What is milk paint you ask? I see this question a lot in Facebook groups and Pinterest. One of my most popular blog posts to date is the mistakes that I made when I first used milk paint. It’s been about four years since I first started using it and I’ve become a huge fan. I don’t use it on every project as I feel that it is a paint that’s best suited for a specific type of project. Well, the formal definition in my own words: It is a natural substance made up of five main ingredients that date to the early 1800s. It’s called milk paint because it was originally made from the milk casein protein from cow’s milk. It also contains lime and has pigments added for color. Before acrylic paint was invented milk paint was used in the majority of homes.
Milk paint can be used for all types of different projects and it’s very durable. It is an all-natural substance that is non-toxic, which is a plus in my book. Another added bonus is that it is water-based and traditionally comes in a powder form to which water is added to create the paint. This can also be considered one of the downsides because it starts out as a powder that has to be mixed with water to activate the ingredients to become paint. So it can be considered more time consuming due to the mixing and measuring. There are other types of paint being sold as “milk paint” but to me, these are not a true milk paint if it comes pre-mixed.
Another downside is that it doesn’t last that long once it’s mixed up. So it is best to mix up what you’re going to use otherwise it’s going to go bad. (I had this happen and it dried out and had a smell once it sat in the air for too long.)
I’ve used milk paint on many pieces of furniture in our home. I have a post about the China hutch and coffee table. I’ve also used it on a picture frame that I updated.
I do not like to use milk paint on furniture pieces that will get a lot of daily use, like our dining room table. I view it as a more decorative paint and for me personally, I would not use it on a heavily used piece of furniture.
There are multiple sources for purchasing on the market today as I have linked above but my only experience is with Miss Mustard Seed milk paint. This brand is the one you will see me recommending and I am not saying it’s superior or better than any of the other ones. It’s the only one I’ve used, and because I like it I just haven’t tried any of the other kinds out there yet. We stick with what we know right??!!