Real Milk Paint…
…..is my favorite paint! With 3 different types of paint available in our shop, this is the answer to the frequently asked question, “What is your favorite paint?” This is not to say that I don’t stand behind all of our paint products. I can’t sell something that I don’t believe to be a good product. I, of course, use all of our paints and many times, I will use them together on the same project. I’m not writing this to convince you that milk paint is the best. I am writing this however, to lessen the mystery of milk paint because the other question that I get asked often is, “What is the difference between milk paint and chalk paint? There is quite a big difference in milk paint and most every other paint on the market. So rather than trying to compare milk paint to chalk paint or to any other paint for that matter, I will share with you some basic information about milk paint to help you understand more clearly the difference.
Let me begin by sharing with you a little bit about the Tennessee based company who makes our milk paint…
I was so excited when I received my first shipment of milk paint in November 2012, just 2 months prior to opening our shop doors in January 2013. I spent about a year and a half, researching chalk type paints and milk paints, as well as the companies that made them and I have absolutely no regrets for the company that I chose to retail for…
THE REAL MILK PAINT COMPANY!
TEN THINGS I LOVE about REAL MILK PAINT Company and their paint:
- Real Milk Paint is made in America by a well-established company that has been in operation since 1994. The owner originally made his own milk paint for his antique restoration business many years prior to establishing The Real Milk Paint Company.
- They are a family owned and operated small business and understand the challenges of owning your own business and appreciate what it takes for me as a retailer to become established and financially successful. With this in mind, there are no minimums when ordering, so I do not have to order more stock than what I really need for my customers. This makes the cost of keeping products in stock reasonable allowing us to have our products readily available for you the consumer. The affordable cost of their products gets passed down to the consumer, as well.
- They have evolved and stayed current with the trends, which has increasingly moved in the direction of the “do it yourselfer” who enjoys furniture painting.
- They have AMAZING colors to choose from! They have added some trendy and more modern colors to their line, but have also remained true to their historical and traditional color palettes.
- They have a number of other products that compliment milk paint, making it extremely versatile for many different applications.
- Milk paint has been around for hundreds and even thousands of years. Furniture that was painted prior to the turn of the 20th Century would have primarily been painted with milk paint. If you find an antique painted piece of furniture in good condition, it will most likely have its original milk painted finish intact.
- Real milk paint gives the look of old world painted furniture and cabinetry. It is a painted finish that is extremely resilient and hardwearing with a very smooth; “no brush strokes” finish.
- Because milk paint is a penetrating paint, it soaks into unfinished wood and binds with the fibers beneath the surface of the wood. This means it will not flake or peel, EVER! Modern day paints lie on top of the surface and eventually moisture builds up between the paint and the surface of the wood causing it to flake and peel off. Milk paint is effective for plaster and other permeable substrates, as well.
- Real Milk Paint is authentic; it’s not a simulated milk paint or repackaged from another company.
- One of the best things about Real Milk Paint, is that it is made from organic materials, including powdered purified casein, lime and pigments making it an all natural, environmentally safe paint, which has ZERO VOC’s, no toxins and is safe to use indoors. AND it is biodegradable. What does that mean? It means that it can be poured onto your lawn or garden without harming it and not only that, it is actually a great fertilizer for your lawn and garden! How cool is that!!
MILK PAINT BASICS:
- Milk paint comes in a powder form and must be mixed in a one to one ratio of warm water and milk paint powder. The amount of water can be adjusted to create a wash, by adding more water or for a thicker paint just add less.
- Milk paint is not a self-priming paint, meaning it will not adhere well to previously finished surfaces without adding a bonding agent.
- Adding a bonding agent to your mixed milk paint will give it superior adhesion and allow it to adhere to most any surface. It will adhere to glass, metal, plastic and even laminate surfaces.
- It is not necessary to add a bonding agent for painting porous surfaces, such as: raw wood, plaster, cinder block and other permeable substrates.
- On these types of surfaces, it penetrates like a stain, yet it covers like a paint and will not ever chip or peel like other paints. Outdoor milk painted surfaces will fade over time, giving it a timeworn, weathered look.
- If fading isn’t desirable, there is an additive you can add to your milk paint mixture prior to painting that will prolong the vibrancy of milk paint for outdoor painted items and surfaces.
- The “shabby chic” trend created a boom in home decorating that includes worn, faded, chippy painted furniture finishes. When milk paint is used without adding a bonding agent over previously finished surfaces, it will chip, flake, peel, crackle and can even show a desirable crazing effect. This is the fun part because you can sit back and let the paint go to work chipping and crackling! Choose your piece carefully or your paint may all flake off. Furniture that has an old worn finish is generally a good candidate for getting the desired effect when using it without a bonding agent.
- Real Milk Paint can be sealed with Tung oil, hemp oil, wax or one of their acrylic finishing creams. Prior to sealing, it is important to lightly sand your milk painted finish with a 220 or higher fine grit sandpaper or sanding block in order to achieve the smoothest finish. Be sure to wipe away the sanding dust before applying your sealer. You can also burnish the surface with a wadded brown paper bag.
- If desired, after sealing, you can antique with a dark antiquing wax, white wax, antiquing glaze or tinted glaze.
Other fun uses for Milk Paint that you might not have known:
- Since milk paint is made using pigment powders, it can be used to tint wax, glazes and some clear acrylic type topcoats. This allows endless possibilities and creativity for painted furniture and cabinetry. Adding a little water when mixing the milk paint powder in wax will help it mix better. You can actually add already mixed with water milk paint to wax for tinting it.
- When used outdoors on bare wood, concrete, etc. milk paint can be sealed with 100% pure Tung oil, which will make your outdoor painted items, mold and mildew resistant. You can actually mix the pure Tung oil right into the pre-mixed milk paint, instead of applying it separately. Because milk paint is an emulsion, 100% pure Tung oil will remain mixed with milk paint and not separate.
- Milk paint pigments can be mixed with other milk paint pigments to create different hues with white being the most common way to change a color to allow for varying shades of one color.
- Milk paint can even be added to other types of paints to change the color pigmentation. (If adding milk paint in the dry powder form into another paint, you may need to add a little water along with it).
There is so much to know and understand about milk paint that it is best to just dive right in and start painting with it or take one of our paint classes to gain more confidence and a better understanding of how to use milk paint. We are now offering a class specifically for milk paint and you can sign up HERE. Either way, in the long run you will fall in love with the versatility and tenacity of this paint and especially, the beauty of it! Not only do I love Real Milk Paint, it is my absolute FAVORITE!!
To learn more about all of the uses of milk paint and their other amazing products, visit The Real Milk Paint Company website.
Below are some of my own milk paint projects!