Paint Products and Companies I Recommend
Hi friends! I’ve put together a comprehensive Painting Furniture Resource Guide which provides you a list of all of the products and companies I use on a regular basis. This is the same list I hand out to family and friends, which means I stand behind each one of these recommendations 100%. It also means that some of these products aren’t the cheapest on the market, but the amount of time I save on my projects is well-worth spending a little extra money for the higher grade product.
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Painting Resources Guide
Here is the order of topics I cover since this is a very long post. Hopefully this will help you scroll through faster to find what you are looking for.
*Brushes for Painting Detail Work
*Brushes for Painting with General Finishes Milk Paint and General Finishes Top Coats
*My Favorite Furniture Paint
*The Colors I Always Have on Hand
*The Grays and Black
*The Pinks, Reds, Oranges, and Yellows
*My Favorite Gel Stains
*My Favorite Top Coats
*Miscellaneous Painting Supplies
My Fav Brushes for Painting Detail Work on Furniture
I know it’s easy to want to go the cheap route when it comes to buying paint supplies; however, if you want to paint furniture like a pro, then you need to remember a quality finish relies on using quality products. So repeat after me:
“Don’t cheap out!”
“Don’t cheap out!”
“Don’t cheap out!”
I cannot say that enough. You don’t have to buy the latest $40 specialty brush (I’ve used them, too) but you do need to buy a good Purdy brush to get professional looking results when you’re painting furniture. I’ve been painting furniture on and off for over 20 years now and I’ve tried cheap brushes with good paint and I’ve tried good brushes with cheap paint, and in both instances I would have been better off if I had applied the paint with a rag because the result looked about the same.
I found that using good quality paint brushes like Purdy and furniture grade paint like General Finishes, ensures a professional looking finish every single time. These products also save me time since there will be little to no sanding between coats of paint, and because General Finishes paint dries quicker than other brands I have tried.
I use my Purdy angled brushes for cutting in trim on walls and baseboards. However, I also use my Purdy angled brush on detailed furniture. As you can see in the picture below, this two tone French Provincial dresser has nice clean lines and I didn’t tape at all thanks to the Purdy angled brush.
My Go To Brushes for General Finishes Milk Paint and Top Coat
While I have worked with General Finishes on several sponsored projects over the last couple of years, I would like to point out that this post is not sponsored by General Finishes. I’m not getting anything in return for mentioning their name 8 million times or for showcasing their products on work I have previously done. I’m writing this post because I love their paint and I have never been disappointed in General Finishes paint’s performance.
Now let’s take a look at my Kitchen Cabinets Makeover I did in the Fall of 2016 which was sponsored by General Finishes and D. Lawless Hardware. For this makeover, I painted my old cherry kitchen cabinets a very bold and beautiful Lamp Black. By the way, I used Jen Mfg. foam brushes for the milk paint and the top coat. Most people believe I sprayed the paint on but I can assure that was not the case, although General Finishes products can be used with a sprayer.
Cheap foam brushes from Home Depot and Sherwin Williams won’t match up so don’t waste your time or money on them. They get floppy within minutes and it’s like applying paint with a dish rag. Trust me when I say the results won’t be pretty. I have found these Jen Mfg. brushes at my local Woodcraft although it’s a hike to get out there and sometimes they’re sold out so it turns into a wasted trip, and at Ace Hardware, which is closer but much more expensive. I prefer to buy them in bulk from Amazon.
I’ve dedicated a couple of very thorough posts to why I choose to use Jen Mfg. foam brushes with my General Finishes paint. You can read about Foam Brushes vs. Rollers here. And in this post you read about why I buy the larger foam brushes in bulk. It’s a long post but you can get the gist of it by looking at the pictures.
Kitchen Makeover Series tutorials include picking out paint colors, prepping kitchen cabinets for paint, painting and sealing kitchen cabinets and can be found HERE.
My Favorite Furniture Paint
Shortly after starting my original blog “The Tattered Rabbit”, General Finishes sponsored a few of my furniture painting projects. I had never used their paint before but I had seen pictures from other painter’s and I was impressed with the finished look.
My first sponsored post was a 1930s china cabinet painted with General Finishes Coastal Blue Milk Paint with General Finishes Millstone trim.
General Finishes Coastal Blue China Cabinet tutorial can be found HERE and includes some beautiful photography by my friend Jessie of 5 Rings Photography.
I quickly realized General Finishes Milk Paint is far superior to all other products I have used over the 20+ years that I have been painting. The paint went on smooth and evenly with very little effort from me. It dried quickly which meant I saved time between coats. And it adhered to the wood like no other. I was hooked on General Finishes from this point onward.
According to their website General Finishes Milk Paint:
*Is furniture grade paint
*Is both interior and exterior grade
*Self-seals although a top coat is recommended for heavy use items
*Self-levels to provide a nice even coat that looks like it has been sprayed on
*Is fast drying
*Has low odor
*Can be sprayed or brushed on
A few personal observations I would like to point out:
*A little paint goes a long way. While the price might be higher than homemade chalk paint, you’ll get a lot out of a small pint can. I recently painted 2 French Provincial Basset end tables (Coastal Blue with gold trim) and a Mid-Century Modern Bar (you can find pictures of both of these scattered throughout this post) and I still had paint left over in my pint.
*Look for local General Finish dealers. The only store in our town that carries General Finishes products is Woodcraft. I’ve gotten lots of great painting tips from the guys who work at Woodcraft; however, sometimes they have a very low supply of General Finishes Milk Paint so I’ve wasted time driving across town only to find they are out of stock. This is why I rely on Amazon so much for paint and paint brushes.
*The only big drawback I have found is that the lid often rusts. I’ve heard of others having the same issue but it hasn’t deterred me from using General Finishes milk paint.
Paint Colors I Always Keep on Hand
If you want to Paint Furniture Like a Pro in order to sell it for profit, then you first need to realize that certain colors will sell quicker than others because those colors can go with any decor in a room. For this reason I always keep a supply of basic General Finishes colors on hand that I call the tried and true best sellers for my area. These are colors which will work on just about any piece that I want to paint and I know customer’s will be lined up to buy an item when I list it.
I’ve included General Finishes Dark Chocolate because I consider it a nice neutral which gives furniture a deep chocolate dipped appearance just like chocolate Easter bunnies. This picture really doesn’t do the paint justice.
General Finishes Neutrals
I used General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint on this beautiful Bassett French Provincial dresser to fit perfectly into someone’s farmhouse decor. You can’t go wrong with Snow White or Antique White if you are selling furniture. Everyone wants white furniture because of its versatility.
General Finishes Shades of Blue
General Finishes Coastal Blue is a my all time favorite color. I swear I would paint everything I own Coastal Blue if I didn’t think my family would get upset. Here is my end table in General Finishes Coastal Blue with gold craft paint.
General Finishes Shades of Gray
Gray furniture is still trending across the country. It gives a nice pop of color while maintaining a certain amount of neutrality in the color scheme. Here I combined General Finishes Queenstown Gray with General Finishes Linen to achieve this look.
You can find this wet bar tutorial HERE.
And here is another piece finished in General Finishes Lamp Black. It turned this early 1900s dresser into a timeless, stunningly elegant masterpiece.
General Finishes Shades of Pink, Red, Orange, and Yellow
General Finishes Shades of Green
My Favorite Gel Stain
General Finishes also sponsored my Dining Room Table Makeover where I used Java Gel Stain and Antique White Milk Paint. It was the first time I had used any type of gel stain and took a little bit of getting used to. The application process was quite simple but I have to admit it was just weird to use such a thick product. BUT, and this is a big BUT, the depth and richness of the gel stain is really worth working with this product.
You can find the French Country Dining Room Reveal pictures HERE.
My Favorite Oil and Water Based Sealers
Over the past 20+ years I’ve used sealers and top coats from the big box stores. I’ve used hard wax that I thought my arm would fall off before I had finished waxing a piece and I’ve used pricey waxes where the wax was easy to apply but I thought it would never, ever dry into a hard protective finish. Again, by far, General Finishes Top Coats and Sealers are superior in every manner to all of the others.
General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin or Flat are my Go To Favorites in water based top coats. They are easy to apply using the foam brushes listed above and they dry quickly. More importantly they dry into a very hard finish that will protect paint from chipping and flaking with every day use. I used General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Flat on my kitchen cabinets and they have held up well in the 18 months since they have been painted. For darker colors like General Finishes Lamp Black and Coastal Blue I recommend using the Flat sheen because it will help hide brush strokes and any imperfections in the wood or paint technique.
This piece was done in General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin.
You can find How to Remove a Bubble from Wood Veneer HERE.
My Dining Room Table was top coated with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal oil based sealer since I had used an oil based gel stain.
General Painting Tools
Painter’s Pyramids are the one tool you can’t do without when painting kitchen cabinet doors. They’re cheap so make sure you pick up enough to do several doors at once.
I recently bought a random orbital sander and can’t believe how quickly it removes paint and stain compared to my old sander. Two things to keep in mind: it needs to be a “random” orbital sander and not just an “orbital sander” and don’t push down when using it because this will cause swirls to be left in the wood.
Howard’s Products Used to Condition Wood Without Sanding or Stripping
I love Howard’s products for pieces of furniture and decor that I want to freshen up without having to strip or sand the wood. These products aren’t fix-alls. You’ll have to reapply a couple of times of year depending on how quickly the wood dries out again but they do provide a quick and easy fix in the meantime.
Here are my parlor tables before applying Howard’s Products.
And here is the unbelievable transformation.
I’ll be updating this post as time goes by so make sure you drop back by to see what’s new.