Pearl Effects

Pearl Effects are water-based, acrylic, pearlescent paints used to create specialty finishes. They may be applied to General Finishes water-based stains, paints, and topcoats to produce shimmering, metallic effects.​

<--Pearl Effects Brochure

<--Safety Sheet Pearl Effect

<--Professional Enduro Catalog

Colors-Peral Effect

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General Finishes Pearl Effects must be applied over a sealed surface, such as General Finishes Milk Paint or General Finishes High-Performance Topcoat.


  • Over a Newly Sealed Surface

If Pearl Effects are applied over a newly sealed surface, it is not necessary to sand the sealed surface before application.


  • Over a Previous Existing Finish

If Pearl Effects are applied over an older, existing finish, prep cleaning and sanding is required to remove dirt, grime and potential contaminants.


Sand glossy existing finishes with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper before applying Pearl Effects.

ALWAYS apply Pearl Effects over a sealed surface, such as General Finishes High-Performance Topcoat or General Finishes Milk Paint; we recommend 1-2 coats of sealant before application. Sand glossy existing finishes with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper before applying Pearl Effects.


  1. Pearl Effects will separate in the can. Stir paint to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom before and throughout the application process. TIP: turn can upside down before stirring to make it easier to mix.

  2. If desired, thin Pearl Effects with distilled water, General Finishes Extender or High-Performance Topcoat. Add 5% to dry-brush, add 10% to create a glaze. Add more for a translucent look. The extender will improve flow and leveling and increase open time; helpful in dry climates.

  3. Apply 1 + coat of Pearl Effects:

    • Hand application: Apply using an acrylic bristle brush, foam brush, paint pad applicator or roller.

    • Spray application: Before spraying, strain paint through a medium-mesh filter. HVLP: 1.3mm-1.5mm spray tip, medium air cap. Verify tip sizes with your equipment supplier. See our general guide for spray tip sizes. Keep your gun at a 90* angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large, flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6-8" wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" wide to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass 25% to conceal lines. Wear a full filter respirator (NIOSH/MSHA approved) and work in a ventilated space. Visit this FAQ for more information on spraying techniques.

  4. Dry 3+ hours between coats and before topcoat in ideal conditions: 70*F 20*C; 50-70% humidity. Allow to dry completely. If in doubt, wait longer. Rushing dry time can cause clouding/blush in topcoat due to moisture trapped between coats. Increase dry time if: 

    • Humidity is over 80%

    • 3+ coats are applied

    • A thick coat is applied

    • Working over a previously existing finish

    • Layering General Finishes water- and oil-based products:

      • Water over oil: Let oil-based products dry 72+hr before applying water-based products

      • Oil over water: Let water-based products dry 24+hr before applying oil-based products

    • To accelerate dry time in humid conditions, add General Finishes Accelerator and work in a space with good ventilation and air movement. If you decide to re-coat before the recommended time, test dryness. 

  5. If a smoother texture is desired, finish sand between coats with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper to improve smoothness and adhesion.

  6. Remove dust with a vacuum, oil-free tack cloth or clean water dampened rag before re-coating.

  7. Always seal Pearl Effects with 2-3 coats of clear topcoat.


Cure Time
Water-based finishes cure and harden for full use after 21 days in ideal conditions. Avoid placing heavy objects on surfaces that have not completely cured. Treat gently, and do not clean with commercial products during the curing period.

Creative Techniques Using Pearl Effects      (All videos are attached in Video division )

ALWAYS seal General Finishes Pearl Effects with 2-3 coats of clear topcoat, e.g. General Finishes High-Performance Topcoat. 


Topcoat Recommendations


  • Low- to High-Wear Surfaces: High-Performance Topcoat (brush or spray), General Finishes Enduro Clear Poly (spray only)

  • Low- to Medium-Wear Surfaces: General Finishes Flat Out Flat Topcoat (brush or spray)



  • General Finishes Pearl Effects

  • General Finishes Extender OR General Finishes High Performance Topcoat


Create a glaze by thinning Pearl Effects with 10% Extender or High Performance Topcoat.


  1. Dry Brush



  • General Finishes Pearl Effects

  • General Finishes Extender

  • Assorted Bristle Brushes



  1. Reduce Pearl Effects by 5% with Extender.

  2. Lightly dust the mixture onto the surface with a bristle brush.

  3. For extra protection after applying Pearl Effects, seal with 1-2 coats of High-Performance Topcoat. Lightly sand between coats using a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper.


   2. Shimmer



  • General Finishes Pearl Effects

  • General Finishes High Performance Topcoat


Thin Pearl Effects with 50-80% High Performance Topcoat.


   3.Scandinavian Mixed Media Technique with Efex



  • General Finishes Chalk Style Paint: Summertime Blue

  • General Finishes Chalk Style Paint: Charleton Blue

  • General Finishes Chalk Style Paint: French Vanilla

  • General Finishes Glaze Effects: Van Dyke Brown

  • General Finishes Pearl Effects: Burnished Pearl

  • Water-Based Topcoat: Flat

  • Rapid Fuse Glue

  • Efex Molding

  • Assorted Foam & Chip Brushes

  • Spray Water Bottle

  • Paper Towels



  1. Apply Efex with Dap Rapid Fuse Glue.

  2. Paint 1 to 2 coats of Summertime Blue Chalk Style Paint.

  3. Lightly wet-brush French Vanilla Chalk Style Paint over the piece.

  4. Wet-brush Charleton Blue Chalk Style Paint in corners and edges, dampen with water to lessen the effect. Blot with a paper towel. Let dry.

  5. Apply Van Dyke Glaze Effects to the entire piece. Use a wet brush or water bottle to lessen effect where needed. Wipe back.

  6. Apply Burnished Pearl Effects to corners and over Efex molding.

  7. Seal with 2-3 coats of flat water-based topcoat.



   4. Aged Metallic Finish



  • General Finishes Chalk Style Paint: Slate Gray

  • General Finishes Glaze Effects: Pitch Black

  • General Finishes Pearl Effects: Argentine Pearl

  • General Finishes Pearl Effects: Bronze Pearl

  • General Finishes Pearl Effects: Tawny Pearl

  • Water-Based Topcoat

  • Assorted Foam & Chip Brushes

  • Spray Water Bottle

  • Paper Towels



  1. Paint 1 to 2 coats of Slate Gray Chalk Style Paint.

  2. Paint Argentine Pearl Effects thickly in a crisscross pattern, leaving strokes visible.

  3. Paint on Bronze & Tawny Pearl Effects in a crisscross pattern randomly in a few spots. Let dry.

  4. Apply Pitch Black Glaze Effects, wipe off immediately.

  5. Spray water on to remove more glaze if desired.

  6. Seal with 3 coats of water-based topcoat.

Limited Warranty

General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using, including compatibility with other manufacturers products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products and will not be responsible for any costs such as labor, damage, or replacement costs.


If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects. Do not swallow; first aid: drink water to dilute product. May cause eye and skin irritation; first aid: flush eyes thoroughly with water. This product contains a chemical know to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects. Chemicals that also are included in all the products of General Finishes Company.

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Phone :    818-845-5975

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