milk paint

Use milk paint for unique soft, rustic furniture

You may have heard of chalk paint, but there is a new kid on the block: Milk paint. Technically not at all new, the process behind milk paint has been used for thousands of years. It is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and you can mix and match colors to create your own shade. Nowadays it is the richly pigmented competitor to currently taking over for furniture, walls, cabinets, and more.

Find out here what milk paint is, how to use milk paint, and where to find the best milk paint products in USA.


Why milk paint has many advantages

If you’ve ever been on the home makeover section of Pinterest or seen late night repeats of renovation shows from the last few years, you have come across milk paint. The reason why milk paint is so successful, and why it works as an interior paint, for wood and timber, but also plaster: its short list of ingredients. The simple combination of lime, skim milk (or casein, a protein in milk), and pigment, milk paint has been around for thousands of years and is one of the oldest recipes for paint in the world. Currently milk paint is seeing a resurgence in popularity. Why? The advantages of milk paint are:

  • Environmentally safe, non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Fast drying, solvent free, and low odor
  • A richly colored matte finish
  • Customization – colors can be blended, and the finish can be solid color, stain, or made to chip or crackle
  • Indefinite shelf life as powder in sealed bag

Tips for working with milk paint

Milk paint is marketed as a powder that you have to mix at home right before using it for makeover of your furniture. Though the idea of buying paint in powder form may be intimidating, there’s no need for anxiety. Just follow these simple tips for the perfect application, and you’ll see that it all depends on a good mixture.

Work out the look you want before you get to mixing – If you want full opaque color, you will need to add less water. For more of a wash effect, more water will need to added.

  • The trick to a great finish is all in a proper mixing – For first timers, test a small amount of powder to see how it responds to water and to get a feel for it. Mixing can be done with a small whisk, a milk frother, or even a blender. For an opaque finish you are going for the consistency of cream, or thinner for a wash. Do not whisk into a froth. Do not bung all the water in at once – you don’t want to go too far before you’ve begun.
  • Don’t panic if lumps form – Lumps forming is totally normal! After mixing, leave the paint for a few minutes for the casein and lime to do their work and dissolve. Any remaining small lumps will brush out as you apply the paint (or they can be sanded out with a fine sandpaper afterwards).
  • Bonding agents and finishing oils are up to you – Do you want the chipped, antiqued look for your final finish or a clean and full finish? A bonding agent will work to keep the paint attached to the substrate. Without the bonding agent the paint will age and give an antique look.
  • When it comes to application, how much or how little paint you use is up to you and the look you want. If you want the wood grain to shine through, a single coat of wash is the way to go. For solid colors, one to two coats will achieve the look you want. And now you’re ready to go!

Best milk paint products available in the United States

The popularity of milk paint and chalk paint is leading to a proliferation of businesses with products in the states. Below we have listed some of the top milk paint brands and the products they produce.

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

Manufactured by Homestead House, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is the creation of “Miss Mustard Seed” a DIY/home decor blogger and author who wanted her own line of milk paints in all her favorite colors. And her favorite colors are fab. With the quality production of Homestead House behind her, this is a classy product with a beautiful range of 25 shades including Apron Strings (a light pink), Eulalie’s Sky (a vibrant aqua), Marzipan, and of course, Mustard Seed.

Real Milk Paint

Products from The Real Milk Paint Co. are made in the USA. Their minimal black-and-white pots create an idea of their simple but clever approach. So is the instruction: Just add water. You can try that and choose one of the 50 color shades like Dijon, Spearmint and Granny Smith Green. As a real milk paint, this one is of course environmentally safe and too.

Rust-Oleum Milk Paint

Even Rust-Oleum is getting in on the milk paint game. Their color range is limited to a choice of Classic White, Ocean Blue, and Pewter Grey, but they do have the advantage of longevity after mixing. though usually once the paint is mixed you need to use it as quickly as possible, Rust-Oleum milk paint will remain stable for two weeks.


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