milk paint

springwaterDecember 22, 2010

Anyone out there have experience with milk paint? I'd like to paint some of my kitchen cabinets with it to give an aged appearance. I've seen a lot of furniture painted with milk paint and then sanded off in places to give the impression that the surface is worn. I don't think this looks very authentic and am looking for a better method. Anyone with some advice or first hand knowledge?

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I've read articles on how if you use real milk paint you can not get new paint to stick to it ever again without having to sand off all the milk paint.
I don't have any first hand knowledge of this but it's something just reading made me not want to try it on anything big. Maybe somebody here knows more.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 10:46AM
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Below is a good pdf file: helpful pictures and discussion.
I love the look of milk paint on furniture.

Here is a link that might be useful: nrhiller design on painting with milk paint

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 11:10AM
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awm, that is a fabulous article, thank you for sharing it, I'm going to put it to good use.

carol, judging from awm's article it looks to me like using milk paint is very similar to staining something in that you finish off with a topcoat of wax, oil, or polyurethane. I know you can paint over something polyurethaned by scuffing it up (or using liquid sandpaper), then using a special primer to go from poly to latex paint, and then painting. I've done this successfully over oil-based polyurethane. But going over wax or oil -- that DOES sound like you'd have to do something really drastic.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 8:30AM
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bigdoglover, I painted my LR with Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company's Safe Paint for walls. It's milk paint with a slightly different formula that can be put over previously painted surfaces and has more even coverage. I wonder if it would be a better choice for your cabinets, which I assume have a poly or paint finish already.

The Safe Paint milk paint is absolutely gorgeous. The color is fabulous no matter what the lighting is: bright, cloudy, dawn, dusk, incandescent, fluorescent, candlelight.

Anyway, you might want to ask about it over at OFMPC. Anne Thibeau & crew are so friendly & helpful there, either via phone or email. I think they really like dealing with the public!

Here is a link that might be useful: Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 9:21AM
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Oops, meant to address my post to springwater but replied to bigdoglover instead. Holiday fuzziness setting in and all that!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 10:23AM
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I painted our island using milk paint. It was a fair bit of work, but worth it in my opinion. You can get a fixer to add to the milk paint to get it to stick to paint if you're not doing bare wood.

To get that lovely patina you rub between coats with fine steel wool and then I did several coats of rub-on varnish (old master's I think). Rub right thru in places and take a tube of burnt umber oil paint. Just a dab on your finger (use a rubber glove) rubbed over the bare spots turns it a wonderful antiquey colour.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 10:25AM
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daisychain, I follow you through the several coats of Old Masters rub-on varnish. Can you give more detail on what you mean by rubbing right through in places, and the tube of burnt umber oil paint? Did you rub through the milk paint with the varnish? Your process sounds good and like something within my painting skill level, I just need to understand that last part. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 11:10AM
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Sorry, I wasn't very clear. As I recall, you do a coat of milk paint and then go over it with the fine grade steel wool once it has dried. It changes from chalky to silky when you do the steel wool. Then paint and steel wool again. I think you only do this twice. Then where you want it to look worn, rub harder with the steel wool to take more of the paint off - right down the wood. Try to do this in places where it would occur naturally like on corners and edges. You may have to use fine grade sand paper if the steel wool is too gentle.

Then take the tube of brnt umber and dab a bit on your finger. rub this wherever you've sanded to expose the wood. You can use a soft cloth, but I think I just used my finger (while wearing rubber gloves). Let this dry and then rub on several coats of Old Master's varnish following the directions on the label. Make sure you have plenty of lint free cloths on hand before you start the varnish.

I got this technique from a store that sells milk paint and also does the painting and distressing (for a large fee).

Let me know if you need more info.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 4:05PM
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Good article! Can't wait to start experimenting.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 9:22PM
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