What the Heck is Milk Paint?

I’ve been experimenting with chalk paint and furniture, and I’ve been loving the results. The more research I did online, the more that I kept seeing the term “milk paint“, which sparked my curiosity. What is milk paint? Historically, milk paint was made from curdled milk or cottage cheese, lime, and earth pigment for color. These days, the recipe may not call for actual dairy products.

Decisions, Decisions

After comparing lots of products and costs, I decided to go with the Miss Mustard Seed brand (MMS) in the color, Artissimo. She has a lot of information on her website. I of course used my money-saving super powers and found the products online from a vendor who was offering a “free shipping” promotion.

The Find

I found this piece from a second-hand furniture store who advertised it on Craigslist. I paid $75 for it. This piece definitely needed some TLC. It had different style drawer pulls and was butt-ugly, but it had good bones. These photos below show how the dresser looked after I had cleaned it up a little and glued down some of the loose veneers.

The original Craigslist listing photo




Drawer Pull
Drawer Pulls

I purchased the MMS milk paint, the bonding agent, and the hemp oil for my experiment. The consistency of the milk paint took some getting used to. It was very thin and watery compared to latex and chalk paints, but it covered amazingly well. I used the bonding agent to help the paint adhere to the furniture since it already had a finish and I didn’t want to sand it down.


Hemp oil & Bonding Agent

I applied wax, beforehand, to the areas that I didn’t want the paint to adhere to, but the paint adhered to some of those areas anyway.


Homemade Wax Puck

The paint started to chip in some areas that I didn’t put wax on, which perplexed me since I used the bonding agent so that it wouldn’t do that. I love the distressed look, but I just wanted to control where the distressing happened. Go figure! I did freehand the bonding agent to milk paint ratio like I was a pro, so maybe I didn’t use enough of the bonding agent. After I had painted and let the paint dry, I went over it with the hemp oil which is supposed to seal the paint and give the color more depth. It made the color richer and helped with the chipping.


The Verdict

I must say that chalk paint is much more predictable than milk paint. Despite that, I would try milk paint again. Next time, I would probably actually follow the directions though!



Have you used milk paint? Feel free to brag about your success. Send us a pic using the form below!



Blogger, Thriftaholic, Entrepreneur, Teacher, Mother, Wife, & Georgia Peach



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