Tips for Using Sweet Pickins Milk Paint

function by design paint and furniture

Top Tips

Sweet Pickins Milk Paint is such a beautiful paint to use to paint your furniture. It will give you a silky soft finish to your piece that is easily distressed, which makes using milk paint perfect if you're after a vintage or weathered look.

The paint can however act differently on each piece. The amount of "chipping" that you get all depends on how much preparation you’ve done prior to painting. If your piece is porous, if you’ve used a primer and if your surface has been previously painted or is glossy are all factors that determine your final finish. I’ve learnt a few things whilst using Sweet Pickins Milk Paint and thought I’d share some of my top tips!


 Tip 1

Sweet Pickins Extra Bond

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Extra Bond is great to add to your paint if you don’t want a very chippy piece. After you use the Extra Bond you will need to wait at least 24 hours before applying your next coat. If you don’t wait and paint straight after the first coat is dry, the paint will be reactivated and you will get a lot of chipping.

If you don’t use any extra bond in your first coat, you can apply your second coat once the first coat is dry. This is usually between 30 mins to 1 hour. Extra Bond should only be added to the first coat.


Tip 2

Applying Sweet Pickins Milk Paint

The more coats of paint you apply to your piece, the more likely the paint will chip. This will happen even if you have used Extra Bond in the first coat. So, if you don’t want a chippy finish, try and complete your piece in a couple of coats. I know this is hard to do when using the white colours, because they can be translucent initially and take a few coats to get a good finish.

Usually your first coat won’t chip at all. If you’re going to get any chipping on your piece, it will happen on the second coat of paint as it’s drying.

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 Tip 3

Mixing Sweet Pickins Milk Paint

If you want a smoother finish, use a blender or mixer to mix your paint. I usually then wait 10-20 minutes for the bubbles to settle, that way there’s no lumps or air bubbles as you paint your piece. If you’re after a very chippy finish though, then just start painting straight away. The air bubbles will help with chipping when you’re sanding after the paint is dry.

I always lightly sand between each coat with a piece of 240 grit sandpaper. This will help give you a silky soft finish in the end.

mixing sweet pickins milk paint function by design paint and furniture


 Tip 4


I cannot stress enough that the final finish of your piece all depends on how much preparation you’ve done prior to painting. If you want a non-chippy finish, you must sand your piece very well and then give it a good clean. This can be done with a 1-part methylated spirits to 2-parts water mixture.

If you’re after a chippy finish, don’t worry too much about sanding. Just give your piece a wipe down and light scuff with sandpaper and don’t add Extra Bond to your first coat.

Hot weather and water (moisture in the air) will re-activate the paint and it will chip again! Believe me, I’ve made this mistake! I’ve painted a piece outside and left it on our covered deck on a hot summer’s day, thinking it would be okay because it was out of the sun. A few hours later it had chipped all over again! I had to re-sand and re-seal my piece!

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 Tip 5

Sweet Pickins Milk Paint Top Coat

Don’t apply your Top Coat too thickly. If you’ve distressed your piece ready to seal, the Top Coat will end up seeping under the chipped areas and create even more chipping.

If you apply the Top Coat too thickly, it will also make your paint look cloudy.

Another tip is to use either the Top Coat or any of the Bees Waxes to seal the whites or even the colour “Creamy” in the SPMP range. If you use an Oil Wax instead over any of these lighter colours, it will yellow the paint!


 Tip 6

Using Transfers

If you are using a Sweet Pickins Milk Paint rub on transfer on your piece, you can seal the piece as soon as the transfer has been rubbed on. Put the transfer straight onto your unsealed piece, so that your image sticks. You can then seal your whole piece with any of the sealers in the Sweet Pickins range. Here's a photo of Sausha, the creator of Sweet Pickins Milk Paint, using one of the Sweet Pickins rub on transfers.



 Tip 7

Outdoor Furniture

Sweet Pickins Milk Paint can be used to paint your outdoor furniture. If your piece is porous, you won’t need to use a sealer to finish your piece, as the paint will soak into the timber. If you do need to seal your furniture, the most suitable product in the range for outdoor use is Sweet Pickins Oil Wax. This product is the most durable in outdoor conditions.


❤ Tip 8

Painting Floors

You can also use Sweet Pickins Milk Paint to paint the floors in your house. Just be sure to seal it with a clear water-based varnish suitable for floors, which is available from any hardware store. Just make sure it definitely is a water-based varnish, otherwise the paint will yellow.


❤ Tip 9

Sweet Pickins Waxes

If you’ve sealed your piece with any of the waxes, you will need to let your furniture cure for 30 days. After this time your piece will be very durable and be able to withstand fingerprints or knocks.

I wouldn’t use bees wax on a piece that would need to be wiped down a lot though, for example a dining table. I would recommend an oil wax for a piece like this!

The Sweet Pickins Oil Waxes are also perfect to seal natural timber. The oil will soak into the wood and help to hydrate and seal the piece, giving it a very rich look.


So, you can see that Sweet Pickins Milk Paint has a lot of applications and finishes that will surely bring your home décor to life again!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or book into one of our painting workshops to learn more about Sweet Pickins Milk Paint!

Isabelle xx

Function by Design Paint & Furniture