General Finishes Milk Paint Review

Are you looking for the best types of paint for furniture to help bring your furniture and other DIY projects to life? If so, then this General Finishes Milk Paint Review may be your ticket. This water-based acrylic paint is popular among both professional painters and hobbyists because it’s easy to use, has a low VOC rating, and is self-leveling.

In this blog post, we’ll review the pros and cons of using this type of paint as well as some application tips so that you can make an educated decision on whether or not it’s right for your project.

photo of general finishes milk paint in can with text overlay and background of brushing the paint into furniture

General Finishes Milk Paint is an acrylic paint that works exceptionally well on furniture, sticking to the surface and providing a durable finish. It is also self-leveling, which means that the brush strokes flatten out when dry.

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It is also water based, so it is easy to clean up with soap and water, and it doesn’t have any harsh fumes.

Let’s break down all of the pros and cons of General Finishes Milk Paint so you can better decide if it is the right paint for you!

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Pros of General Finishes Milk Paint

One of the biggest advantages of General Finishes Milk Paint is the self-leveling properties create a brush free finish once the paint dries- leaving you with a smooth finish every time! I LOVE that feature!!

It also sticks very well to wooden surfaces. I have tested it out on finished wood without sanding or priming beforehand and it passes my scratch test within 24 hours. But if you want to paint without sanding, here’s our list of the best paint for furniture without sanding.

applying general finishes paint into furniture with roller

But for best results, and maximum adhesion, it’s best to lightly scuff sand before painting, and use one of these best primers for furniture before painting with General Finishes milk paint.

It’s water-based which makes it easier to clean up after you’re done painting. It also has a low VOC rating which means there are no harsh fumes when using this type of paint so you can work in an enclosed space without worrying about air quality concerns.

It dries quickly so your project will be ready sooner than some other types of paints would take. And last but not least, it is decently durable on its own. Though, for best results, it needs a topcoat.

That is very common for furniture paints like this though, and it can be a benefit of using General Finishes Milk Paint for those who want to glaze painted furniture or apply furniture transfers to their furniture and need to be able to topcoat those options.

  • Sticks very well to wood surfaces
  • Water-based and easy to clean up
  • Low VOC rating
  • Self-leveling properties create a brush free finish when dried
  • Dries quickly for faster project completion
  • Easy to use

Cons of General Finishes Milk Paint

One of the main drawbacks of using General Finishes Milk Paint is its limited color selection; there are only about 30 shades available. This makes customizing projects with specific colors difficult if you don’t want to mix your own paint colors together from scratch.

Here is a great page of inspiring colors that people have made by mixing General Finishes milk paint colors together.

Additionally, General Finishes milk paint can only be purchased online or in select local retailers like Wood Craft or small businesses which may limit access depending on where you live.

You can use this where to buy General Finishes search tool to see if there are any local retailers in your area. Otherwise, it is available online from Amazon or Etsy.

Another con when using this type of paint is that it requires topcoating for maximum durability as well as primer for maximum adhesion and to prevent bleedthrough – something that is common with most water-based paints but still worth noting before starting any project!

applying primer into furniture to prevent bleedthrough

Check out our blog post about how to get rid of bleed through to learn more about how to fix paint bleed through.

If these steps aren’t taken, the paint will not last as long or be as durable.

  • Limited color selection
  • Must be purchased online or in select local retailers like Wood Craft
  • Needs to be topcoated for maximum durability
  • Requires primer for maximum adhesion and to prevent bleedthrough (Typical for waterbased paints)

Application Tips

General Finishes Milk Paint is a great way to give furniture and other DIY projects a beautiful finish that will last. To get the best results though, it’s important to know how to properly apply it with a brush, roller, or sprayer.

Before applying General Finishes Milk Paint, make sure you stir the paint thoroughly as particles can settle at the bottom of the container over time. For best results when using a brush or roller for painting furniture, use high quality brushes or rollers to get the best looking finish.

applying general finishes paint into furniture with a high quality brush

Here is our list of the best paint brushes for painting furniture and our list of the best rollers for painting furniture. If spraying instead of brushing on the paint, you can thin it out slightly by adding 10% water, so that it sprays evenly without splattering or leaving drips or runs in your finish.

To get you on the right track with spraying paint onto furniture, here are the Best Wagner Paint Sprayers for Furniture, and here is how to thin paint for Wagner FLEXiO sprayers.

Typically, plan on needing 2 coats of paint for complete coverage. Some colors require more than 2 coats though. Let each coat dry completely before beginning another one (usually about 1-2 hours of dry time is needed).

For maximum durability and to stop stains from coming through paint, you need to use a primer beforehand.

For best results, lightly sand the surface with 220 grit sandpaper before painting and use one of these best primers to stop tannin bleed before painting with General Finishes milk paint. It should also be topcoated with a topcoat for maximum durability.

Check out this post for everything you need to know about painting furniture with acrylic paint.

Here is our list of the best topcoats for painting furniture.

Painted Furniture With General Finishes Milk Paint

If you’re looking for inspiration before using General Finishes Milk Paint, or need some more guidance with what to expect when using it, here are some of our furniture makeovers using General Finishes Milk Paint.

Click through this list of links below to find more helpful information on how each makeover was created, what mistakes I made, and the before and afters of each piece of furniture.

Overall, General Finishes Milk Paint is a great choice for furniture makeovers. Its low VOC rating and quick drying time makes it easy to use in any space without worrying about air quality concerns or long wait times between coats.

general finishes milk paint with a high qaulity brush ready for painting

However, its limited color selection may be restrictive if you’re looking for something more specific than the 30 available shades. But, you can mix together 2 or more colors to create a shade that you love. We hope this was helpful and hope your next project turns out just perfect!

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