The Best Furniture Paint You're Not Using

By: Diy maven Dec 12, 2012

created at: 12/12/2012

A few weeks ago, I visited a local unpainted furniture store and was immediately drawn to their DIY stains, varnishes and paint. While examining the stock, one of the shop's finishers happened by and asked if I had any questions. I immediately went in to 'quiz the expert' mode. I felt so guilty at accosting the poor guy, I bought one of the paints he recommended. It was a General Finishes brand Lamp Black Milk Paint. 

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The Milk Paint kind of has the consistency of yogurt. It went on like silk and covered exceptionally well. (You know how when you paint with black on a light surface you see streaks from behind leak through? That didn't happen with the Milk Paint.) It has virtually no smell and clean-up was easier than any other water-base paint I've ever used. (A flush of warm water was all that was needed.) As for results, check out this chunk of raw oak with two coats applied:

created at: 12/12/2012

As you can maybe tell, the paint dries to an almost chalky, matte finish. It sticks, however, like no matte paint I've ever used. As a matter of fact, I dripped a tiny splotch on my kitchen tile, and I almost couldn't get it off. Some serious pressure with a straight edge took care of it...eventually. I thought that boded well for adhesion to wood. 

General Finishes suggests sanding with 220 max between coats, which I did. I also followed up with two coats of Minwax Polycrylic in satin. The results easily convinced me to say goodbye to my standby furniture paint. 

Why, you may ask, haven't we used (or maybe we haven't even heard) of this paint before? Because we can't find it in our typical big box store. For this paint, we'll have to go to places like Rockler and unpainted furniture stores and such. Also, it's expensive. One pint of the Milk Paint cost about $24 with tax. On the up side, it goes a long way and covers so well, you'll probably only need 2 coats versus 3 of just about anything else. Plus, it's going to make your paint job easier. Much easier, actually. So, if you have a 'special' furniture project that needs finishing or refinishing, you might want to treat it and yourself to General Finishes Milk Paint. 

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@Kristi - Did you sand your cabinets first to remove old finish? Thanks.

The General Finishes Gel Stains are equally impressive. I just stained my oak kitchen with their Java stain and it was AMAZING. Well worth every penny of the extra cost for the stunning end result and ease of application. I will have to try the milk paint next project!

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