Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Milk Paint

Just some thoughts, comments and advice on using milk paint based on my (limited) experience so far:

I have only worked with Real Milk Paint – I love their products (look at their Soy-Gel Stripper and Citrus Solvent too) but there are other companies out there…

I highly recommend the Anti-Foaming agent. With our water, things ended up more like milk paint mousse until I started using this stuff.

I like using quart sized, wide-mouth mason jars for mixing and storing the paint.

If you just mix the powder and the water by shaking, you get a much more textured (gritty) paint that has a very interesting look, but will need some work (rubbing down).

If you use some kind of blender/mixer (I use a mixing wand – corded no less! I am so ashamed…) you get a very smooth and even paint.

Remember to stir the paint often as you use it – there tends to be a subtle shift in the color/consistency as you use it up. I probably extenuate the situation by always trying to mix up “just enough” to get by – sort of like Kramer and the fuel light.

It dries fast! You can do a second coat or top coat with oil/wax in about 3 hours! Love it!

Non-toxic! Yes!

Low, low odor! Sort of a pleasing wet cement-ish smell to my nose…

Normal mix 1:1 (powder:water) for opaque (two coats) or 1:2 for a wash.

Very easy to mix colors to create new hues.

Get the Color Sticks - way better than the computer monitor for judging final results.

Keeps in the fridge for a good while.

Cleans up with good old water!

Dries FLAT! Which some people find attractive – but I like it much better after the oil/wax hits it.

I usually make a test board or two and play around with the paint and oil combos. Sometimes I like the Tried and True Danish Oil (cradle) and sometimes I prefer the look of the Dark Tung Oil that Real Milk Paint also sells. On the latest project (chest) I just went with my own mineral oil/beeswax mix – also looked great.

Here’s a (totally staged) shot of my paint kit:


  1. Thanks, Dan! Very helpful. Love the old finger-jointed boxes you use as storage for your paint supplies.

  2. Thanks - the boxes where one of those purchases where I didn't have a purpose for them, but they were too cool to pass up, and I was sure a use would reveal itself eventually. It did. Now I only wish I had more...


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