General Finishes Milk Paint Review

May 31, 2022 | Artistic Finishes, DIY Furniture, Painting Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

General Finishes Milk Paint

is a line of paint that I discovered over 10 years ago at my local woodworking store, in addition, it is my “go to” paint for furniture and cabinetry!  General Finishes, based in East Troy, Wisconsin, prides themselves on being the “leading manufacturer of innovative water-based finishes”.  Since I’ve been using it for so many years, I thought it was high time I did a review on it!

General Finishes Milk Paint is not a true milk paint. True milk paint is mixed with water and usually creates a more chippy look.

I use a lot of different brands of paints, depending on what artistic finish I am trying to achieve on a piece. I almost always reach for General Finishes Milk Paint when spraying furniture or cabinetry.

The manufacturer claims of General Finishes Milk Paint are:

  • Low VOC
  • Self-sealing (which means you don’t need a top-coat)
  • Interior and Exterior rated
  • Low lustre sheen
  • Highly durable
  • Can be brushed or sprayed
  • Comes in pre-tinted colors
  • Comes in a clear and white tint base so you can color match any color in Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paint decks.

Wow!  That’s a lot of claims!  Let me dive in and let you know my 2 cents on how it does!


Cordenza painted with General Finishes Milk Paint tinted to BM White Dove and the custom taupe glaze applied



General Finishes Milk paint does not have to be sealed, but I personally like to use a sealer.   The paints low-lustre sheen tends to be a little more matte than I would like and tends to produce scuff marks if not sealed when using dark colors, but mainly I just like the look better.  On the other hand, if I decide to use a sealer, my go-to topcoat is General Finishes Enduro Poly Satin.  Whether you use a sealer or not just depends on the look you are going for.


This is one of my favorite things about this product.  The more places I can use a paint the better, therefore making the paint more cost effective.  I have many times had paint leftover from a job and used it for an entirely different project.  I painted my exterior doors in GF Milk Paint two years ago using leftovers I had from a custom island.  The doors still look amazing!


General Finishes Milk Paint in Queenstown Gray pre-mixed color



I have to really agree with this one!  Years back, I painted my kitchen island in GF Milk Paint and it has really held up to all the grand kiddos kicking it when they’re seated at the bar, therefore, I haven’t had to do one single touchup! I wrote a blog about my island you can read HERE.   I’ve also painted a ceramic tile with GF Milk Paint (with proper primer).  It’s been several years and it still looks amazing.  If you’re wondering how I painted a tile floor, you can learn about it HERE.


Painted tile floor in GF Milk Paint



I brush and spray this product interchangeably.  It pretty much is determined by the size of the piece and what I’m feeling like that day.  My Titan Capspray HVLP  is my “go to” sprayer I use for GF Milk Paint.   Just make sure and thin with a little water when you’re spraying, while this is pretty common practice with any paint.   GF Milk Paint also brushes quite well.  I recommend adding GF Enduro Extender to your paint to avoid those pesky brush marks.



I have used both the pre-mixed colors (Queenstown Gray is one of my favorites), and also custom tinted this product, due to the designers I work for, they like to pick colors from Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paint decks.  Giving my local General Finishes retailer the paint color and having it custom tinted saves me so much time, which results in saving me money!

Why I recommend General Finishes Milk Paint

Personally, I think General Finishes Milk Paint sets the standard in paints for the decorative artist.  GF Milk Paint is so versatile and high quality when you are producing a more solid paint finish.  The dry time and re coat time is exceptional, furthermore,  you can use glaze over it seamlessly to provide more professional artistic finishes on your wood pieces.  General Finishes provides very good technical videos to how to use their products.  Down to how they recommend prepping your furniture in order to getting the best results from their products.  You can find out more information on General Finishes Milk Paint from http://www.generalfinishes.com

In conclusion, if you are on the fence about using this paint, I  recommend you give this paint a try!  Let me know about your experience with using GF Milk Paint in the comments!