Prepping for painting wood

Hi Folks,
I've been pretty much a lurker here for awhile but find myself looking for some advice from the pros.
I just purchased an old walnut sideboard / buffet. It turned out to be in rougher condition than I thought it was when I agreed to buy it. There are some pretty bad chips in the veneer on the face,and sides of the piece and a dog seems to have gnawed on the bottom of it. (If it were my dog, it's name would be Target) Amazingly, the top is pretty much undamaged with only a few teeny tiny little spots that I had to fill. I think they will be unnoticeable. Some slight rings that I am confident will disappear when I stain it.
I have it pretty well stripped and sanded. The top is ready for stain and polyurethane. I am going to paint the bottom of it black. Before you get out your whipping sticks, please know that this is NOT a rare collector's piece. It has several places that needed to be filled. Painting it will make it match the antique walnut dining room table I rescued 15 years ago. It was also terribly damaged on the legs and still looks beautiful.
I hate painting pretty wood, but there really is no choice at this point.
I plan on using spray acrylic enamel with a satin clear coat on the bottom, how would you recommend I prime the wood before I paint it?
I'm knowledgeable in most refinishing and have done quite a bit of it, but I have not really had to put paint on raw wood before.
Would just a coat of clear to seal it then a light sanding with 0000 steel wool? Sanding sealer (IMO) always seems to lift the grain, thus requiring quite a bit more sanding than I wanted to do but I will if I have to.
Thank you in advance,
Kate
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SNIP

*Whew*. You may have just saved yourself from an earful there, or in this case a screenful. I can hear the mutterings in the background, though.

It happens. Sometimes you have to look at something and think that you are turning it into a usable, servicable piece rather than to let it get away. And there certainly isn't any reason to no mix paint and natural or stain colors. Japanese woodworkers have been mixing for years.
I don't understand why you feel like you need to "seal the wood" before you paint. Nothing sticks to paint like itself if properly applied. It makes its own good sealer, and many paints are made to be used by themselves. It does in some cases give a better finish, but doesn't necessarily mean it will adhere better.
But if you stripped or sanded out the base and still have some spots of finsh or there are resin pockets in the dents and dings all old pieces have then priming may be a good idea.
For all naked wood, I use the Zinsser bullseye stain sealer. It is the same as KILZ in most respects, but it seems to spray better for me. To even out the grain a bit, spray a medium thick coat on it, then lightly sand after it dries. Spray another, then >very< lightly sand again. I never go past 220 grit. Clean well with a lightly dampened rag and allow to sit for an hour. This will help harden up the sealer, and finish most of the the outgassing of the solvent.
BTW - I have found for projects like this that have unknown finishes on them, solvent based primer is the only way to go. The water based primers/stain killers are good for latex, on wall and doors, etc. Any other finish, go solvent based.
After cleaning and drying, paint as needed. All that sealer should reduce the amount of paint you apply by at least one coat. Also, I never sand between coats. Following the manufacturer't specs on when to recoat, I just make sure I do it as soon as possible. If I can't second coat until a day or two later, I might scuff sand, but that's it. So if you are painting one weekend, then second coating the next, sand. And I have never had a finish separate between coats from doing it this way.
Good luck! Hope the project turns out well.
Robert
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Just my limited experience--
When in doubt I use shellac as a primer, reduced down a bit from what comes in the can.
Advantages, goes on quick, seals anything on the wood, dries fast.
I don't spray, so that might make a difference.
A quick touch hand sanding takes care of any rough spots (I use 220 grit).
There are some adhesion problems with clear polyurethane so I don't use it under that.
Good luck on reclaiming a oldie but goodie.
Old Guy

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Thanks fellas... I think I'll just go ahead and paint it without priming then. Worst case scenario, I'll have to scuff it between coats.
I'll post some photos on the binary group when I get it all done.
I appreciate the input!
Kate
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Thu, May 3, 2007, 4:06pm (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@spam.filter (Kate) doth query thusly: <snip> I plan on using spray acrylic enamel with a satin clear coat onthe bottom, how would you recommend I prime the wood before I paint it? <snip>
If it was me, the way I'd do it would be to hold the can straight up in front of my eyes with one hand, with the front of the can facing me, press the first two fingers of the other hand to my temple, close my eyes, try to blank my mind, concentrate, and wait for the answer on how to prime the wood to pop into my mind.
When that doesn't work it's time to open my eyes, turn the can around, and read what the manufacturer says about priming. If that doesn't clear things up, I'd call the 1-800 number. also on the back of the can, and ask a people what I wanted to know. But that's just me.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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Smart Ass! I did read the can, twice... it says nothing about priming or prepping for wood other than the usual clean, dirt free surface. ... so there! ;
Kate PS: Now... be sure while you have that aimed, you don't pull the trigger.. ok !
(Kate) doth query thusly: <snip> I plan on using spray acrylic enamel with a satin clear coat onthe bottom, how would you recommend I prime the wood before I paint it? <snip>
If it was me, the way I'd do it would be to hold the can straight up in front of my eyes with one hand, with the front of the can facing me, press the first two fingers of the other hand to my temple, close my eyes, try to blank my mind, concentrate, and wait for the answer on how to prime the wood to pop into my mind.
When that doesn't work it's time to open my eyes, turn the can around, and read what the manufacturer says about priming. If that doesn't clear things up, I'd call the 1-800 number. also on the back of the can, and ask a people what I wanted to know. But that's just me.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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Sat, May 5, 2007, 7:10am (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@spam.filter (Kate) doth burble: Smart Ass! I did read the can, twice... it says nothing about priming or prepping for wood other than the usual clean, dirt free surface. .. so there! ; Kate PS: Now... be sure while you have that aimed, you don't pull the trigger.. ok !
Then you did learn something today after all. That I don't read minds. That leaves the 1-800 number then, eh?
You want cheap gas? Pull my finger.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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