Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Store
So, what is Milk Paint?
Glad you asked! Milk paint has been around for centuries, (think B.C.!) And settlers brought this method of paint making to North America, long ago. Basic ingredients of this totally natural paint include milk, limestone, clay and natural pigments like coal, berries, roots, seeds and minerals all found close at hand. This resulted in a durable paint evident today on antiques showing the original milk paint, finished years ago.
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint continues this tradition, using the same main ingredients. Once absorbed into the surface, Milk Paint will dry quickly. Once sealed with a wax, oil or varnish, it will last a life time. Milk Paint provides a completely breathable coating and is ideal for painting plaster walls, kitchen cabinets and furniture. It will self distress, gently flaking off initially, followed usually by a wax, hemp oil, or bees wax sealant. To prevent distressing, Miss Mustard Seed’s Bonding Agent will do the trick, when added to the first coat of paint. Since Milk Paint is slightly alkaline, it naturally inhibits the growth of mould and mildew and can be used for interior or exterior applications.
Simply mix the paint powder, with warm water, using a wooden mixing stick or spatula, to create a smooth consistency. You may find a few small lumps left as you begin to paint and they can be blended in, with simple brush stokes as you paint. Each box makes a total of one quart of paint, but you can make batches in much smaller quantities, as you need it. Mixing directions can be found on each box and video tutorials, found here, may prove to be helpful.
What if you don’t want the chippy look on a piece of furniture?
No problem. We provide a bonding agent that can be added directly to the first coat of paint. It will make the paint adhere to existing finishes, other types of paint, metal, glass, and other slick surfaces. It does help to rough up the surface with sand paper a bit prior to painting, but it’s not required. My main goal is to make sure the wood surface is clean, so I wipe it down with a clean rag, that’s been dipped in warm soap and water. Lastly, no paint will adhere to loose paint, so if paint or varnish is peeling on the old surface, you will have to sand the piece first, removing any loose material.
What is the paint supposed to look like when it’s mixed?
I’ve always mixed it by hand, but a blender will make the paint even smoother. The cool thing about milk paint is you can make it the consistency that works for your project. Whether you want it watery for a wash or translucent coat, or thick, so it brushes on more opaque, the choice is yours. It definitely feels more watery than latex, acrylic or Chalk Paint, so don’t expect that thick, smooth body you’ve become used to. It’s also pretty common to have a lump here or there and to have to stir it occasionally. When you apply the paint, you can work the lumps out with your brush. I have also found if you let the mixed paint sit for about an hour before using it, the powder is absorbed into the water and it’s a bit smoother.
How do I select the right color?
This can be a little tricky, because the color you see on your monitor will never be an exact replica of how the paint will look on the piece you’re painting. The color will even vary slightly, depending on the undertones of the piece being painted. You are always welcome and encouraged to sample any paint we sell, up close and personal, at The Treasured Home’s workshop!
How about clean up?
It’s as simple as warm soap and water, used liberally on your brush, working the paint completely out of the bristles. While they make metal combs to comb a brush’s bristles, I use my dog’s old (hated) comb, to comb through the bristles, removing any extra paint. Lie the brush flat, or hang it by the handle. Never stand the brush on its bristles to dry.