Using Milk Paint

Great news!  The White Brick House is now offering Milk Paint by  The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company in our shop at Commonwealth Antique Mall and in our sister shop, Bluebird Urban Farmhouse, located in Peddler Antiques.  This company has been making milk paint for over 40 years!  I am so excited to be  stocking this and showing you how to use it in upcoming posts.  Let’s start with this display cabinet.


Let’s start at the beginning.


I always start by taking a scrub brush and the hose to clean the furniture before painting.  I like old but I don’t like dirt and most old furniture is filthy.  Scrub it good.  I use Greased Lightning and Dawn dish detergent for cleaners.

The finish on this piece was good for milk paint because it didn’t bleed.  If your stain is washing off when you are cleaning it, it will bleed through your paint too.  You will have to seal it with shellac or a shellac based primer and use another kind of paint. This piece also had some slightly glossy parts left on the finish and the rest was worn off so the surface was more porous.  That was good because the slightly glossy parts would make the milk paint chip and the porous surface would adhere the milk paint.  Good proportions of slight gloss and porous.  If it was really shiny gloss, the milk paint would all come off unless you used Extra Bond in your first coat of paint.


Here it is after the second coat of milk paint.  I used the Slate color.  After the first coat it looks a bit streaky and chalky.  I go right on to the next coat as soon as it is dry because I want to get a good covering before it starts chipping.


Here it is after the chipping.  Glorious!  To help the chipping along, I use a single edge razor blade to scrape over the chipping parts and on this piece, I also took a sanding block and a sander to parts of it.  That gives you a nice smooth surface.


At this point you can finish it in several different ways.  I used Daddy Van’s beeswax furniture polish on this piece.  It will darken the color a little bit and seal the paint.  If it were a table top, I would use a poly  so it could handle more abuse.


Here is the finished piece after wax.  You can see the color is a little darker with the wax.  This was a good example for milk paint.  In future posts, we will talk about milk paint on other surfaces so check back or sign up to receive our posts in email.  I think this one turned out beautiful!


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