I know I’ve shown a lot of the chippy goodness that can be created with Milk Paint. That’s just a look I love. Paint that held on to a piece of furniture that has been well-used and well-loved for generations. I love the character and uniqueness it gives to a piece. Chippy pieces are striking to my decorating eye.
While all of that is true and that chippy, time-worn, authentically-aged look can be achieved with MMS Milk Paint, it’s not the best thing milk paint can do.
Milk Paint is at its very best over raw wood. I’ve used a lot of different paints throughout my DIY career and I don’t know of another paint that is better over unfinished wood than milk paint.
Milk Paint has been around for thousands of years and is recognized as one of the earliest known paints. When you look at it from a historical perspective, it makes total sense. At the time milk paint was invented, women weren’t getting crazy ideas from DIY blogs and Pinterest. hunting for the right thing on Craig’s List and then sweetly asking her husband to recruit a couple of guys and a truck to pick up the piece she’s longing for…knowing it will be perfect once she can paint it and put on some new knobs. When milk paint was invented, a woman would look longingly at a tree and sweetly ask her husband to hack it down and make a hutch out of it.
It was raw wood.
Of course, milk paint has been modernized somewhat, but the basic ingredients are still the same. It’s a paint that is thinner than modern paints and it’s highly pigmented. It absorbs into raw wood more like a stain instead of sitting on top like other paints, but you get the opaque look of a paint. You don’t need to use primer and you get amazingly rich color that soaks in and will be there permanently…well, for a really, really long time. Just ask anyone who’s tried to strip a piece of antique furniture that was painted in milk paint. I don’t know why anyone would want to do that, but I’ve heard that it’s not an easy task.
Most of the pieces I paint have an existing finish, so I just go with it. I made this shelf for an HGTV project a while ago and it was the perfect time to use milk paint. It was raw pine and I painted it in one coat of Tricycle MMS Milk Paint with one coat of MMS Furniture Wax on top.
So, the next time you have raw wood to paint…whether it’s floor boards, cabinetry, a stripped piece of furniture, or a tree your husband hacked down and built you a hutch out of…give milk paint a try.
Now, if the chippy look is what you’re going for, you’re not going to get that on raw wood unless you apply a “resist” first.
But that’s another post…