Tannin… this one little word can rock your DIY!

What is tannin …
Tannin is natural oil in wood. Wood furniture from any timeframe has tannins. Even the oldest piece
that has been sitting in your Grandmas’ house or even a sitting in a barn still has all the natural oils
inside their woodgrains.

Why do we think about tannins…..
When painting you are creating a wet surface on the wood that opens the grains up and can result in the release of the oils. This is partially true when you are paint WHITE! (Remember that we are using Chalk-type and clay-based paints.) Since we are using an all-natural paint, the different clays and minerals react to the tannins differently (which is why white can pull them out more).

How do we battle tannins…
Don’t worry, you don’t need to put on your suit of armor. You can just take a few pre-steps to your
process that will make all the difference and prevent you having to re-do your project later.

How to Prevent Tannins

If you are painting a piece that is real wood and you are using white paint:

1) Clean your piece, make sure the piece is good and dried
2) Start with a coat of either primer or a clear top coat (polyurethane free)
3) You can start painting with a thin layer of paint followed by a second coat.


I recommend using Zinsser Shellac in Clear – this is my Amazon affiliate link. I could make a small commission if you purchase it with this link and it will not cost you a thing! I am not paid to promote Zinsser, just sharing my personal recommendation so you don’t have tannins pop out in your white-painted furniture!


Don’t let tannins STOP you from creating an amazing piece! Grab a paint brush drive in and make that
piece beautiful again!

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