Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster
When staining, it's best to use a sanding sealer before hand. The sealer closes the larger pores in the wood so the stain penetrates more evenly.
To paint, you'll need to prime the wood first, I would suggest a BIN primer (red label Zinnser brand ) Be sure to read the label for application and clean up, it's a little different than typical primers. Top coat with an alkid paint. Alkids dry harder than regular latex.
I see no reason that stained shelves and painted cabinet can't live well together, as long as the colors are not too disparate. So that the shelves are not too noticeably different, you can stain the top surface and paint the nosing and bottom of the shelf. Don't forget, once stained, you'll also have to put a seal coat on over the stain. Polyurethanes are great for this - just stay away from one step stain/poly's and run like your hair was on fire from Minwax polys. Minwax makes a great stain (debatable with gel stains, however ) but their poly's leave much to be desired. I'd recommend McKloskies or General brand poly.
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