In my first article for 360 WoodWorking I introduce members to a product that I’ve been working with for more than two and a half decades – milk paint. There are lots of reasons why milk paint is a great product to use: it’s environmentally friendly; easy to modify the color; and even easier to work with. It’s an extremely versatile product.
I started working with it when I was involved in the antique repair and restoration business. Matching the color, sheen and appearance of period paint using modern, commercially available latex paints is nearly impossible. But matching all those things with milk paint is much easier. That’s because milk paint is easily modified using pigment powders, which give you the ability to make and match just about any color.
On antiques you’ll often multiple layers of paint, in different colors. Part of the patina of any piece are those layers, along with the layers of wear and grime that happen over centuries of use. Sure, you can layer latex paint to achieve the different colors that make up the finish on an old piece, but it just won’t have the same look. Period paints tended to have a very flat appearance that was a byproduct of their chemical make-up. This is where milk paint shines (pun intended) because it’s dead flat. To raise a shine on it you have to either burnish it, coat it with something else or both.
For me, milk paint became a passion. I have enjoyed researching it, making it and using it for a very long time. And I’m willing to bet that if you give it a try on some of your projects, you’ll be a convert too. All it takes is a half way decent brush, a little water, the milk paint and a project to use it on.
And if you’d like to watch my full-length video on how to create a distressed paint finish using milk paint you need to be a logged in member of 360 WoodWorking. If you’re not a member you’ll need to purchase a 360 Annual Membership or a 360 Monthly Membership to see the video below.
— Dwayne Siever