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{My Favorite Tinted Primer}

One of the questions i get asked most often is, “how come when i look close at your pics of furniture, i don’t see any white primer where you have distressed it?”

That’s because, for the most part i don’t like to see white primer showing through, and whenever i can, i avoid it.

There are a ton of options for primer, we could talk for days about all the primer options – seriously.  And what a fascinating conversation that would be ;)

 So, if your ok with white primer showing through, then that’s cool.  And sometimes i do too – it all just depends really, just personal choice i guess.

But, if you want to avoid seeing white primer, you have options people.

You can have your primer tinted the same color as your paint, like i did for this piano.  So that way, when it was distressed, no white primer showed.  In this case, i had to use an oil based primer because of the dreaded bleed through, so i just had them tint by oil primer to the color of my paint.  (Use oil based or shellac based primer to seal the wood to prevent bleed through)

For this yellow table i used a water based primer tinted to a dark brown.  The table started out a medium oak color, but when its distressed, the dark brown showed through giving it the look of darker wood underneath because of the dark primer – i like this look because it creates more contrast when its distressed.  If i left the table the medium oak color, painted it the yellow and then distressed it, there wouldn’t have been a lot of contrast between the yellow paint and the medium oak color, not to mention the white primer mixed in there.   Again, i think this is just personal choice.  I like to use the brown primer to my advantage to create the look that i like since i need to use primer anyways.

SO, where and how do i get brown primer like you!!  I used to get all my brown primer from Lowes, i used the Valspar brand and i LOVED it.  It worked really well and it was cheap.  But sadly it was discontinued a few months ago – it was a sad, sad day.  I get emails ALL THE TIME that you went to lowes and the dude wont tint your primer that dark, that’s because they no longer carry a deep base primer so it cant be done.  Boo.

BUT, if you have a Sherwin Williams close, they do carry a deep base, water based primer that can be tinted dark.  Its about $8 more per gallon that Lowes was, but its worth it to me to get the look that i like.  The color that i have it tinted too is a lowes color, but here is the formula that Sherwin Williams uses…

There you have it, that’s my secret primer that i love so much.  I use it on almost everything – i say almost because i cant tell you all my secrets can i?!   ;)





14 Responses to {My Favorite Tinted Primer}

  1. april November 20, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I love this stuff!! Also, my heater is being installed next Friday!! Justin just left my house!

  2. Misty November 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Agree! Have used a lot of it with SW paint and love it.

  3. Sheila November 20, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Thanks so much for the tip. I am always trying to learn new tips for painting furniture. I just found your blog a couple of weeks ago and I am really enjoying it.

  4. Deanna December 7, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    I just had to say, “duh!!!!” To MYSELF! I’ve been wondering how I could avoid the white primer peeking out from a darker color after I so lovingly distress a piece! Thank you thank you thank you! From now on, I will keep a can of white primer and a can of dark brown primer in my painting arsenal!!!;) fabulous tip!

  5. vicki December 29, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    there are so many blogs but your information is sooo inspirational and according to my taste.
    Finally after hours of searching.
    love it thank you.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} December 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      awesome – thank you!!

  6. vicki December 29, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    the piano is the finish I am looking for.
    Is the olil based paint contribute to the sleek finish?
    Did you use a finish after you painted the piano

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} December 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

      no oil based paint for me. I just used latex and then finished it with a glass clear coat – all water based :)

  7. Stacey February 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I went to my SW with a picture of the lid and they could not for the life of them get the primer to be dark brown like yours. They used that exact formula and it just wouldn’t work. Do you know if your SW does something special? My paint can is the exact same one as yours and everything. Poor guy, he was so frustrated. Finally we gave up and I took the can of mushroom colored primer because I felt sorry for him. :) Could you please send me the location of your local store, maybe my store could them?

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} February 25, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      I believe we have already emailed about this? But just in case, make sure they are using the “deep” base primer, not the regular one. Also, this primer dries a lot darker brown than it looks in the can, quite a bit darker actually. The store i go to is located in South Jordan Utah and they should ask for Chad.

    • Jenni April 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      I just went today and it happened to me as well. I took the picture of the lid and they used the deep base primer with exact formula and it turned grey. Grrr…..wanted brown. Now I have a gallon of grey primer. She said maybe I could come in after using a little and add some red to make it more brown. I said it’s not brown at all :) I just think maybe Chad from your SW and you have the magic touch ;)

  8. Robert April 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    do you always use a primer or sometimes do you allow the natural wood to show through when distressing? is there an advantage of one method over another?

  9. Salli December 7, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    I am looking to purchase the deep base primer from SW and wonder if anyone out there had any luck with the one Sausha recommended.

  10. Salli December 7, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    Also, forgot to ask, where can I purchase the glass clear coat? All I can find on Amazon is Krylon spray clear coat but it doesn’t specify glass. Thanks.

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