Milk paint is used when you’re searching for a matte finish with a chalky appeal. It is a nontoxic mixture of casein and lime that has been used for centuries. Milk paint’s finish is often unpredictable, yielding a worn look on most wood and similar surfaces. Though, traditionally, milk paint is packaged in powder form that simply requires the addition of water, companies have begun to premix and package the paint in cans, for consistent finishes. Ahead, find the best milk paints recommended by ARTnews.
1. Old Fashioned Milk Paint Non-VOC Powder Paint
Like traditional milk paint, this product comes in powdered form. The bag will make a total of one gallon, pint, or quart of liquid (depending on the size purchased) and comes in a wide range of colors. Each color is created in small batches using earth pigments, to ensure its safety and reliability and tones that will not fade once painted. As such, it’s completely safe for children’s furniture and even toys. When first applied, this paint will create a somewhat uneven matte surface, but can be layered for a more uniform matte appeal.
2. Rust-Oleum Milk Paint Finish
This paint has a matte finish with a brushed effect that gives the appearance of an old-fashioned milk paint, though it is premixed and comes packaged in a can. It is intended for interior use only and has a semitransparent finish with one coat and a more opaque look with an additional coat or two. The water-based paint is dry to the touch after 30–60 minutes and can be recoated in about an hour. Additionally, this milk paint takes well to sanding, for added distressing or texture, and does not require a topcoat.
3. FolkArt Milk Paint
This milk paint is beloved by educators because it is made like the classic powdered paint, yet it is premixed. What’s more, instead of coming in a cumbersome gallon can, this one is packaged in a 6.8-ounce bottle that is easy to reseal for later use. Ideal for raw wood and vintage pieces, this paint is best when brushed on slightly porous surfaces and dries in a semi-sheer coat. It can be layered to achieve a more opaque matte finish, however, and the small bottle actually lasts a lot longer than you might think. It is also safe for children, as it is a very low-VOC paint.
4. Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint
Just like the most classic milk paint, this powdered option is made with only five ingredients: milk protein (casein), limestone, chalk, clay, and pigments for color, making it one of the least toxic and most safe paint options out there. It is best used on porous surfaces, and, when absorbed, it will never chip or fade. The bag will yield roughly one quart of liquid paint when mixed with equal parts water, which will allow you to paint up to 70 square feet of surface area.
5. General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint
This milk paint is a little more durable than others, rated for both interior and exterior use. It is self-sealing and does not require a top coat and is produced in a range of 33 different colors, from raspberry pink to deep navy blue, bright white, and classic black. Just like classic powdered pink paint, this mixture is named for its matte finish and low luster. Applications of three coats of this paint are recommended to achieve desired opaque results, otherwise it paints on semi-sheer.