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If Milk Paint freaks you out…


…this post may help prevent that.  Hopefully.

Let me start by saying that I love Milk Paint and I’m currently selling Milk Paint under my own brand.  That doesn’t mean that I think everyone else will love Milk Paint as much as I do or that I think it’s perfect for every painting situation.  I love it, but I can love it realistically.  So, when people tell me they are scared to try it, I understand.  It comes in powder form, which is different.  It has a different texture, which is…well…different.  It doesn’t behave the way modern paints do.  All of those things can freak people out.  BUT, it’s an amazing paint.  Everything that makes it different also makes it special.

I think the key to loving Milk Paint is understanding it.  I think it might help to show a piece in progress, so when your milk paint starts to look different from the other paints you’re used to, you don’t freak out.

This is my subject.  A 100+ year old wardrobe.  She’s a beauty.


One of my readers sent an amazing picture to me showing a fireplace surround she painted in Tricycle, Typewriter, then Shutter Gray.  It looked amazing, so I’m ripping her off.  :)  I told her I was and I’ll show you the piece she sent me.  (By the way, she doesn’t have a blog or I would link to her.)

Anyway, here is how the piece looked with one coat of Tricycle.  I decided not to paint the door panels, since I’m going to paint those in Grain Sack and they won’t get distressed a lot.  I did add the bonding agent, because I didn’t want chipping.


I used a fairly thin coat, since the final color isn’t going to be Tricycle.


I then painted on a thin coat of Typewriter over the Tricycle, again leaving the door panels unpainted.



…and now Shutter Gray…



See.  This is the stage of the game where some people might freak out.  It looks streaky.  The finish is uneven.  I’ve said it before…there is almost always a point as I’m working on a piece of furniture when I hate it and want to haul it to the closest thrift store just to get it out of my sight.  I resist that urge, though, knowing it’s going to look amazing in the end.



Now, I have no idea how this cool texture happened.  It looks like crackling, but it’s smooth.  That’s just how it happened and I’m sort of digging it.  It just goes to show how unexpected furniture painting can be.  I am afraid I’m going to lose it with the second coat, but we’ll see.



So, if you’re working on a piece and it looks like this about halfway through, don’t fret.  It’s going to look much, much better once it’s done.  Just get through the ugly stage.



I also wanted to show what the paint I was using looked like.  This is paint that was mixed up about ten days ago with the bonding agent added.  I left it sitting on my workbench covered with plastic wrap.  It was thick and the pigment was separated, but I added more water and stirred it around.


 It was a little lumpy, but went on smooth.


So, if your paint looks like this, it’s okay.  If latex paint looks like this, something is wrong, but it’s okay for Milk Paint to look a little funky.  Just remember it’s different.  And the differences are what make it a great paint.

Here are a couple other pieces in the hopper…



I know.  I love a good caned French chair.

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  1. Kelly Lavery says:

    I love the color Arabasque so much, but I’m working on a bookshelf & the piece looks so blotchy and streaky. What am I doing wrong?

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