How to Hand Apply General Finishes Milk Paint
General Finishes has created a pre-mixed ready to go, lactose free :) versatile version of milk paint. You can mix it, lighten it, distress it, glaze it, layer different colors, antique it - perfect for upcycling or repurposing furniture. Available in 28 mixable colors.
You can achieve any type of finish with GF milk paint... modern, aged or distressed. We named this product Milk Paint years ago because it mimics the low-luster sheen of old-world paints.. falling somewhere between a flat and satin finish. It is not a true "milk paint" but a modern, premixed version with a strong mineral base that can be used straight from the can. It is durable for both indoor and outdoor projects, and can be applied over a variety of existing finishes as long as they are completely dry.
Have the following tools ready: 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and water, scotch brite pad, 120 and 150 Grit sandpaper, sandable putty, either 400 grit sandpaper or our preferred 220 sanding pad, non sticky tack cloth for water base products, foam brush, chip brush, bristle brush, and pad applicator.
If applying over existing finishes, prep as follows:
Use 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and water to clean. Wet scotch brite pad with mix and scrub the wood surface. This process will remove any dirt and grime.
Some caveats: We do not recommend applying a light color over red stains because the red stains tend to bleed through. Dark stains will too, but not as much. If you insist on painting over red stain, use a shellac-based stain-blocking primer such as Zinsser 123 primer or similar. Further, we do not recommend using Snow White over dark colors; use GF Antique White or Linen instead.
If you are working on an unfinished surface, fill in any nail holes with a water based wood putty.
Sand new wood starting with 120 grit, and then for at 150 grit. Remove dust with an air compressor or non-sticky tack cloth made for water based products.
Stir the paint thoroughly. If the paint is thicker than what you would like to work with, thin it with a small amount of water and stir well.
Test the color on the underside of project to ensure it is what you want.
Everyone at GF tends to apply finishes a little differently - there is no one standard. To apply by hand, we like to use a bristle brush to get a lot of product on and then smooth and feather it out with a foam brush or pad applicator for larger areas. A chip brush can be used to get the paint out of corners and crevices.
General Finishes Milk Paint also sprays beautifully. View our spraying video for more information.
Regardless of the application method, we recommend 2 to 3 coats. Let dry 2-4 hours between coats.
Buff each coat with our preferred 220 sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper - be sure to remove the dust. Sanding is not needed for adhesion, only for smoothness-
Milk Paint dries to a low-luster sheen and is durable enough to stand up to medium wear. However, if more protection is required, apply 1 or 2 coats of GF High Performance Topcoat for interior use or Exterior 450 for use in outside applications.
Cure time is dependent upon temperature and humidity. At 70*F - 70% humidity, three coats of paint will cure in 14-21 days.