From a First-Timer: Three Tips for Using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

This post first appeared on my other blog, Vanilla Bean. As promised, here are my lessons learned, or three tips, for getting started with using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. I'm not going into a ton of how-to detail below...MMS and others out there do a great job of giving milk paint tutorials. The tips below highlight the biggest "pains" (for lack of a better word) I had. I'm just the average furniture painter...with some projects under her belt. Looking to branch out. So, here we go...

1. Watch Miss Mustard Seed's video tutorial. Alot.

I watched the first tutorial three times. Okay...maybe four. But, that last time was solely just to hear that catchy little intro music she has. The videos are helpful and reassuring...mixing your own paint can be scary. And, the texture is unlike any other paint.

It's best to be prepared... 

2. Use a mason jar to mix your paint.

At first, I tried the "mix in a plastic cup" method. There's a couple possible reasons why this wasn't working for me. I put in waaaay too much water. Like a 3 (water)-1 (milk paint powder) ratio. Due to the lack of a nice wooden stick like MMS uses, I used a knife to stir the paint. Then the end of my favorite wooden spoon (may it RIP). I'm also a very impatient person. After mixing for what seemed like 5 agonizing hours, I still had this:

So, I put the proper amounts (1:1 ratio of milk paint powder and warm water) in a mason jar and shook away. I added a tad bit more water (technically, the suggested ratio is 1 part powder to 1 1/2 parts water). MUCH better. While the texture of milk paint is alot different than other paints (it's grainy), it was smooth, mixed and much easier to paint on.

Super cute jar you won't see a trifle in later this week.

 3. Throw caution to the wind.

For the most part, once you put milk paint on, you don't know what's going to happen. While MMS does have a bonding agent that prevents the chippiness; for me, the purpose of buying this paint WAS the chippiness. The paint on your piece might chip and flake off easily. There might not by any chipping at all. Or, there might be a little. With a some effort. But, that's what makes it so fun.

The dresser below was stained and looked like it had a layer of poly on it. I didn't sand it. I barely cleaned the dust off it. In some areas (mostly the sides), the chippiness took alot of work with a putty knife (and even then, I barely had any). There were areas on the top and on the dresser drawers where the paint cracked and were easier to chip off with the putty knife. It wasn't an easy scrape...it took some work. But, I know that was just this piece. Other people have different results. Which is the cool part about this paint.

Also, once the milk paint was dry and adequately flaked off, I was freaking out a bit. I used the color Tricycle. It was a dull red. I was a little mad. Look at the drawers below. Dull!

I finished the piece with Annie Sloan's dark wax...simply because I had some on hand. MMS  has a whole line of finishing products that I look forward to using soon. I should have known from my experience with chalk paint, that once the wax is applied, the real transformation begins.

The colors popped. The chippiness stood out. And, the entire piece is sooo smooth.

I was in love.

{Please standby for an obscene amount of photos of the same dresser. It's mandatory}.

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial
Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial
Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial
Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial
Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial Tricycle
Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial Tricycle
Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial Tricycle
Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial Tricycle
Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Tricycle

So, that's it! Here's the before and after. Technically, this piece is slated to be in our closet (Mr. VB thinks it's a shame). I'm starting to think so too.

If you haven't jumped onto the milk paint bandwagon yet, I hope these tips help you! I would love to hear your thoughts on your first time with milk paint!

The 36th Avenue