5 Tips For Using Milk Paint

Milk Paint Series Part 3

I don’t know about you but I feel like I blinked a couple of times and summer all but disappeared. June and July evaporated into thin air and now it’s the 3rd Wednesday of August which means it’s time for another 5 Favorites Party. My co-hosts, Debbie of Chatham Hill on the Lake and Christy from The Harper House are glad you found our little get together.

Last month, I shared 5 Reasons Why I love Hemp Oil so today I want to chat with you about using milk paint.  If you are just joining me for this series, you will want to read Part 1 – How to mix and Part 2 – How to prep.

Because milk paint by nature is different than any other paint you may be used to I feel it is my duty to warn you before you try it, especially if you are more familiar with chalk type paints.

You may not like it. (gasp)

In fact, I have known a couple of people who just didn’t like it at all and I will admit to you the first few times I used it, I couldn’t decide if I loved it or hated it. I love it.

5 tips for using milk paint.

I have been using milk paint on 99% of my painted furniture pieces for 3 years now yet I do not claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination and from time to time, I still have questions. The first place I go to find the answer is Miss Mustard Seed’s Blog.

If the first thought you had after reading the above sentence was “who is Miss Mustard Seed”? The rest of this post is for you.

I racked my brain trying to think of things I wish I had known when I started using milk paint.

And here’s what I came up with.

(The rest of this post contains a sprinkling of affiliated links. These are provided at no extra cost to you and I do receive a small commission when you purchase products with the link provided.)

  1. Invest in a really good brush. 

One of my 5 furniture painting supplies I cannot live without is a 2 inch brush.


A 2 inch angled brush is by far my favorite. Angled brushes make those hard to reach places just a bit easier to reach.

There are several brands that make really good brushes, Purdy, Wooster, and Linzer. While all 3 are excellent choices, to be honest, I can’t tell much difference between them.

2. Thinner coats are better than thick.

5 tips for using milk paint.

Thinner coats take less time to dry and you will decrease your chances of peeling and chipping. I know it might seem like thicker is better but this is not the case with milk paint.

It’s actually better to apply 2 to 3 thinner coats. Most pieces should only require 2. The exception might be if you were using a light color over dark wood.

Just know the first coat may be ugly!

Stay calm! It’s not you, it’s just the nature of the paint.

3. Don’t over-brush!

What I mean by over-brushing is brushing the paint repeatedly in the same section. I really struggled with this when I began using milk paint. It is best to brush it on using a light stroke just enough to cover the area. You can actually start to lift the paint off if you continue to brush in the same area.

4. Drips, runs, nibs, and bumps… they will happen. 

5 tips for using milk paint.

You may see little nibs or bumps in your paint, it’s okay. These can be taken care of when you finish sand. If it seems like there are too many nibs,you may want to lightly sand after the first coat. Be sure to wipe away the milk paint dust with a tack cloth before you apply your next coat.

If you have any major drips or runs go ahead and take care of those by using a damp paper towel or cloth to gently wipe them away. This is just one of the reasons I adore milk paint. Mistakes are pretty easy to fix.

5. Go against the grain to cover, always finish with the grain.

5 tips for using milk paint.

Shhhh, this is a secret. You didn’t hear it here!  It’s okay to paint against the grain to cover an area.

Yes, I did just say this.

Just be sure to finish with the grain if at all possible. Chair legs are a really good example of how brushing around a leg actually covers it more easily. Just be sure to finish by brushing lightly up and down with the grain. Does that make sense?

5 tips for using milk paint.

5 tips for using milk paint. Don't forget to give your paint a stir every once in awhile.

Bonus Tip.

While you are painting you may notice some color separation. This is normal so be sure to  give your paint a stir periodically.

The color I used on this chair is Kitchen Scale. I love how all the details just pop with paint!

how to prep furniture 5 tips for using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint.

Are you ready to try milk paint?

If you are, grab a brush, and find something to paint.

I hope you will  join me for Part 4 of this series where I will show you how to distress and finish sand your milk paint to make it look silky smooth. (my favorite part) 🙂

So until next time,

your sister in paint,





I'm sharing my 5 favorite tips for using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint.