Refresh your home’s appeal with furniture paint

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Photo: Painting cabinets with General Finishes Seagull Gray Milk Paint and Pitch Black Glaze Effects gave this kitchen a more modern, yet welcoming farmhouse look.

Furniture, bookcases, cabinets, and doors present opportunities to add or change color throughout a home. Woodcraft offers an extensive line of furniture paint, tools, and supplies necessary for successful painting projects. Plus Woodcraft retail store associates are always ready to help customers, and extensive how-to material is a click away at

Lori Harper, Woodcraft public relations manager and blogger offers some advice about updating a kitchen: “Painting kitchen cabinets is a big job, but it can transform the look of your kitchen at a fraction of the cost of new cabinets. It may sound daunting but breaking it down into bite-size steps can take away the fear factor.” To see Lori’s “Kitchen Cabinet Conundrum” project, click here.

Paint & Color Selection

Three easy to use and easy to mix paints are:
Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint, a water-based, low VOC, matte finish paint for indoor use that requires only cleanup before painting, except in the case of chips and scratches, and adheres to wood, metal, glass, ceramics and plastic.
General Finishes Milk Paints, premixed water-based acrylic paints suitable for a variety of interior or exterior applications from furniture to crafts.
General Finishes Gel Stains, heavy-bodied gels formulated to flow evenly for consistent color control.

Photo: Woodcraft graphic designer Tara Piggott painted this bookcase with Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint in Galvanized and Clean Canvas colors.

Before you pick up a paint brush, spend time considering what colors are best for the area you plan to “refresh.” Choices will need to complement wall color and colors of other pieces or accents in a room. Two handy color guides are the 36-page General Finishes Milk Paint Fan Deck that includes 170+ milk paint formulas to mix your own colors for indoor and outdoor use and the Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint Color Recipes that are available as a free PDF download on

General Finishes Milk Paint Fan Deck includes 170+ custom color formulas.

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Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint Recipes, like this one, may be downloaded at

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Take Advantage of the Diverse Paint Options

For more than just a change of color, consider creating decorative effects such as distressing, antiquing, faux marble, or rag rolling. Choose General Finishes Pearl Effects to make it easier to create specialty finishes.

The two updated dresser projects described below illustrate the use of a variety of paint products to create custom looks.

Peacock Dresser

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Blushing Pink Dresser

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Peacock Dresser – Lori Harper mixed Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint – 2 parts Keep It Teal and 1 part Blue Ridge – to create the Peacock color she used to paint the lower part of this dresser. Next she applied General Finishes Gray Gel Stain over the Peacock color. She painted the top with Black Dog Salvage Dog Bone as a base and then dry brushed layers of Driftwood General Finishes Milk Paint and then Black Dog Salvage Clean Canvas and Dog Bone, brushing and layering until she liked the results. To bring out the detail on the two doors, she chose General Finishes Pitch Black Glaze. Click here to see the Peacock Dresser project blog.

Blushing Pink Dresser – For the base, Lori used General Finishes Seagull Gray Milk Paint. To create the Blush Pink, she mixed up Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint in Clean Canvas and Appalachian Sunset, adding in some General Finishes Extender to make it a thinner consistency. She created a custom gray glaze using General Finishes Glaze Effects in Clear Base with Seagull Gray and Driftwood Milk Paint. To add a little “fairy dust shimmer,” Lori chose General Finishes Champagne Pearl Effects. Click here to see the Blushing Pink Dresser project blog.


Photo: ChaiRX in action!

If furniture, cabinets and other surfaces need repair prior to painting, the Mohawk PermaFill Wood Touch-Up and Repair System is an easy answer. Just pop in a color cartridge (six color families available), power on the battery-operated dispenser, aim, fill and level this durable repair. Briwax ChaiRX is perfect to fix loose parts in chairs. Drill a small hole, inject ChaiRX, and in 12 hours the thin unique formulation will penetrate the wood cells and permanently swell the joints and bond them together. To see a video that demonstrates these products, visit here.

For more extensive repairs, use the Kreg Jig R3 Kit to reinforce weak parts with pocket holes and avoid complete disassembly of your project.

Clean and Prep

Use Krud Kutter TSP Substitute to remove dirt, grease, mildew, food stains, crayon, wax and more from surfaces to be painted, so paint will adhere better. For sanding chores, consider the Porter-Cable Restorer Handheld Drum Sander with attachments that is designed to remove paint and finish from wood, brick, and fiberglass, as well as remove rust and polish metal. The Porter-Cable 382 5" Random Orbital Sander and the Norton 5" Random Orbital Sander are other good choices. For sanding with hand power, the Preppin’ Weapon Sanding Block Kit and Norton 4-1/2 " x 5-1/2" SoftTouch Sanding Sponges are handy helpers.

Porter-Cable Restorer Handheld Drum Sander easily removes paint and finish from wood and other surfaces.

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The Preppin’ Weapon offers a comfortable hand-sanding option.

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Application & Topcoat

If spraying is your preference, HOMERIGHT® Finish Max Fine Finish and HOMERIGHT® Super Finish Max HVLP Sprayers are easy to use for everything from furniture to fences with oil- and water-based products such as chalk-style paint, latex paint, milk paint, enamels, primers, polyurethanes, stains and varnishes. Large and Small Spray Shelters make furniture painting easier.

Photo; A handy home improvement duo: the HOMERIGHT Finish Max HVLP Sprayer and the HOMERIGHT Large Spray Booth.

For painting by hand, Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint Round Brushes, made from both natural and synthetic bristles, and Redtree Matey Synthetic Bristle Brushes work well. 

Give paint extra protection with Black Dog Salvage Guard Dog and Show Dog Topcoats and General Finishes Gel and High Performance Polyurethane Topcoats.

Lori chose General Finishes High Performance Topcoat for both the Peacock and Blushing Pink Dressers featured in this blog.

Happy Painting . . .

I hope these suggestions inspire you to paint a new look at your house – maybe just a piece or two of furniture in one room, or maybe doors, cabinets and furniture!

For more information about our products, visit your local Woodcraft store, call (800) 535-4482 or visit And remember, you will find lots of helpful how-to articles, blogs and videos at

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