I am sharing the furniture makeover that gives you the most bang for your buck. It requires nothing other than a small tin of General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint and a paint brush. If you take any piece and give it a few coats, it will be transformed!
Lamp Black is a great, deep matte black and is smooth as silk to apply. It takes two coats to create a fine finish. I then apply the General Finishes high performance sealer on top. The sealer typically requires a few coats to create a smooth, durable and streak free finish. It is well worth the effort!
Lamp Black takes this vintage sideboard…
and creates a modern vintage beauty.
Or takes a very dated dresser…
General Finishes Lamp Black milk paint – easy peasy!
These pieces are beautiful. I’m going to start painting furniture for extra money. I have a riffle cabinet a friend gave me. I want to turn it into a spice cabinet. I can’t decide what color is good for a resale. I thought about this black lamp milk paint color. Or a white. That would go in anyone’s kitchen. What do you think. I’m new at this and need help.
Hi Jenny, well I am not sure (not seeing it) but I think white and black are always standard colors that go in any space. Good luck!
I didn’t know about you or this type paint when I painted an old bed. This is look I was looking for, but I used normal black latex paint and did NOT get this look or what I was looking for. Will try this the next time. You take some REALLY ugly pieces and make them beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Patti and best of luck on your next project!
Good Morning! I purchased two tins of the lampblack paint through your site and have not used it yet. Will eventually use it on an old table and then my desk. I did not order the top coat tho…so…really need to do that! I just love the look and thank you for showing us how a “pro” does it!! have a great day, Suzanne.
Hello…it’s me back again….I went to the General Finish site on your site and looked up the General Finishes top coat. The question is this…did you use flat or ? I don’t want to order it until I know which one as I want my desk to have the same look…thanks for your answers!!!
Hi Diane, I always use their flat coat. It is tricky over the black to get it without streaks. You should use a staining pad over a large space (like the desk top) and a brush for the drawers.
I agree about the streaks on dark colors. Other than a staining pad do you have any other helpful hints,
I watched a video on how to apply finishing products on the General Finishes website; they suggested using a nylon footie over the pad – do you do this?
Also, I have read that General Finishes Milk Paint doesn t really need a top coat of any kind…what is your opinion about this ?
I actually do prefer using a sponge brush with the GF sealers and will use the staining pad if the surface is flat and big. I haven’t tried the footie idea. The streaking can happen if you add too much in certain spots (it needs to be applied in a thin coat) and I have also found that going in the same direction when applying it does help. I have had difficulty over black with the streaking but not on other colors. I think that the paint is fine without a sealer and don’t seal all of my pieces. I do seal the black or darker colors to avoid the marks that will occur when they are touched. I also seal the tops of pieces as they get more wear and tear. I hope this helps!
Although I am not fond of dark painted pieces, I have to admit this is a GORGEOUS transformation!
Hi Suzanne- on the black dresser, you distressed it, correct?
Hi Lizzie, yes I did distress it around the edges of the drawers, etc. but it probably would have looked good without too. Cheers 🙂
I bought general finishes at a shop near where I live. The lady who sells it said it had to be applied with a foam brush . Is that what you use?
Hi Karen, if you mean their milk paint then she is wrong. I use a paint brush to apply it. You can use the sponge brush to apply the high performance sealer or stains. General Finishes has a great website full of tutorials that are a help.
Suzanne, these black pieces are my favorite. And thanks for sharing your how-to’s! You helped me soooo much. I tried using a clear wax over black milk paint, and it made it cloudy. Now love the general finishes top coat. I look forward to all of your posts. Xo Mimi
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The more I see this color the more I want to paint something with it. I must make the 45 minute trek to our General Finishes retailer soon. Beautiful work as always Suzanne!
Thank you for letting me know that. She also said it doesn’t require a top coat. Did you top coat the buffet so it would have a matte finish or because milk paint needs it?
I don’t believe the milk paint actually needs it but it is good to use for a protective finish. It seals it and is especially great on the tops of pieces where items may be placed upon. It also gives a nice sheen to the piece.
These are stunning pieces, but I see no chipping. Did you use a bonding agent?
Hi Paige – nope! General Finishes doesn’t need a bonding agent. It’s an acrylic based milk paint. You distress it as you see fit. Easy 🙂
Oh, thanks again Suzanne for all the information…I really wished I lived closer so I could come to see all your fabulous finds! I will order that top coat finish soon…cannot wait to get to the desk! I opened up one can of the paint and did a frame to see how I liked it. It is as smooth as butter…what a wonderful paint!
THANKS for the inspiration, Suzanne! I’m painting an end table for a friend and she wants it painted black — normally I love black, but it would be so FUN in a bright color and dark glaze — it’s been sitting in my garage for over a week — Now I’m excited to get out there and paint it black 😀 . Thanks again!
Hi Cynthia – you are so welcome! I felt the same way about black until I did that sideboard and wham! I was hooked!
I’ve recently stained my banister using General Finishes Java Stain for the handrail and painted the spindles white using latex satin paint. I now need to apply the GF High Performance Topcoat (Satin). I am very nervous about doing this. There was so much work put into staining the banister that I am worried I am going to ruin the look with the topcoat. What would you recommend I use to apply the topcoat? Should I be sanding between coats? This is my first project using GF products. Can you please help?!
Hi Susan, Yes, I can see why you are nervous. Here is a link to the General Finishes website video tutorials. He has one that is the topcoat over Java Gel that you can take a look of. I would use a staining sponge for the banister. Let it dry completely and see if you think you need another coat. You may not need one. I would be hesitant to sand it all and reapply. Another option is their wipe-on oil based urethane. That is a great product over their wood stain. Here is a link to the page: https://generalfinishes.com/videos Best of luck 🙂