What is Milk Paint?
It’s a powdered, all natural paint (no VOC’s) that has been around for thousands of years. It was found in the pyramids in Egypt and on ancient cave paintings. It’s been used in America for years on furniture, walls, barns, etc. It is a versatile paint that can be used to achieve a variety of looks from chippy and distressed to smooth and sleek.
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…
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!
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!
How do I get the “chippy look”?
The chippy look is one of the most popular finishes for Milk Paint, but it can sometimes be a bit tricky to accomplish. Here are some things to consider when trying to achieve this look:
I wanted my piece to chip, but it didn’t. How can I make it happen?
If you want the Milk Paint to resist certain areas, we recommend trying an advanced technique by using the Hemp Oil or Wax Pucks. Simply apply the Hemp Oil generously in areas where chipping is desired. Apply the paint immediately over entire surface. The paint will look will separate and pool some on the areas where oil was applied. Don’t over work the paint on those areas. As paint dries, it will start to peel and flake, creating and authentic, chipped finish. Wipe or light sand loose paint and finish with any MMS Wax or Hemp Oil.
To use the Wax Puck as a resist, apply one coat of milk paint and allow it to dry. Rub the Wax Puck over the edges, corners and “high points” of the piece. Anywhere the wax is applied will resist the paint, so make sure it is applied randomly and in places where paint would naturally wear over time. Apply a second coat of milk paint and allow it to dry completely. Distress surface with fine grit sand paper or damp cotton cloth to easily remove the paint where wax was applied. revealing first coat underneath. Finish with Furniture Wax, Hemp Oil, White Wax or Antiquing Wax.
Both give authentic aged patinas!