Refinishing Pine Desk - paint or stain?

momfromthenorthJuly 28, 2007

I am trying to refinish an older (maybe '60s) inexpensive desk. It appears that the top and drawer fronts are pine but the side boards are a different wood because when I apply stain, the sides are quite dark and yet the tops and door fronts are much lighter.

I've resanded the desk (phew) and now I'm thinking I may just paint it black.

Will any previous finish prevent the paint from adhering?

What would be the best primer to use?

Which paint? - we want a gloss black.

The desk will be used for a computer and we don't want the paint to lift/stick when you pick up a book or keyboard. (this happened earlier when we primed a bookcase, painted it. Now whenever you pick up something that has been sitting there for a while, the paint comes up with it!) The heat & humidity are up high here now - not the best time of year to do this but if I prime/paint I will do in indoors.


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Use BIN primer, made by Zinsser. Then use whichever acrylic enamel gloss black you like. You can also put a piece of glass on the top---or, if you or someone you know has a router, glue a piece of laminate on the top---using the router to trim the edges.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 6:11PM
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Thanks handymac! The BIN primer worked great! I did buy a VOC mask to wear because it is stinky but it's ready for paint now. I sanded after priming with a really fine sandpaper - I think it was 220. Smooth as can be and ready to go. I appreciate your great suggestion. We might be able to bring this old gal back to life after all.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 10:38PM
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I have another question: The 1st coat of paint is on and it looks great. I'm going to put on another coat but should I use some kind of clear topcoat to seal it? I'm using Behr latex acrylic high gloss black paint. Looks fabulous.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 1:46PM
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Water based poly is the best if you have to use anything. If things are making an impression or sticking to the surface than use the poly. You will need to lightly scuff the paint---try on a test piece to make sure the gloss comes back with the scuffing and then poly.

But, the Behr needs to cure for several days first.

And be aware, poly chips and dings and it is a beast to repair those spots.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 12:31AM
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