Painting a Bathroom Cabinet with General Finishes Milk Paint

You guys…I seriously can’t even believe I’m writing that title. Do you guys live with a lover of wood grain? You know, someone that can’t even bear to paint over “good wood” – me too! It’s really hard sometimes, especially when you know-that you know-that you know your kitchen cabinets would look SO much better if they were a gorgeous pale gray.

Over the years, I’ve been biding my time working on other rooms in the house, staying respectful of opinions that aren’t my own and above all remaining grateful to live in this little island cottage that bring so much joy.

Now imagine my pure elation when I was given the green light to paint the bathroom cabinet on Thursday, supplies at ready on Friday and a paint brush in hand on Saturday. Super exciting. Even more exciting was that I decided to use a new to me paint…General Finishes Milk Paint in Snow White…and I loved it!

Here’s a look at how we painted the bathroom cabinet and how it all started…




I decided to prep everything Friday afternoon/night and it made such a huge difference on Saturday morning when I was raring to go at 655am. This included laying down thick brown craft paper to help protect the floor and surfaces with blue painter’s tape,


removing all of the cabinet hardware on the doors



(consider using container with a locking lid to keep all of your hardware together)



removing the contents of the bathroom cabinets and making sure the cabinets are clean.


It also included lightly sanding the maple cabinets with 120-grit sandpaper,



brushing away any dust,


then cleaning with TSP. TSP is concentrated so you’ll need to make sure you add the appropriate amount of water based on the amount of TSP you’re using. The instructions for this can be found on the back of the TSP bottle.


Since this cabinet is going to be heavily used multiple times a day, we decided to prime the cabinet with Kilz first.


We used both a brush (for the inside/raised portion of the cabinets) and a foam roller (for the flat portions of the cabinet.


It cabinet is maple so we used two coats of primer in total.


We allowed the primer to dry overnight, then painted the cabinet with General Finishes Milk Paint in Snow White. This is the first time I’ve used this brand of milk paint and let me tell you guys, this stuff is awesome! As you guys know I’ve been a chalk paint girl for years. I loved this paint so much I’m already looking for something else to try it on.


The consistency of the paint is really easy to use straight out of the can (make sure you shake well/stir first) and the paint glides off the brush like butter. I’ll sing the praises of Purdy brushes any day of the week. They’re great for all different skill levels.


We lightly sanded using 320-grit sandpaper between coats of milk paint. While two coats of paint probably would have been ok, we had a few spots we had to touch up so I would say this entire bathroom cabinet took about 2 ¾ coats of milk paint.


The milk paint dried with a bit of a sheen (think a satin finish as opposed to flat or even eggshell finished) not at all like the matte finish of chalk paint.

General Finishes also has an easy to apply top coat called High Performance Top Coat which is a durable polyurethane great for bathroom cabinets and kitchen cabinets too. You’ll want to make sure you’ve allowed the paint on the cabinet to dry completely before applying the top coat. I would say at least 48 hours or longer.

I decided to keep the cabinet hardware the same. Right now, all of the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms have the exact same hardware. They’re all still in good shape too. On a side note, if you have several doors or drawers you’ll want to make sure you keep them well labeled during the painting process.

Here’s another look at the cabinet before…


and after…


You guys, I swear it makes the entire bathroom look bigger. I can’t even tell you how excited I am with how the bathroom looks now.


I hope you guys all have happy and relaxing weekend. We have a fun week coming up next week. I can’t wait to show you the rest of the bathroom makeover on Monday. Until then, I’ll see you on Facebook, Pinterest and on Instagram.

Many blessings,



  1. says

    Gorgeous, Coco! What a pretty and clean white. I have loved every General Finishes product I have tried, but haven’t yet given the milk paint a go! You’ve inspired me, now to talk the engineer in to painting our bathroom cabinets! 😉 If you’ve got any secrets for that part, let me know…

    • says

      ha ha did you read the part about waiting 7 years Kimm! It’s so hard when you’re trying to be respectful yet want to shout “just get on board already” from the rooftops. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you girl. Hugs, CoCo

    • says

      Oh my gosh, Amy, we have these same cabinets in our kitchen and I want to paint them so bad now. I had no idea they would look this good. I bet your cabinets are going to look great too. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you and you keep your fingers crossed for me! Hugs, CoCo