How to Use Milk Paint as a Stain

I'll admit, I'm fairly new to milk paint. I was always a little hesitant to use it, because of the whole "you don't know where it will chip" factor (Don't worry, we have things to help with that). And, the fact that you mix it yourself was always a little overwhelming.

During the last couple of months, I've been experimenting and using it more. I've discovered colors that I would never have chosen for a piece of furniture before, are now among my very faves. I have my preferred methods of mixing the paint. And, I love that I'm able to control the amount of coverage. For instance, did you know that by mixing in more water, you can use it as a stain? Which leads us to....

This is not an exact measurement and it doesn't have to be. I filled my container with water and then added a couple of scoops (tablespoons) of Miss Mustard Seed's Curio. Here's the coverage when mixed with the recommended ratio (1 part milk paint to 1 part water):

Here it is when mixed as a stain. You are looking for a watery consistency. The mix below had no "thickness" too it, like paint. It was a dark, watery mix. I mixed the milk paint and water in a container with a lid. Just put it all in, add the lid, and shake it up.

We used Curio to stain the workshop table we'll have in the shop. Jeff built the table out of Douglas Fir. I gave it a very light sanding to smooth it out. Here's what one brush of paint looked like:

And here's what it looked like as it soaked into the wood. Once I got it all painted, I took a rag and wiped it down. However, most of it had already soaked in.

Here's the finished product. I LOVE it. The finish doesn't resemble paint at all -- it totally looks and feels like it's been stained. We finished it with Howard Feed-N-Wax. It deepened the color and will help protect the top. Miss Mustard Seed's Hemp Oil would also be beautiful on this (I opted for Howard's because it's such a huge table).

If you are interested in using milk paint as a stain, we carry the entire line of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in our shop.