Water Base Wood Stains & Dyes
Nothing produces color on wood like a water-base stain. General Finishes Water Based Wood Stains and Dye Stains allow you to create the truest, deepest colors possible on any wood species.
Water Base Milk Paints & Glazes
Environment friendly General Finishes green water base finishes are easy to apply, durable, and simple to repair. Water-based Milk Paints can be used with our Glazes and Water Based Wood Stains to create decorative finishes such as distressing, antiquing, faux marble, rag rolling, or color washing. Check out our Pinterest Board at http://pinterest.com/generalfinishes/furniture-paint-with-a-soul-milk-paint-from-genera/ - we can custom mix any color there.
Water Base Top Coats & Sanding Sealers
Winning Fine Woodworking’s Top Choice and Best Brush on award, General Finishes Water-based Top Coats have been proven to be a consumer favorite. Formulated to be durable and consumer friendly, these "green" wood finishes are continuing to earn high marks in the wood finishing world.
Oil Base Wood Stains & Sealers
Our oil based finishes have been foolproof for over 60 years. As a testimony to General Finishes Wood Stains' overall excellence, several woodworking magazines have awarded GF Stains their highest recommendations in national competitions. We think you will too.
Oil Base Top Coats
We have the superior Wipe-on Oil-base Wood Top Coats in liquid or gel: pre-stain conditioners, urethanes and oil & urethane combinations.
Furniture Maintenance Products, Polishes and Waxes
All furniture develops a patina of fine scratches with use. Occasionally, an accidental nick or scratch occurs that is beyond the definition of patina and requires touch up. Check out our funiture oils, polishes and waxes.
Touch-Up Products & Sundries
Nobody knows finishing better than the gang at General Finishes, and here are some of our favorite finishing products and supplies.
Determine the color you want, choose your stain or paint and follow our application instructions. You are on your way to the perfect finish! Create customized designer looks and save thousands of dollars, applying our finishes on real wood furniture from your local unfinished furniture retailer.
Hand Application of General Finishes Water Based Wood Stains
- Always stir the contents well. Stirring reduces the thickness of the stain and distributes pigments that may have settled to the bottom of the can.
- It is essential to apply a wet, liberal amount of stain with a foam brush or a latex paint pad applicator to insure easy workability. If too little stain is used, the surface can dry too quickly causing an uneven appearance.
- Divide your project into manageable sections (top, side, drawer, door).
- Stain a complete section and wipe off the excess evenly with the grain using paper towels or a clean cloth. Check for missed spots and lap marks before moving to the next section. Immediately correct lap marks by rewetting the entire working area with stain and wiping the excess off.
- Sanding between coats of any stain or top coat is referred to as Buffing. We do NOT recommend buffing between coats of stain because you may remove an area of stain that cannot be re-blended. If you must buff because you have imperfections that need to be smoothed out, do so with caution using a superfine sanding pad or #320 or #400 grit sandpaper. Do not buff prior to the first application Top Coat.
- On most projects three or four coats of Top Coat is just right. On projects receiving extra wear such as table and desk tops, additional coats will add more protection. Tip: use our High Performance Polyurethane for even more durability. For more instructions about applying Top Coats, click here.
Applying General Finishes Glazes
Glaze Effects are translucent water based colors that may be used over any water based stain or paint to create beautiful decorative finishes such as distressing, antiquing, Strie?, marble effects, shabby chic, burnishing, color washing, rag rolling and wood graining.
- Always test the color on the underside of the project. It is your responsibility to insure that the color is what you want. Do not practice on your new furniture!
- Always stir the contents well. Stirring distributes pigments that have settled to the bottom of the can.
- Option: Before applying glaze you have the option of top coating first, which will help you control the amount of color and facilitate the spreading of glaze over the surface. The Top Coat layer is smoother and less absorbent, allowing the glaze to slide across the surface. If you want a rustic look with more color, skip the Top Coat layer and apply the glaze directly to the paint. Start with two base coats of Milk Paint following application instructions shown above.
- Let the final base coat dry 2-4 hours.
- Pour Glaze color into a paper plate covered with aluminum foil or painter?s tray. Working one small section at a time, apply the Glaze liberally with a foam brush, synthetic brush or paint pad over entire section, keeping the surface wet with Glaze.
- Wipe off excess with absorbent wiping cloths or paper towels to achieve desired look. Do not use Tee-shirts.
- If you want to rework a section, simply rewet the surface with Glaze.
- Work quickly, so that the Glaze color does not dry before finishing a section. If necessary, mask off smaller sections around raised areas such as bead board and moldings. Glazes dry fairly quickly, so plan your sections before beginning.
- If working in high temperatures or low humidity, Glaze Effects may be thinned with 10-20% water or General Finishes Extender (3 to 6 oz. per quart) to improve open time for application.
- Let dry 2-4 hours. Apply water based Top Coat for additional durability or to increase sheen.
Application of General Finishes Milk Paints
Do I Need A Primer?
- Although Milk Paints can be applied directly onto bare wood, the use of an additional coat of Milk Paint as a "primer" is recommended for heavy grained wood such as Oak, Pine or Parawood, especially with light colors.
- Most dark Milk Paint colors do not need a primer. If you want a smoother finish, just add a third coat.
- Hand Application of General Finishes Milk Paints
- Remove hardware from furniture. Taking a little extra time to remove backs of cabinets, drawer fronts etc., will make staining much easier. Milk Paints may be intermixed to create additional colors. Snow White or Antique White will soften darker colors.
- If working in high temperatures or low humidity, Milk Paints may be thinned with 10-20% water or General Finishes Extender (3 to 6 oz. per quart) to improve open time for application.
- If working over existing paint or finish, always test a small area to make sure paint will adhere. Sand glossy surfaces with #120 grit sandpaper before proceeding.
- Make disposable paint trays by covering paper plates with aluminum foil.
- Test the color on the underside of the project. It is your responsibility to insure that the color is what you want.
- Always stir the contents well. Stirring distributes pigments that have settled to the bottom of the can.
- Paint on a wet, liberal coat with a wide foam brush, bristle brush, or paint pad applicator. If too little paint is used, the surface can dry too quickly causing an uneven appearance.
- Let dry 2 to 4 hours before applying another coat.
- We recommend two to three coats of paint. If paint is not covering after 2 coats, you are not applying heavily enough. If using different colors of Milk Paint over one another (i.e.-when creating antique finishes) always apply a coat of Top Coat in between the colors to prevent color blending.
- Dry time is normally 2-4 hours under ideal conditions (70° and 70% humidity). Cooler temperatures or higher humidity will prolong dry time to 8-10 hours. Good ventilation, air movement and higher temperatures will accelerate dry time.
- Sanding between coats of any stain, paint or top coat is referred to as Buffing. Buff between each coat of Milk Paint with a superfine sanding sponge, #320 or #400 grit sandpaper.
- Milk Paint dries with a low luster sheen. Although it can be used as a one-can finish, we recommend one application of Water Based Top Coat for increased durability or to increase sheen. It is not necessary to buff after applying final Top Coat.
- Milk Paints are rated for exterior use, and do not require a Top Coat when used in outdoor applications. General Finishes water based Top Coats are not intended for exterior use.
Use Milk Paint for all your outdoor furniture. It is not just an interior product! Classic interior/exterior paints for use with furniture, crafts, and cabinets. Milk Paint is a sturdy outdoor finish perfect for outdoor furniture. Uniquely engineered from the latest paint technology, Milk Paints can be used directly from the can to produce a high quality satin sheen. No mixing messy powders!
Application of General Finishes Water Based Top Coats
- If you are applying Water Based Top Coat over an oil based stain, allow the oil stain to dry a minimum of 48 hours under ideal conditions.
- Water based top Coats are milky white in the can, but will dry to a crystal clear finish. Stir contents well to insure that all the ingredients are mixed together.
- Apply with a foam brush, latex paint pad applicator, or by spraying.
- Apply Top Coats liberally using smooth even strokes working in the direction of the grain. Use enough material to provide a wet film. Do not over brush! Top Coats self level beautifully.
- Top Coats have ?burn in? characteristics and may slightly lift some of the color during the application of the first coat (particularly red colors).
- On most projects three or four coats of Top Coat is just right. On projects receiving extra wear such as table and desk tops, additional coats will add more protection. Tip: use our High Performance Polyurethane for even more durability.
Dry Time of Top Coats
- Dry time is normally 2-4 hours under ideal conditions (70? and 70% humidity).
- Cooler temperatures or higher humidity will prolong dry time to 8-10 hours.
- Good ventilation, air movement and higher temperatures will accelerate dry time.
Buffing Top Coats
- Do not buff the stain prior to the first application Top Coat.
- It is important to buff in between each application of Top Coat for the smoothest possible finish.
- After Top Coat has dried, buff between each application with #320 or #400 grit sandpaper or superfine sanding sponge.
- Remove dust with a clean cloth.
- It is not necessary to buff final Top Coat.
General Finishes' products should be tested to your complete satisfaction before using. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of the product. General finishes will not be responsible for any other costs such as labor costs, damage costs, or replacement costs.
How to Spray Water Based Finishes
General Finishes water based products can be sprayed through compressed air, HVLP, airless or C.A.S. units. Surface Preparation: All surfaces should be clean and free from dirt and oil and sanded as per instructions above. We recommend Fuji HVLP Spray Systems for the furniture or wood finishing industry.
Spray Application of General Finishes Water Based Finishes Using HVLP Spray Equipment
- Water Based PolyAcrylic is ready to spray from the container. If necessary in hot or dry climates, reduce 10 to 20% with water or General Finishes Extender to extend the open time.
- Pre Sealing: Soft woods such as Pine and Aspen absorb stain at an uneven rate and may respond better to staining if the wood bas been pre-sealed. Natural stain can be applied to raw wood to condition the surface for uniform penetration of the stain. Pre-sealing will cause the final stain to be lighter. Always test your color on a hidden part of the furniture! Allow the Natural stain to dry 1 hour before applying your final stain color.
- If you are using a sprayer that has been used for oil based or lacquers, clean the unit thoroughly and rinse with warm water before using. Apply a thin coat first that will dry and harden faster. Sand this first coat down to a smooth base on which to build your finish coats. With water based finishes it is better to spray 2 thin coats rather than 1 heavy coat.
- Recommended Spray Tips for Wood Stains and Top Coats. Fluid tip sizes should be as follows: Compressed air - .040, HVLP - .051, Airless - .009. Recommended Tips for Milk Paint. Compressed air - .050, HVLP - .072, Airless - .013. Air caps should be medium size. Contact your supplier to verify proper tip sizes for your specific equipment.
- Always strain material through a medium to fine mesh filter before spraying.
- Spray medium wet films at 3-5 wet ml thickness.
- Reduction: If spraying the product as a stain in order to allow the grain to show through, reduce 10 to 20% with water or General Finishes Extender. If spraying as a paint, do not reduce. For example, you may wish to spray Cranberry Red stain on for a painted look. In this instance, do not reduce. It is generally not necessary to reduce Milk Paints. but they also may be reduced 10 to 20% with water or GF Extender.
- Practice makes perfect! If you have never sprayed finishes before, take a large piece of cardboard and practice your technique first. Spray water on the cardboard to learn how the gun works. Check your fluid settings and adjust the controls to get comfortable with the spray angles and to develop your technique.
- Keep your gun at a 90* angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6 to 8? wide. Over lap each pass 25% to conceal lines.
- For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray. Break your work into sections such as dresser top or drawer fronts. Spraying too large of an area can result in a textured grainy surface. A correctly sprayed finish should appear even and glossy. It is important to spray enough material to allow proper flow and leveling of the finish.
Trouble Shooting Guide for Spraying Water Based Finishes
- Rough, dry surface. This is called dry spray. You may have sprayed too lightly. Re-sand the finish with #320 paper and apply a heavier coat. Keep your gun at 6-8" from the surface.
- Dimples in the finish. This is called orange peel, caused by spraying in temperatures that are too cool. Cooler temperatures will adversely affect how the finish will level and harden. Water based finishes must be applied at temperatures above 65 F. If it is cold enough to wear a sweater it is too cold to apply a water based finish. The surface of the wood must also be warm. If you turn the heat on when you enter your shop in the morning, the air heats up quickly but your furniture will still be cold for some time. Check the surface to see if it is warm. Also, check the temperature of the finish. Warming cold finish by setting the can next to a heater or setting the container in some hot water for 5 minutes will improve the ease of application. Note: Larger dimples are called "fish-eyes" or "craters". Cool temperatures can cause these, but the more likely source is contamination of the finish with either wax or silicone
- Blush. Blush, the term for a cloudy, milky appearance in the finish, has two causes. The most common reason is incompatible stain. For example, using a water based top coat over a heavy oil based stain. When the top coat is applied, the oil in the stain seeps up through the finish and reacts with the acrylic causing a chemical blush. To prevent this, use a quick drying water based stain. If you choose to use oil based stain, seal the stain with a coat of shellac or lacquer sealer. This will provide a barrier between the oil and the acrylic. Proper drying time between the oil stain and finish coats is essential! The other cause for blushing is high humidity. Spraying water based finish in humidities of over 75% may cause blushing because moisture becomes trapped beneath the finish and cannot evaporate. You can prevent this condition by increasing air movement in the finishing area with a fan. All water needs to evaporate is sufficient air movement. You can also improve drying conditions by increasing the temperature in the drying area.
- Surface is not leveling out. In hot temperatures (85F ? 100F) the finish may dry too fast. Use General Finishes Extender to open (increase) the dry time. Finishes that dry too fast may not completely level out before all the water evaporates from the finish.