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BEST Furniture Makeovers
Best Furniture Makeovers

Painting Furniture with General Finishes Milk Paint

Painting furniture with General Finishes Milk Paint is a cinch! Learn how to prep and paint your old furniture easily with General Finishes Milk Paint!

I love a beautiful white painted piece of furniture!

White furniture always looks so fresh and clean, doesn't it?

I shared this White Painted Buffet Makeover and these Vintage White Painted Nightstands several months ago. I even painted a piano with white chalk paint®. That was a FUN project!

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I love painting furniture with General Finishes for two reasons.

1. General Finishes paint is durable.

2. Their paint also gives amazing coverage! Unless you are painting over a light finish, you usually need a few extra coats when you're painting furniture white. However, I need fewer coats when I'm working with General Finishes Milk Paint!

Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored by General Finishes and I did not receive anything in exchange for this post. I just love the product so much that I wanted to share it with you! This post does contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission for any purchases you might make which usually provides me enough money to buy a Dr. Pepper with ice. ;) Please read my full disclosure.


General Finishes Milk Paint offers two white paint colors. Antique White is a warm white. It's the perfect white hue for kitchen cabinets and furniture pieces.

If you're looking for a really bright white, General Finishes Snow White is also a great option!

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I picked up this scrolly armoire at a yard sale for $25. Armoires are so versatile. They provide fabulous storage solutions and style to larger bathrooms, an entry way, spare bedrooms, or an office space!

As pretty as these details were, I couldn't leave it "as is". So I easily updated this 60's armoire with General Finishes Milk Paint in Snow White.


I like to clean my used furniture with TSP to get rid of all the dirt, dust and oils that might be built up.

Back in the day, folks would dust their furniture with Pledge and over time that creates a build up on the furniture.

This particular piece was well loved by Pledge. ;) So, I mixed a 50/50 solution of water and denatured alcohol before and scrubbed my furniture with a Scotch Brite pad to get rid of it.

Once it was dry, I like gave the armoire a light sanding. I vacuumed up all of the dust and gave the furniture a good wipe down.

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Stir your paint thoroughly before using. General Finishes Milk Paint is not a true milk paint. It's much thicker in consistency. So I like prefer to add 5-10% water to the can when I first open it.

If you're going to paint your furniture with a spray gun it will want to water it down more. But, be sure to follow the directions for your specific spray gun.

I used a Purdy 2' paint brush to apply the milk paint to this armoire.

GF Milk Paint is easy to work with. Once you've painted an area leave it and go onto the next. 

You want to avoid over brushing while the areas are still tacky.

Follow the instructions on the paint can for drying times and temperatures. In my experience the furniture is ready for a second coat after about 2-3 hours of drying time!

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It took 2 1/2 coats to sufficiently cover this armoire.

While painting this piece, I used my favorite natural distressing technique to distress it at the same time. 

It's so easy! The contrast of the natural wood tones peaking through the white paint brings out more of the curvy details.

I even painted the hardware! Yes, you can paint your old furniture hardware with General Finishes Milk Paint too! It adheres perfectly!

If you're curious you can see more examples of painted hardware on our Balayage Inspired Media Console and on this Pure & Original Cabinet Makeover!

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General Finishes Milk Paint is one of the hardier furniture paints that I've used.

For an armoire that gets medium wear, I could leave it as is and the paint finish would hold up beautifully. 

But, I like to protect all of my furniture makeovers with a protective coat.

General Finishes High Performance in Flat has a low sheen and is my go to topcoat.

It's non-yellowing and dries fairly quickly! And THESE $3 Applicator Sponges to apply the topcoat are amazing! They leave very little brush strokes, are so easy to clean and they are re-usable!!

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There is magical power in paint! -Thirty Eighth Street

If you've been a reader for any length of time then you know that I'm an advocate for painting furniture

Not ALL pieces of furniture. Just the ones you can't stand or enjoy. ;) 

There truly is power in paint. It's such an inexpensive way to update your furniture and create the space you've always wanted!

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Would you like to see more furniture transformations? Visit our Painting Furniture Tutorials & Resource page for lots more furniture refinishing tips & tricks!

These talented DIY Furniture Refinishing friends of mine scored these outdated finds. 

Stop by and see how they decided to refinish them!

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1. Restoration Hardware Weathered Wood Dresser Finish by J. Burns Design
2. Santa Fe Turquoise Desk Makeover by Lynn Fern
3. Unique Painted Etagere by Just the Woods, LLC.
4. Efex Applique Table by That Sweet Tea Life
5. General Finishes Painted Armoire by Thirty Eighth Street
6. New Twist on a Traditional Desk by 58 Water Street

Have a great week, friends!
Carrie || Thirty Eighth Street

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  1. Beautiful job! The paint really enhanced the intricate curved details of the wood panels. I, too love General Finishes paints and finishes- Flat Out Flat is one of the best products I have ever used! And yes, there is definitely power in paint- that old ugly brown cupboard would have been, at best, in someone's garage as storage and at worst, in a dumpster. And now it is a stunning showpiece! Well done.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this makeover! I agree, General Finishes has some a lot of quality products!

  2. Stunning! I love all the details and white is a for sure classic.

    1. It's hard to go wrong with white! Those swirly details made my job look easy. :) Thank you for your sweet comments!

  3. Carrie, your piece turned out just beautiful!! I love the details the paint picked up. Thank you so much for sharing with us at the What to do Weekends party!!
    Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Theresa! The swirly details were my favorite part too!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous transformation!

  5. Simply gorgeous Carrie. The scroll work on the piece is amazing and the white paint seems to emphasize the detail so much more. Stunning

  6. Carrie, I have a major crush on that armoire! It's just lovely...wish I could have found something like that when we were redoing my daughter's room last year.

    I know are absolutely loving it! Well done.

    Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thank you, Lynn! I have all boys. Wish I could fit more girly pieces like this one in my home!

  7. Fantastic piece of furniture (once it's painted)! Love it. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle! Pinned to share.
    ~Laurie @Myhusbandhastoomanyhobbies

  8. The makeover is incredible. Thank you for sharing it with us at Vintage Charm.

  9. Your armoire looks beautiful!
    I am trying to refinish my dining set. I am a beginner level painter. Do you think painting with General Finishes Milk paint would be too complicated for a novice?

    I have sanded and stained of my dining chairs. I did not like the stain color. Then I sanded it again and applied gel stain. It is to dark and gel stain takes really long time to dry. It has turned out to be an expensive trial and error process for my project but I would like to satisfied with the final appearance. I would like to paint the chairs with GF seagull grey. Do you think it will be durable with multiple finishing coats applied?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Laila! I think you're going to fall in love with General Finishes Milk Paint! It's really easy to use and in my opinion is one of the hardier furniture paints out there. I would still use a top coat to seal your finish and I would definitely use 4 coats of GFHP on your table top for added protection! General Finishes in Seagull Grey is a beautiful color and yes, it will be durable! I hope that helps. Have fun with your furniture makeover!

  10. Thank you! I have already painted four of my chairs with GF seagull grey. They look beautiful. There are a few spots that could have been better but only I can see them. Can you paint over the topcoat if the paint chips?

    1. Yes! I would wait 24-48 hours for the topcoat to set before I painted over it but you can!

  11. You are a pro with a good eye and skill set. I'm not easily impressed with furniture re-doers, but there is much to be impressed with, esp. since you readily share your knowledge. Do you really use those blue sponges for HP flat? --70 yr old fan

  12. The link for the cheap applicator brushes doesn't work...are they available elsewhere?

    1. Hi Taylor! I tried the link and it's working. Maybe they were out of them when you tried. If you need some more, they are in stock!