It’s no secret that I love General Finishes milk paint. I use it on quite a few of my vintage pieces. As you may know, it’s not a true milk paint, but an acrylic paint that comes premixed. For awhile now I have been wanting to try out an authentic milk paint – the kind that is actually made from milk proteins and comes in powder form. If you are interested in trying it, Reeves at The Weathered Door has a great tutorial on how to use milk paint.
I found a cute vintage dresser that I thought would be a great candidate for milk paint. So, I picked up a package of Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Tavern Green and got to work. Here is the before photo.
I must not have had my glasses on the day I took this photo or I wasn’t awake yet, because the quality of this photo is just pitiful. Sorry.
The reason I felt this particular piece was suited for milk paint is because of the historic aesthetic of milk paint. It gives a very vintage, time worn look. The paint has a lot of variation and depth which I love on the right piece. In my opinion, it is definitely not a paint that works with every style. I love it on rustic, cottage style pieces like this one.
I prepped the dresser by sanding lightly, washing it down with TSP, and then sealing it with a coat of shellac. While the shellac was drying, I mixed up the milk paint using one part powder and one part warm water. I mixed the daylights out of the paint to get rid of as many lumps as I could – this stuff was lumpier than all get out – and then let it rest for about 30 minutes. Because I did not want the chippy look, I added the bonding agent to the first coat of paint to help it adhere.
I applied 3 coats of paint to get the depth and coverage I was going for. I really love the variation of the green that this paint gives. It is so lovely in person but hard to accurately capture in the photos. This shot shows it most accurately.
I was aware that milk paint can be somewhat unpredictable, and was ready for the unexpected. For the most part, I did not have any chipping thanks to the bonding agent. A few small areas of crackling did develop on the top and side, which adds a bit of character.
I very lightly sanded between coats and then let the paint fully dry overnight. I sealed with 3 coats of General Finishes high performance top coat in flat. Prior to sealing with the top coat, the paint had a very dull chalky appearance. The top coat really brought the color back to life.
Will I use this milk paint again? Most likely, yes, but only on the right piece. It was really fun to paint with and definitely something I will keep in mind for use on vintage pieces.
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