Best Milk Paint for Furniture

If you find milk painted furniture charming, and want to try your hand at it with your own furniture, you’ll need to get your hands on the best milk paint for furniture. But what makes milk paint a great choice for furniture? And what are the top powdered milk paint options out there?

Let’s discuss this type of paint for furniture in detail, including its benefits and guide you on how to use it. And after you’ve checked out the milk paints we recommend, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your furniture into beautiful, unique milk painted pieces.

brushing on milk paint onto furniture with text overlay

You may have heard of chalk paint, acrylic paint, or even spray paint, but have you ever considered milk paint? This centuries-old type of paint has been making a comeback lately. If you’re curious about trying out milk paint on your own furniture, you’ve come to the right place.

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I’ve created my own share of milk painted furniture and I’ve had great results with it, so I can say from personal experience that it’s definitely worth considering. Milk paint has a unique finish that adds character and charm to any piece of furniture, which is why it’s a hit with both DIY-ers and pros.

So let’s go over the basics of milk paint and why it might just be the best choice for your next painted piece. We’ll also share some of the top milk paint options on the market. Let’s dive in!

Why use milk paint

Milk paint has its features and benefits that make it a go-to paint for many. These reasons are why milk paint has been around for centuries and is still popular today. You’ll see below why milk paint is worth adding to your collection of furniture painting tools and supplies.

What is a milk paint finish

For starters, milk paint has this desirable chippy and rustic look. This type of paint creates an aged vintage appearance that many people love for their furniture pieces. It adds character and charm, making it a popular choice for shabby chic or farmhouse style furniture. Plus you can create this look with milk paint without having to do any sanding or distressing further.

chipping milk paint on furniture

While it has its chippy appearance, milk paint actually sticks very well to wood where it doesn’t chip. So you don’t have to worry about your paint peeling off or cracking because it adheres well. This makes it a good choice for high use pieces of furniture.

Milk paint is natural and eco-friendly since it is made of all-natural ingredients such as milk protein, lime, clay, and earth pigments. If you’re looking for environmentally friendly options, then you should consider it for your furniture.

It also goes to say that milk paint has its downsides, one being that the chipping cannot be controlled. While some may love this chippy feature for its natural and authentic look, others may not want their furniture to have a worn or distressed appearance. In that case, you may need to consider alternative paint options. But you may also work around it with a bonding agent – more on that later.

Another downside is that milk paint dries to a matte finish. So, if you want a finish with a little more sheen to it, then milk paint probably won’t be the best option for you. It can look dull and unfinished, or it may not fit the aesthetic of your space. Along with the matte look, you have to topcoat the paint.

Then again, that’s not such a deal breaker since sealing painted furniture adds durability and longevity to your painted piece, whatever paint you use. And, adding a topcoat for painting furniture can also help you get the matte sheen of milk paint to be more of your desired finish like satin or gloss.

Best Powdered Milk Paint for Furniture

Overall, milk paint is the way to go if you want the rustic farmhouse style without putting in too much effort. And if you’re fully convinced to use it, here are the brands to look out for! Remember these are powdered milk paint options.

Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint

Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint is at the top of my list for many reasons. First, it is highly pigmented, meaning you can get excellent coverage with fewer coats. You get to save more time and effort, as well as use less product. This also means it’s more cost effective in the long run.

Aside from its coverage, Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint also has an impressive selection of colors. They have a range of beautiful and unique shades that you can’t find with other milk paint brands. So if you have a specific color in mind for your furniture, Shackteau Interiors is likely to have it.

shackteau interiors milk paint

Not to mention, this milk paint brand is non toxic and VOC free, making it safe for you to use in your home. This is especially important if you have pets or children around. Plus, being eco friendly means you’re also doing your part in taking care of the environment.

You can check out this antique pie crust table makeover where we used Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint in Black Beach to give the table a beautiful and dramatic look.

Real Milk Paint

Now let’s talk about Real Milk Paint. It’s another environment friendly option you can use on furniture and even walls and crafts. The brand has a traditional color palette based on antique painted furniture, so you can definitely get that authentic vintage look.

spraying real milk paint onto furniture

It’s very easy to use – just mix the milk paint with water. It even comes with its own paint container so you don’t have to go through the hassle of finding one yourself. When filtering it for a paint sprayer, it may take a little longer because it’s frothy, but nothing stirring and a little patience can’t handle.

But this is how the Real Milk Paint differs from other milk paints. It has a grittier texture once it dries, and it also doesn’t chip as much. The gritty texture can easily be smoothed out with quick hand sanding though, and if you need more chipping, you can create that with sanding as well or with these other distressing furniture techniques. However, if you want a less chippy finish, then Real Milk Paint would be perfect for you!

Old Fashioned Milk Paint

Next on our list is Old Fashioned Milk Paint. This brand has a long history of producing high quality milk paint, so you can trust that their products are tried and tested. They offer over 60 colors in their range, and you can even mix the powders together to create a custom shade for your furniture.

As mentioned above, these paints including Old Fashioned Milk Paint come in powdered form, and once mixed with water, they can only last for about 24 hours. So mix only what you need for your project to avoid wasting any product. The powder form can be stored indefinitely in an airtight container, making it convenient to use for your future projects.

Old Fashioned Milk Paint turns out uneven and chalky when you first apply it, but you can smooth that out with fine sandpaper once it dries. While some may see this as a downside, but if you choose milk paint, you should know and expect the rustic and antique look. But if you really want a more solid and smooth finish, just add another coat of this milk paint. It’s that easy!

If you’ve heard of General Finishes Milk Paint, it’s not a true milk paint. It’s actually an acrylic based paint and it will not give you the same results as traditional milk paint. So if you’re looking for that authentic chippy finish, go for one of the three brands mentioned above.

How to Use Milk Paint on Furniture

After you’ve chosen and bought your milk paint, here’s how to use it. Before you start to prep your furniture for painting, mix up a batch of enough milk paint for your project. Remember that milk paint doesn’t last long once it’s mixed, so only mix what you need for the day.

Simply add an equal amount of water to your powdered milk paint and mix it together with a small whisk. You can use any clean container for mixing, so there’s no need to buy special ones. Here’s our guide on how to mix milk paint you can easily follow. Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes.

preparing milk paint before painting

In that time, you can proceed to cleaning furniture before painting and sanding for paint prep. After 10 minutes, you can check the consistency of your milk paint and add more water or powder to get your desired thickness. Then it’s time to start painting!

I like brushing on the milk paint and then going back over it with long brush strokes. “Can you spray milk paint?” – yes, you can also spray milk paint if you prefer. The first coat will usually look thin and uneven, but the second coat should give full coverage. And that’s it – you’ve successfully painted furniture with milk paint!

You can check out our post on how to use milk paint on furniture for more detailed instructions and tips. And here’s how to get a chippy paint finish with milk paint every time!

How to Keep Milk Paint from Chipping

If you’re not a fan of the naturally chippy look that milk paint can create, there’s an easy solution. Just mix in some Extra Bond into your mixed milk paint at a 2:1 ratio and let it sit for 15 minutes before painting onto your furniture.

photo of adding extra bond to milk paint to help prevent chipping of paint

Yes, simply add in this bonding agent and the milk paint will bond better to the surface, resulting in a smoother and more durable finish. It’s like adding an extra layer of glue so your paint stays put. It’s a great solution if you want to keep your milk paint from chipping.

What do you seal milk paint with?

There are top 3 ways to seal milk paint. First, you can use a water-based polyurethane for the most durable and fast option. Especially if you have a paint sprayer, it’ll be a breeze to apply. You can also use a painting sponge – the strokes are less visible and the finish is more seamless compared to using a brush.

three ways of sealing milk paint

My next favorite way to seal milk paint is using hemp oil. It’s a natural oil that soaks into your milk painted furniture, creating a beautiful matte sheen. Wipe it on with a lint-free rag and let it sit for a few hours before wiping off the excess. It takes at least 30 days to cure though, so be patient with this option.

Last but not least is furniture wax, which is usually my last resort. It doesn’t cure as hard as poly and takes more time and effort to apply. Use a wax brush or wipe it on with a rag, and make sure to always apply wax as the final step. Trying to layer other finishes over wax will only create a mess.

If you’re torn between wax vs polyurethane, check out our comparison post to help you decide. Whichever you choose, what matters the most is that you seal your milk paint to protect and prolong the life of your beautiful furniture piece.

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