Milk Paint vs Chalk Paint: What’s Right For You?

When it comes to deciding on the right paint for painting furniture, knowing the difference between milk paint vs chalk paint is a common conundrum. Both of these paints can create unique effects, but understanding their differences is key in order to choose the right one for your project.

In this review, we’ll compare milk paint and chalk paint in detail, exploring their pros and cons so that DIYers can make an informed decision on which type of paint is best for their next project.

different brands of chalk paint and milk paint

Are you a DIYer looking for the perfect paint to use on your next project? We know that you want to make sure that you are using the right paint for your project.

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Both of these popular types of paints offer unique finishes, but if you don’t understand the differences between them it can make it difficult to choose the right one.

You don’t want to waste time or money on the wrong type of paint, but how do you decide between milk paint vs chalk paint?

That’s why we’ve created this review – to provide DIYers with all the information they need before deciding which type of paint is right for their project.

In this review, we’ll dive into both milk and chalk paint, explore their pros and cons, and help you make an informed decision about what works best for you and your DIY project.

So let’s get started!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

Milk Paint

Milk paint is a popular choice for DIYers who want to create a beautiful, natural rustic looking finish.

This non-toxic and environmentally friendly paint offers a matte finish that can be used to get both chippy and solid looks. It also dries quickly, making it easy to work with.

packs of fusion milk paint and shackteau interiors milk paint

But, it has a mind of its own. Forget all your ideas for how you want it to turn out because sometimes it chips, and other times it doesn’t.

There are some specific things you can do to help the milk paint chip or not chip, but ultimately, it does what it wants. Learn how to get a chippy painted finish everytime with this technique.

And learn how to get a solid painted finish with milk paint here. And learn how to paint furniture with milk paint here.

I also must say that the milk paint that we are talking about here is powdered milk paint. This does not include General Finishes Milk Paint or Rust-oleum Milk Paint. Those paints are completely different from powdered milk paint.

Check out our list of the best milk paint for furniture here to learn more about the basics and the top milk paint options on the market.

Pros:

  • Matte finish for a beautiful, natural look
  • Non-toxic and environmentally friendly paint
  • Ready to use out of the can for quick and easy projects
  • Sticks to surfaces better than wall paint for durable results
  • Minimal brush strokes

Cons:

  • You must topcoat it
  • Most surfaces need scuff sanded and primed (even though manufacturers say otherwise)

Furniture Makeovers with Milk Paint

I love using milk paint on furniture! Here are a few before and after makeovers of milk painted furniture.

… and more milk painted furniture ideas here!

Where to Buy Milk Paint

True powdered milk paint is a litter harder to find. Usually, you can only find it online, unless you have a small business that sells it in your area.

Here are the best places to find the best milk paint.

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Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is a type of paint that has become increasingly popular among DIYers in recent years.

It offers a matte finish, low VOCs, and a thick consistency that makes it ideal for creating a unique, textured look on furniture and other surfaces.

Chalk paint can be used to create distressed looks or smooth finishes depending on the technique you use. With its versatility and ease of use, this paint is perfect for beginner painters.

Learn more about what is chalk paint and 5 chalk paint problems and how to fix them here.

Check out my comparison of chalk paint vs acrylic paint here. Learn what is the difference between chalk paint and regular paint here.

kilz, waverly and country chic chalk paints

A big misconception with chalk paint is that you don’t have to prep your furniture before painting with it… and that’s simply not true in most cases.

Read through this post to learn the truth about using chalk paint for furniture. Learn how to chalk paint furniture here.

For best results, your furniture still needs to be scuff sanded and primed before painting with chalk paint. Learn about the importance of sanding before painting furniture.

If you don’t do these things before painting with chalk paint, your paint will most likely easily scratch off. Check out my guide on how to paint over chalk paint here.

Or you very well will come across stains that stain your paint. Here’s how to stop stains from coming through paint.

Pros:

  • Low VOCs make it easier to work with
  • Ready to use out of the can for quick and easy projects
  • Sticks to surfaces better than wall paint (latex paint)
  • Can be used to create distressed looks or smooth finishes depending on the technique you use

Cons:

  • Expect brush strokes in the paint
  • It must be topcoated for protection and durability
  • Most surfaces need scuff sanded and primed (even though manufacturers claim otherwise)

Chalk Painted Furniture Makeovers

A good majority of the furniture makeovers on this website have been with chalk paint. But here are some that you can check out!

Where to Buy Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is so easy to find! Almost any hardware store has at least one version of it available. But here are the top places to buy chalk paint.

When it comes to milk paint vs chalk paint, both have their pros and cons.

For DIYers looking to achieve either chippy or rustic looks, milk paint is the way to go. On the other hand, chalk paint offers more versatility while still being easy enough for beginners.

They both need to be topcoated for durability and so you have the ability to wipe things off the surface. Check out how to use Waverly chalk paint and wax here.

Learn about topcoats for painted furniture here. And here’s how to apply polycrylic to painted furniture.

Both need a scuff sanded surface if you don’t want to paint to easily come off.

Chalk paint also needs to be applied to a primed surface for best results. Learn about the best primers for painting furniture here.

But no scuff sanding or priming is needed if you want a chippy look with the milk paint. The milk paint will stick very well in most areas, and not stick well in other areas.

Is Chalk and Milk Paint the Same?

No, chalk paint and milk paint are not the same.

Chalk paint is more versatile and can be used to create solid, modern finishes or distressed finishes, while milk paint is better for achieving a chippy or rustic look.

Both need to be topcoated for protection and durability, but chalk paint needs to be applied on a scuff sanded and primed surface for best results, whereas milk paint only needs a scuff sanded surface if a chippy effect is not desired.

You can also mix some bonding agent into the milk paint to help it stick to the surface better.

Is Chalk or Milk Paint Better for Furniture?

Both chalk paint and milk paint have their advantages and disadvantages.

Chalk paint is more versatile, while milk paint can be used to create a chippy or rustic look. However, both paints need to be topcoated for protection and durability.

Chalk paint does need to be applied on a scuff sanded and primed surface for best results. Milk paint needs to be applied to a scuff sanded surface only if you want to paint to not chip.

Ultimately, which one you choose depends on what effect you are trying to achieve with your project. They are both great options for painting furniture.

Why Would You Use Milk Paint?

Milk paint is a great choice for creating a chippy or rustic look on furniture. It also has no VOCs, which make it easier to work with and less toxic than other paints.

Additionally, it can provide unique results depending on the surface you are painting and how slick that surface is. Milk paint should always be topcoated for protection and durability.

Check out the 3 ways to seal milk paint here.

More Furniture Paint Resources

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