Milk Paint

I got to experiment with milk paint for the first time this week.  I made it from scratch (recipe here).  My milk  (with a dash of lemon juice) sat on the counter for a week.  When I opened it up, it smelled so incredibly rancid that I wasn’t sure I could use it.  But after pouring off the whey (the smell of which drove our dog nuts) the curds were bearable.

Milk Curds

I used acrylic paint for the coloring and mixed it all up.  I loved the way this paint went on.  It was crumbly and thick.  I like how it worked into the wood and dried quickly.  Here we are, getting ready to apply the Rosemary-infused beeswax polish (in the bowl).  What can I say?  The polish did exactly what it was supposed to do:  it smoothed the wood, gave it a nice polish, and even stained the wood just a little.  The recipe was also in Julia Barnard’s book, New Decorator (2000, now out of print) but there is a similar recipe found here.

Milk Paint Drawer


Let me just say that rubbing that on my little set of drawers was therapeutic.  I had forgotten how much I liked wood.  Have I mentioned that before the kids were born I was a regular viewer of New Yankee Workshop and I made a stand-alone shelf for our kitchen?  That’s something for another post.  Suffice it to say, I like wood and even working with this cheapy stuff made me remember it.

So here it is in the kitchen, on the bay window shelf that is a catch all for many things.

Milk Paint Drawer

I haven’t decided what’s going in there, hence the blank labels.

milk paint drawer

7 Responses to “Milk Paint”

  1. 3 Melanie May 27, 2010 at 11:23 am

    interesting! I have never heard of milk paint. What is the advantage over just using your acrylic paint just by itself? Uses less?

    • 4 craftapple May 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm

      Milk paint is associated with colonial America – the pale red barns and antique furniture. The difference is the look and color you get from the milk paint. I couldn’t get the shade just right in the pictures no matter how hard I tried, but I really like the look.

  2. 5 Beth May 27, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    We used to love watching New Yankee Workshop, too! That and Victory Garden. Those were in the pre-kid days when we worked on our house and in the yard all weekend. 🙂

  3. 7 Abbie September 23, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    This project looks great. I have never made my own milk paint before but will certainly try it. My favorite thing about milk paint is that you can control the look by mixing it thick or thin. Milk paint really gives you a nice authentic aged look. I recommend sanding through it in some areas, glazing it and finishing it with a wax also.

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 14, 15, and 16), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and pattern designer.  Oh – and I also like taking pictures.

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