It was a dark and stormy morning . . . perhaps that’s a bit too cliche. The falling rain put a damper on my to-do list of mowing the yard, weed whacking and an errand trip into town.
Before sending out notices that the parade was completely canceled for the day, I decided to adjust the program to include a new project – milk painting.
A co-volunteer at the Community Treasures Thrift Shop offered her opinion on a white children’s dresser that had been donated. She said all it needed was a bit “of milk paint and it will be good as new.”
Milk paint? New to me, I went home and Googled the heck out of it. Milk Paint is an “ancient organic paint containing basic ingredients including milk protein (casein), limestone, clay and natural pigments” according to Homestead House Painting Co. It is a versatile, durable zero VOC natural paint that is biodegradable — you can wash it down your kitchen sink.
When absorbed into a porous surface, Milk Paint is suitable for both interior/exterior applications and is naturally mold resistant (thank goodness for those of us in the Pacific Northwest). If you use a bonding agent, the paint can be applied to ceramic tile, metal, glass or lacquered surfaces. No priming. No sanding.
The beauty of it is that it comes in a powder. You can order it online, they ship little packets (samples) or brown bags (pints) to your door. You simply add water (1:1 ratio) and you are good to go.
I know. Sounded too good to be true to me. So, I put my inexperience and Milk Paint from Homestead House.ca to the test.
Using two tablespoons of powder, two tablespoons of water and two tablespoons of bonding agent, I mixed my first batch of Milk Paint (Miss Mustard Seed’s Luckett’s Green) in an old jelly jar.
TIP: Add water to the container FIRST so that the powder doesn’t stick/clump at the bottom of the container. Also, mix with a hand mixer (like this paint frother) or a blender. It helps with consistency.
I applied the first layer to a hat rack my brother-in-law gave me for Christmas. I am thinking that the lacquered surface would give both the paint and bonding agent a test go — and add a pop of color to our bedroom wall.
One of the other benefits of Milk Paint is that the dry time is greatly reduced. You only have to wait 20 – 30 minutes per coat. With the first coat, my hat rack was looking a bit chalky and pale. But another coat layer — I thought it was coming on pretty well.
When you are satisfied with the Milk Paint application, you can distress or gently sand raised wood grain. After which, you may want to add a top coat of finishing oil (I used the Hemp Oil from Homestead House Paint Co.). It’s food safe and helps to seal and protect the Milk Painted surface while making the application look more vibrant (less chalky). This is a personal choice.
By early afternoon, I had a hat rack (or bathrobe holder) in place on our bedroom wall. Not a bad day — even if it was dark and stormy!