Milk Paint FAQs

What is Milk Paint? Milk Paint is ancient all-natural paint containing basic ingredients including milk protein (casein), limestone, clay and natural pigments. When absorbed into the surface, Milk Paint will never chip nor peel when applied to a raw wood surface. It is suitable for both interior and exterior applications and is naturally mold-resistant. Milk Paint provides a completely breathable coating and is ideal for painting wood, plaster and when combined with bonding agent, a variety of other surfaces! It is UV-tested and won’t fade over time, is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and VOC-free!

What is the difference between Milk Paint and Chalk Paint? These are two totally different kinds of paint.  Both have advantages and disadvantages and can be used in a variety of ways.  Here are some of the similarities and differences…

  • Milk Paint comes in powdered form and needs to be mixed with water.  Chalk Paint is sold in a traditional liquid quart.
  • Milk Paint has great adhesion on raw wood that will never chip/peel or fade.  Add the bonding agent on previously finished surfaces to improve adhesion.  Chalk Paint has great adhesion on most any surface without the addition of a bonding agent.
  • Milk Paint will show wood grain in most cases and can be used as a stain.  Chalk Paint is thicker and covers wood grain in most cases.
  • Milk Paint can be distressed and/or crackled and will resist some finishes giving an authentic chippy, aged look.  Chalk Paint can be distressed and crackled, but will not chip.
  • Milk Paint is a 100% natural, zero VOC paint that is completely biodegradable and non toxic.

What is the best way to mix Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint? There are many ways to mix the milk paint, we offer guidelines on how to mix it and what consistency to look for, however we encourage to always test out a small amount to make sure that you are happy with the mixture. Milk Paint can be a stain or a solid opaque paint depending on how much water you add.

For a solid opaque look: Mix one part water to one part Milk Paint powder. Add water to container/jar first, then add powder and mix with a whisk, electric milk frother or blender. For a super smooth finish,use a blender for best results, otherwise mix with a frother or a whisk for an additional 1-2 minutes for a super fine mix. Mixed Milk Paint should have a table cream consistency for opaque coverage. Once satisfied with consistency, test out a small sample to see if desired consistency is reached. If the brush drags, the mixture is too thick (opaque) and you need to add more water.  If sample drips and is too thin (transparent), then add more powder. Adjust as required, and start painting! Note: Mixing Milk Paint can be like baking bread and the amount of water required will vary based on the humidity of the day and location.  It can also vary depending on the amount of pigment in the color being mixed.

How much will one quart of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint cover? This depends on the surface being painted and how much water is added when mixing. The paint coverage will be different on bare wood and porous vs. shiny, previously coated pieces that require the bonding agent. Typically one quart of a very light white will cover approximately 50-70 sq ft, whereas a darker color will cover 70 + sq ft. For example, one quart will cover a large armoire/hutch OR a dresser and two side tables.

My paint looks lumpy and uneven – is the Milk Paint bad?The majority of the texture and application issues lie in the method the Milk Paint was mixed. A good mix is key to a great finish. Make sure you are stirring your Milk Paint until most of the paint is dissolved. A mini whisk, milk frother, or blender are great tools for smooth mixes. Let the paint sit for a few minutes after mixing to allow limestone and clay dissolve. If you are painting a large project, stir the paint every few minutes to prevent clay from settling and pigments from separating and dip your brush all the way to the bottom of the container.  The paint at the top will be thinner and more translucent, especially if a frother was used to mix paint. Some lumpiness is normal and will usually brush out once paint is applied. Small lumps can be smoothed out with a fine sand paper after it’s dry, and can lead to some unique finishes!

Is Milk Paint good for raw wood? Yes, it’s one of the best paints for raw wood.  It acts like a stain, but looks like a paint.  The color will penetrate the wood for a lasting finish that won’t chip or flake.  This makes it an ideal paint for raw wood cabinets or floors.

When should I use bonding agent? When the surface is previously finished, painted with a non-porous paint or sealed. Milk paint will resist and chip if it cannot be absorbed, as it is in porous surfaces and raw wood. The ratios of bonding agent can be adjusted depending on the amount of seal or shine on the piece being painted. Do not use the bonding agent or use it in select areas if a “chippy” look is desired.  Remember that painting a pre-finished without sanding and/or using the Bonding Agent is unpredictable!  Here is a tutorial on using the bonding agent: http://www.alldolledupwichita.com/bonding-agent/

What is the Furniture Wax? The Furniture Wax is used as a protective topcoat.  It’s similar to other waxes on the market, except it’s creamier and very low odor. Apply it to a piece of raw wood, stained wood or painted furniture with a cloth or brush.  Buff after about 5-10 minutes.  Apply additional coats for a higher sheen and more durability.

Is wax a durable finish? YES, it’s a very durable finish.  If it’s marred, just lightly sand and add another coat of wax.  Refinishing the entire piece is not required. I have it on my kitchen table and it has held up beautifully to two young boys!

Can I use the Furniture Wax, Antiquing Wax or White Wax over other paints?  Or can I use another brand of wax over MMS Milk Paint? Yes, you can use other waxes on Milk Paint and you can use MMS Waxes on acrylic, chalk/clay paints, flat latex, stained wood, etc.

What’s the difference between Antiquing Wax and Furniture Wax? Antiquing wax has dark pigment in it that will age and darken your paint. Furniture wax will dry clear and give your colors the richness that they need after they dry. Here are a couple of posts about using the antiquing wax:

http://missmustardseed.com/2013/06/painted-bar-stool-tutorial-part-2/

http://missmustardseed.com/2013/06/antiquing-wax-tutorial/

What is the Hemp Oil? Hemp Oil is a finish that is a nice alternative to the wax.  It is all natural, so it’s great for people who are sensitive to chemicals.  Hemp Oil is best when it’s applied to a porous surface (like raw wood, stained wood or Milk Painted raw wood.)  It will absorb into the surface, creating a durable finish.  It can be used over Milk Paint over an old finish as well, though.  Wipe on with a clean cloth, wipe away excess.  Apply additional coats for more shine and durability.  This is also a great product to revive dry, tired wood.

Do I have to prime before using Milk Paint? No.  You can simply apply the bonding agent to the first coat of paint.  That will make the first coat act almost like a colored primer.  You do not need to add the bonding agent to the second coat. If the “chippy” look is desired, do not use the bonding agent and do not prep the piece.

Ready to start your projects? You can buy online here!
Our Starter Kits include everything you need to paint your first piece. Choose your own colors & finishes.

laylas-mint-collage Typewriter-Collage flow-blue-Collage

Want to read up a bit more?  Check out these Tips, Tricks and Tutorials:

   

Check out our Milk Paint Playlist on YouTube as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHnLlFECg-0&list=PLWlsnmiI3GJos8ewE2ssAxqYhIFpwKyFA
Milk Paint by Numbers | Carver Junk Company |Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint