FAQ about Milk Paint
Whenever I mention to people that I paint furniture with milk paint, I get asked a lot of questions. So I thought I’d write about the most common questions that I get asked.
What is milk paint and is it a real paint?
The short answer is yes, it's just not in the form that you're used to using. Although milk paint comes as a powder that needs to be mixed with water, it is a real paint. It’s specifically designed to paint wood and adheres especially well to raw timber, because it soaks in like a stain. This makes milk paint perfect for painting furniture. Milk paint also behaves differently on each piece of furniture, depending on how you’ve prepared the piece for painting. So you could get a finished look that’s extremely chippy and vintage looking, or you could get a very sleek, modern finish. It’s very versatile that way.
What I love about milk paint is that it is 100% natural and is VOC free. This means that I can paint inside our house without the usual paint smells that can linger for days! The powder contains all natural ingredients consisting of limestone and casein, which is the milk paint protein.
How do you use milk paint?
As mentioned earlier, milk paint comes in powder form and will need to be mixed well with warm water in order to make it into a paint mixture. This step in the process might discourage some people from using milk paint. However, once you’ve used this product you will see how easy it is to use and will quickly gain confidence for your future furniture painting projects!
When I first used milk paint, it was explained to me that if you can make a cup of hot chocolate or a cup of coffee then you can make milk paint. Just mix together a 1:1 ratio of powder to water and stir for approximately one minute, or until all of the lumps have dissipated. Once you have a melted milkshake consistency, you are ready to paint. I usually let the paint sit for about 10 minutes before I start painting my piece. That way there are no air bubbles that can cause an uneven finish to your final product.
Obviously, you can play around with the ratio depending on what application you need. Add more powder if it’s too runny and you’re getting drips when you paint, or add more water if you want more of a translucent finish (for example when staining, whitewashing or even spray painting a piece in a spray gun). Also add more water if your brush is dragging when you paint.
After painting your final coat, you will need to seal the piece to ensure durability with any one of the sealing products in the Sweet Pickins Milk Paint range.
Is milk paint only for painting furniture?
Milk paint is not just for furniture! There are many other applications where it can be used. For example, to paint internal walls, metal, glass & concrete just to name a few things. I’ve even seen people paint their front doors with milk paint! You just need to be mindful of how you prep the surface prior to painting. Sanding will enable the paint to better adhere to the surface that you’re painting. If you’re not after a very “chippy” look, once you’ve sanded and cleaned you’re surface area, just add Extra Bond from the Sweet Pickins Milk Paint product range to your already made up paint. This product acts like glue and will help your paint stick to your piece.
What’s the difference between milk paint & chalk paint?
Both paints are great for achieving different looks. With these paints, you can achieve a distressed look and a crackling effect to your paint finish.
I have used both paints and so far my preference would be for milk paint. I’m absolutely in love with coastal/Hampton’s style furniture, especially the distressing around the edges of the piece! Milk paint would be my preferred paint to use here. It allows for easy distressing, without all of the elbow grease needed to sand the edges when using other paints. If you don’t want your piece to look too “chippy” though, you can control the finished look with extra prep work in the beginning and Extra Bond from the Sweet Pickins range!
With milk paint, you get to control the density of the paint that you want to work with too. By having to add water to the powder in order to make up the paint, you get to make the mixture as thick or as runny as you like. Chalk paint on the other hand is quite thick and if you try to water it down, I find you get a very streaky finish to your painted piece.
With both milk paint and chalk paint, just be mindful of the fact that you will need to seal your final coat with either a top coat or wax. The sealer will then need at least 28 days to cure before using your finished piece.
Apart from the chippy finish of milk paint, I would say that the main difference between the two paints is that apparently there’s no sanding or prep work involved with chalk paint. I, however, would sand each piece regardless of what paint I'm using! I'm a firm believer that the prepping of the piece always determines the quality of your final finish!
Everyone has their own preferred paint though. It all depends on the look that you want to achieve. To get the coastal look, it’s Sweet Pickins Milk Paint for me!
Is milk paint durable on furniture?
In order for milk paint to be durable, it needs to be sealed with one of the finishing products in the Sweet Pickins range. These include soft waxes, oil waxes or top coat. Each product is very durable and gives a very soft, silky lustre to the finished piece. The soft waxes will need to be buffed off once applied, the oil waxes will need to be wiped off once the oil has soaked in and the top coat can be applied with a brush and left on, just like applying varnish. The choice of sealer is completely up to you! It’s all about your preference of product to use. All three will be enough to make your finished top coat very durable! You just need to be careful with your furniture until the sealer has cured. Then it’s very durable!
I hope all of this information has helped you understand milk paint a little better! Once you get started using this product to paint your furniture, you will never look back!
Instructions on how to use the Sweet Pickins Milk Paint products are included on all the packaging, so refer to this before getting started on your project! Everything you need can be found on my website, so start ordering today!
Stay tuned for my next blog on “My Top 15 Tips & Tricks When Using Sweet Pickins Milk Paint!”