Milk paint – 100% natural and charming

Milk paint is the 100% natural cousin to chalk paint that is muscling in on the furniture painting scene. Technically not at all new, the process behind milk paint has been used for thousands of years. Nowadays it is the richly pigmented competitor currently taking over for furniture, walls, cabinets, and more. It is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and you can mix and match colours to create your own shade.

Find out what milk paint is, how to use milk paint, and where to find the best milk paint products in Australia.

What makes milk paint special

Milk paint updates your old furniture without losing its rustic appeal

Milk paint imitates the look and feel of old painting processes.

If you’ve ever been on the home makeover section of Pinterest or seen late night repeats of reno shows from the last few years, you have come across milk paint. A simple combination of lime, skim milk (or casein, a protein in milk), and pigment, milk paint has been around for thousands of years but is currently seeing a resurgence in popularity. It is:

  • A richly coloured matt finish
  • Enviromentally safe, non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Fast drying, solvent free, and low odour
  • Customisable – colours can be blended, and the finish can be solid colour, stain, or made to chip or crackle
  • Indefinite shelf life as powder in sealed bag

Application tips and tricks for milk paint

Though the idea of buying paint in powder form may be intimidating, there’s no need for nerves. Just follow these simple tips for the perfect application.

  1. Work out the look you want before you get to mixing – If you want full opaque colour, you will need to add less water. For more of a wash effect, more water will need to added.
  2. The trick to a great finish is all in a proper mixing – For first timers, test a small amount of powder to see how it responds to water and to get a feel for it. Mixing can be done with a small whisk, a milk frother, or even a blender. For an opaque finish you are going for the consistency of cream, or thinner for a wash. Do not whisk into a froth. Do not bung all the water in at once – you don’t want to go too far before you’ve begun.
  3. Don’t panic if lumps form – Lumps forming is totally normal! After mixing, leave the paint for a few minutes for the casein and lime to do their work and dissolve. Any remaining small lumps will brush out as you apply the paint (or they can be sanded out with a fine sandpaper afterwards).
  4. Bonding agents and finishing oils are up to you – Do you want the chipped, antiqued look for your final milk paint furniture finish or a clean and full finish? A bonding agent will work to keep the paint attached to the substrate. Without the bonding agent the paint will age and give an antique look.

When it comes to application, how much or how little paint you use is up to you and the look you want. If you want the wood grain to shine through, a single coat of wash is the way to go. For solid colours, one to two coats will achieve the look you want. And now you’re ready to go!

3 of the top milk paint products available in Australia

The popularity of milk paint and chalk paint is leading to a proliferation of businesses with products in Australia. Below we have listed some of the top milk paint brands and the products they produce.

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

Manufactured by Homestead House, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is the creation of “Miss Mustard Seed” a DIY/home decor blogger and author who wanted her own line of milk paints in all her favourite colours. And her favourite colours are fab. With the quality production of Canadian brand Homestead House behind her, this is a classy product with a beautiful range of 24 shades including Apron Strings (a light pink), Eulalie’s Sky (a vibrant aqua), Marzipan, and of course, Mustard Seed. Miss Mustard Seed also produces waxes, finishes, oils, and sealers.

Made by Paint’s Milk Paint

Made By Paint’s motivation is creating simple and easy to use Australian made products for all your furniture painting requirements. Their Milk Paint is actually pre-mixed acrylic designed to reproduce the mellow milk look of time worn milk paint. Thicker than chalk paint with an ultra smooth finish, it also does not require a bonding agent. It is available in a range of colours including Peony, Lilac, Peppermint, and Midnight.

Sweet Pickins Milk Paint

Another true milk paint, Sweet Pickins is manufactured by The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. out of America, the oldest manufacturer of true milk paint. The Sweet Pickins Milk Paint range comes in 36 colours including with names ranging from the cosy to the fun such as Tickled Pink, In A Pickle (a bright green), Sunflower, and Ol’ Blue. Sweet Pickins also produce wax, bonding agents, oils and other top coats.

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