The Basics of Milk Paint - What is it, how to mix, apply and seal it.
What is Milk Paint?
Milk Paint is an ancient organic paint containing basic ingredients including milk protein (casein), limestone, clay and natural pigments. The result is a very durable paint popularly used by modern designers, green consumers and homeowners seeking to capture a variety of modern, trendy, antique and textured looks.
When absorbed into the surface, Milk Paint will never chip or peel. Milk Paint is suitable for both interior and exterior applications and is naturally mold resistant. Milk paint provides a completely breathable coating and is ideal for painting plaster, drywall, straw bale houses and a variety of other surfaces.
Milk Paint comes in a powder, custom prepared by Homestead House. When you get home, you simply mix the powder in water.
APPLYING MILK PAINT TO WOOD PROJECTS
Step 1. Preparation
Depending on your project, you will be starting with either new wood, plaster, drywall or a previously painted or coated surface.
Milk Paint requires a porous surface to be absorbed. In this example we are working with bare wood so no preparation is necessary. If your project is previously coated with a paint or other sealer then you will need to add the Milk Paint Bonding Agent to your first coat to ensure proper adhesion.
Step 2. Staining
Why stain? It is the stain coat that is exposed during the sanding process to create those areas that appear distressed! *If you’re not going for a distressed look then skip this step. The distressed look is especially desirable around the corners and edges of your project to give your piece the appearance that is has been worn. The stain lends an authentic look to new wood by making it appear aged.
Mixture for Stain: Mix 3 parts water to 1 part powder. Stir by hand. The consistency will be very thin, like water. Apply with even strokes from end to end for consistency. The stain will completely dry in approximately 15 minutes.
If you want a more opaque stain, adjust by not adding as much water.
Tip. Apply beeswax along the edges where you would like to see the distressed/antiquing effect on top of the stain. Beeswax protects the stain coat from being sanded off.
Step 3. Applying Milk Paint
Choose your Homestead House Milk Paint color. Mix 1 part water to 1 part Milk Paint powder. 1 part can be anything: 1 Table spoon, 1 cup, etc. Mix the Milk Paint with the water in a blender or stir by hand until there is an even consistency like milk. If the consistency is too thick, add 1/2 part more water and mix again. Apply the Milk Paint to your project evenly. Darker colors require one to two coats for even coverage while lighter colors, such as off white variations, take up to three coats. Add our Milk Paint Extender once you’ve mixed your Milk Paint to keep the pigments suspended for even coverage. Stir every 10 minutes.
Step 4. Finishing
Once you are satisfied with the application of your Homestead House Milk Paint, you can gently sand with a 300 grit sand paper to smooth out any raised wood grain. Apply extra pressure to the areas you would like distressed. The areas where you applied beeswax in step 2 will help you to expose the stained layer without sanding too far into the original wood.
Once you are satisfied, you may continue with your desired top coat. Hemp oil or beeswax are all excellent top coat finishes that are 100% natural and food safe. The oil helps to seal and protect the surface and to saturate the Milk Paint so it appears vibrant and not chalky. Hemp oil and beeswax are recommended for interior applications. Two coats of oil is ideal and you’re done! A varnish or urethane may also be used.