I would second Spruce's advice. A water soluble primer will not stop the water soluble tannins which blead through at the knots. My preference is for BIN white pigmented shellac based primer.

Over the years, I blanked out a lot of 1960's dark paneling.I would spray two coats of BIN because of its super adhesion, stain blocking and ability to blank out the old dark paneling. BIN is very fast drying - 45 minutes. By the time I had cleaned out my spray gun, the BIN was ready for a coat of oil enamel. The result was a factory like finish with no brush marks and no heavy build of paint to hide the original texture and graining of the wood.

BIN was also my primer of choice for painting kitchen cabinets, for the same reasons stated above.

Re: Painting Tongue and Groove Knotty Pine

Thanks so much for the replies. We appreciate it!

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