Got Milk Paint?


What an interesting product
and really timely
 given our current fascination with all natural products 
and "going green"

 I have loved this product ever since I first began 
collecting primitives 
 years ago.
When I found an inexpensive little chest 
or something sort of interesting that just needed some TLC, 
I tried everything I could think of 
to get that dry, chalky finish found in real antique primitives.

And then I found Milk Paint.  
I purchased my first little bag from an antique store in 
Orange, California.

Orange is one of THE BEST destinations 
for antiquing 
in Southern California. 

If you go, make a day of it...
you won't be disappointed

The Real Milk Paint company began in 1974 
and has been manufacturing the product much the same since then.  

A bag, which will make up about a pint, 
costs around $11 dollars.

Using only natural ingredients of milk proteins, 
lime and natural pigments, 
milk paint is sold only in powder form. 

The 20 colors are based on historical milk paint  
but, it can be mixed and re-worked to achieve any color you can think up.

Here is a link to their face book page which shows the amazing variety of colors that they have thought up....
and it includes the recipes!

If you are interested in the history of this type of paint
you can read the entire story here
What an amazing finish on this cabinetry...hummm should I try this?
These photos are the work of contemporary cabinet makers 
using milk paint to achieve the wonderful patina of a primitive, from the 1800s

 It fits perfectly with swedish furniture in patina and color 
new re-edition furniture 

Decorative painters seem to love this paint, 
probably because of the simple raw quality it has, is so charming 

Interesting, that you can't really strip it off once it has been applied.  
Most artisans finish their work with linseed oil and then use wax or danish oil for that beautiful soft hand rubbed sheen...

There are so many ways to produce an interesting color and finish...
layering, sanding, burnishing,
it's really just your imagination 
and a bit of elbow grease

Have you used this paint?

Please share your ideas....if you have!
Thanks for taking a peek today


*all photos courtesy 
The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company

  1. Kelley,
    I've looked at it several times over the years and thought the colors were kind of muted. But that top turqouise piece reminds me of a certain firkin that I covet. I've seen that guy from Lone Ranger Antiques on Martha Stewart paint an old mora clock that looked pretty cool. I'll have to give it a try sometime.
    Stop by and check out my closet redo when you get a second. It's really fun.

  2. Hey Kelley!
    You know, there isn't any local place that sells the milk paint here but there is a little antique store about 70 miles away that Scott and I go to sometimes (usually during Ski-season) that carries it and I've always wanted to use it, but until now, it wouldn't fit in my decor.
    Now that I've washed everything out, and started using a lot of white and pale blues, I bet it'd be PERFECT! And it'd give me a reason to buy another piece of furniture (like I need one!) LOL!
    Miss you,

  3. I have used it for years as well. My first experience with it (about 10 years ago) was when I painted a $15 garage sale bookcase for my landing upstairs. I did it in the Buttermilk color...I LOVE it to this day, it crackled and made a fabulous vintage finish when it reacted to the old finish already on the bookcase, with no effort on my part. I use it to this day for the base of many of my hand painted signs. I am glad it is getting the kudos it deserves!

  4. I had not heard of these paints. Love the looks!

  5. I love the look of milk paint. I have not tried that paint but I love the way it makes those pieces look old.

  6. I have not tried; however now I am so intrigued by your wonderful examples that I will!!

    Art by Karena

  7. I have seen it for years, but have never tried it. glad to know that you like it so much. have you tried the popular Annie Sloan's chaulk paint that is all over blogosphere? people rave about it....

    happy July!

  8. I have never used this paint personally but being from New England this is a local company for me and of course I see it in use all the time in the many historical buildings etc that surround me here in Boston!

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  10. I have used milk paint in the powdered form for about 10 years, as long as I have been a is a wonderful finish for new pieces that you want to look old or for new pieces of a more modern design. I love that the package can be kept in the fridge, it is non toxic and like a stain goes into the wood...I wax where I want to distress before I put it on, sometimes staining dark underneath with an aniline dye that does not seal the wood, or layering & spot waxing multiple coats of different colors...After painting & lightly sanding, apply the top coat of wax or a beeswax oil mixture..BEAUTIFUL.
    My shop stool that I use everyday & not too kindly is still as nice or nicer then the day it was finished.
    The beauty of this is also the fact that you can order it from a far distance and being a powder it does not cost a fortune to ship.

  11. Very cool, just the right touch.

    - The Tablescaper

  12. Thanks you all for stopping by! I have not been able to spend as much time with the blog lately so I hope you understand.

    Hope you are having a fun and restful summer



  13. I want to spend more time in the quaint city of Orange. I thought the original was milk paint...but now I hear so much about chalk paint. What's the difference I wonder?

  14. I always wondered about the paint on some of the furniture! I love the "Milk Paint" look! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I just learned about this paint recently on another blog. I would like to try it. It seems to be perfect for primitives.

  16. This is beautiful and perfectly reminiscent of a farm setting. I may just have to get some of this and try it! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Hi Kelley! I have been an antique dealer since the mid 70', I hate admitting that! I love the look of milk paint. So many fabulous reproductions use it. Fake out the best of us! I have not perfected it. Maybe Brenda Watts could give us a 'how to'...wax, multiple colors & all! I would love that! Will look for the Martha Mora painting video.
    From Quaint Orange...hope you are enjoying our summer.

  18. Hey Kelley!!
    I have not used Milk Paint before!! I might have to give it a whirl! I am beginning to research ideas to refinish our kithen cabinets and my bathroom cabinet. I was going to think about getting all new kitchen cabinets...but I think it would be much better to use what we have to create a country sort of kitchen!! Vintagey....and simple! I am even checking out how to make concrete countertops!! With a little imagination's easy to make things look wonderful without breaking the bank:):)
    Thanks for reminding me about mild paints!!!

  19. I haven't tried this paint either, but am willing to give it a try. I love how it gives a nice patina. Hmmm, I have a few pieces that would look great painted....
    I'm having trouble keeping up with my blog too. Would love to take a break--at least for the summer. Hope you are enjoying yours. ~Delores

  20. I have never used milk paint, but went through the days of trying to achieve the look of shabby chic. Everything in my house has been painted everything from white/cream to black and everything in between. What I love about style now is that really anything goes. I can't believe I live 30 or 40 minutes from Orange and have not been to check out the antique stores.

  21. Kelley!

    What a great post! I've never known the history or really the look that will come from using Milk Paint.
    xo Melissa
    PS I LOVE Orange for antiquing - it's the best!

  22. LOVE this post! I have ALWAYS wanted to try MP since I am all about painting "patina'd" looks on my furniture. Can't wait to try it!

    Been getting a bunch of traffic from your site today - just wanted to pop over and say thanks for having me on your sidebar!
    Bon Weekend,

  23. This is an awesome post on milk paint, thanks! I've got it linked to my milk paint post too today, well done!

  24. I like you have used it for over 30 years. It works great on an old piece of furniture that once had paint but has been skinned. I have used it on my kitchen cupboards, in the wine cellar, you name it! I love it!

  25. I like that milk paint is natural but does it last? I always hate the smell of normal paint and I think that just being near it and smelling it isn't good for you.


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