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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Milk Paint 101

So, of course now that we have our very own
color collection with The Real Milk Paint Company,
We're getting lots of questions about how to use Milk Paint...

So here's a run-down
(watch for more detailed tutorials coming soon!)

Is Milk Paint Really Made From Milk?
Sort of...Milk Paint is made from a milk protein, casein
 that has been mixed with lime (not the fruit) and colored with natural pigments

How Do I Mix It? 
Simple! Milk Paint arrives in powder form, and you mix what you need with water
The powder/water ratio will vary based on your desired result

Do I Have to Prep the Surface?
In a word, yes...I know, I know...chalk paint has everyone spoiled!
If you don't want to prep the surface
(and by prep, I mean strip or still have to make sure the surface is clean!)
you'll need to use a Bonding Agent
Keep in mind, if you use the boding agent, you won't get the wonderful
chips, cracks, and distressing you normally get with Milk Paint!

 How Long Will the Mixed Paint Last?
We try to mix what we need for a project, but if we have extra,
we store it in the fridge for a few days

Milk Paint provides a variety of finishes:

How Do I Seal It?
You will need to seal the painted surface
with wax, top coat, soap stone sealer, or our favorite, Burnishing Paste
You can also glaze or dark wax over Milk Paint
and buff it to a gorgeous, velvety sheen

Here's the thing with Milk Paint...
you have to let go a little!
The paint really becomes an active participant in the creative process
(an artist in it's own right!)
It reacts unpredictably sometimes...
you never know where it will craze, crackle, chip, or peel

Natural pigments are used to color Milk Paint
and these pigments each have their own unique properties
causing the paint to react in it's own way...
it's a very organic experience! 

For us, that's the best part because the pieces have TONS of character
and it mimics the look of natural aging
(you can't get that look with a sanding block!)

If you've never used Milk Paint,
it's a very different experience from Chalk Paint...
You mix it yourself, it has a mind of it's own, and the end result
is honestly pretty incredible!


  1. Can you use the milk paint on top of a piece that has been painted and waxed with Chalk Paint? I've only used MP two times and I'd like to try to incorporate it into some of my pieces. As usual everything you do is just incredible!!!

    1. Thanks! I've painted milk paint over ASCP but not over a waxed piece. In theory, if the wax was cured and you either lightly sanded it or used Bonding Agent, it *should* stick, but I'd make sure the wax had plenty of time to cure. I won't even use ASCP over a waxed surface because I've had complete product failure doing that. I know *they* say you can, but I have my own set of "best practices" and painting over wax is a no-no for me without some prep first. If the wax gets hot at all and starts to get sticky or liquify, anything on top of it is compromised (and in Florida, even indoors, it's a real possibility!)

  2. I am looking to create some very chippy pieces just as you've pictured here and here. Do I understand correctly that milk paint can do this? Is there a particular technique or process? I'm considering taking all the furniture I own and putting it in the back yard for a couple of years. Milk paint could be a bit quicker! Thanks for your input.

    1. both those pieces were created w milk paint. Nothing is better (aside from time and use) at creating authentic looking distressing. It's trial and error to get the effect you want...nothing I can teach you in an email, sorry! Google milk paint, you'll find plenty of tutorials.

      Yes, much quicker than leaving it all outside for a few years :0) We use on all our milk painted pieces. Have fun and good luck!