Milk Paint ... the old fashioned alternative

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Farmfresh
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Milk Paint ... the old fashioned alternative

Unread post by Farmfresh » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:06 pm

As many of you know I am working on re-doing my kitchen and that means that I am going to be installing some new cabinets. It is the plan to build (with help from a friend) many of these. We are using a birch plywood with the plan being to paint the cabinets in a nearly white color. The plan is also to use milk paint to do this painting, since it bonds so completely with the wood. http://www.milkpaint.com/

Have any of you had any experience with milk paint?

I mixed up my first little sample today and am working on a test board. If I can get the finish as I have it planned, I will then coat it with a clear coat of acrylic. Evidently the acrylic will stay clear and not yellow like a polyurethane does. So far I have painted on three coats. I am pretty sure that I mixed it way too thin. This is a learning process.

Milk paint comes as a powder. You mix it with water to a thickened paint pea soup consistency. Too thick and it will crack. Too thin and it behaves more like a stain and you need multiple coats to get a solid color. I erred on the thin side. Still it seems to be turning out pretty darned good.

It dries really fast leaving a very mat almost powder look finish. It is made of all natural materials and is not toxic. The main reason that I wanted to use milk paint however is the way it lasts. The casein protein in the paint will bond on a molecular basis with the wood fibers. It makes a rock hard coating that is impossible to remove. My first experience with milk paint was at the old house the original woodwork was painted white with milk paint (the house was built in 1928). Not knowing that I tried to strip it off. Heat guns, chemicals and even sanding left me with a still hard coat of milk paint. Perfect for cabinets in a kitchen, other that the fact that milk paint is so flat that it will spot with oils or even waters. That means the top coat needs protected. Wax, oil coats or polys and acrylics are the most often used top coats.

What do you know about using milk paints?
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
"Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT !"
Every little bit ... is a little bit.

Old Fashioned
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Re: Milk Paint ... the old fashioned alternative

Unread post by Old Fashioned » Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:49 am

Absolutely nothing, never heard of it before that I'm aware of....but sounds like a great choice. I'll keep that in mind whenever we get around to do any painting here. How is it for bathrooms? The paint in our bathroom cracks & peels especially the ceiling in the shower and looks horrible. Several years ago, I painted over the mess & it looked good for awhile but now it's peeling again. What would work in a bathroom???

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Farmfresh
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Re: Milk Paint ... the old fashioned alternative

Unread post by Farmfresh » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:59 am

If the ceiling paint is peeling I would suspect that the problem is coming from above instead of beneath. Often in a bathroom that lacks proper ventilation the moisture will build up and basically seep through the walls. When it comes into contact with the cooler air in the spaces above it will condensate, like water on the outside of your iced tea glass. This leaves the sheet rock moist and the paint will then release from the wall.

BTW the same moisture can cause black mold behind the walls.

Check in the attic space above the shower for a moisture barrier.

Ideally the space should have a moisture barrier of some kind close to the ceiling on the attic side, then a thick layer of insulation and finally a freely air flowing space that vents to the outside. The bathroom itself needs a outside venting fan system to remove the excess moisture. Once that stuff is in place you can scrape and paint and the paint should hold.

Milk paint shines when painted over raw wood. That allows it to chemically bond with the wood. Treated wood and even walls can be painted with it, but you have to use a bonding agent first. Milk paint always dries flat and powdery without a sealer applied.

If you had a new unfinished vanity or cabinet in the bathroom milk paint would be the ideal. Other than that I would probably stick with a semi-gloss or eggshell finished latex.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
"Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT !"
Every little bit ... is a little bit.

Old Fashioned
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Re: Milk Paint ... the old fashioned alternative

Unread post by Old Fashioned » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:50 am

No, of course there isn't enough ventilation in there. There is a small window in the shower and is only open during the hot summer. There is a fan in there, but is rarely turned on so I don't even know if it works. I do know there is a leak somewhere in there since the floor behind the toilet is very soft and we think it extends under the tub. I think we need a whole new bathroom. I've never seen mold in the bathroom, though I'm not saying it isn't there...just haven't seen it.
The outer walls in the two back bedrooms have had mold. I've sprayed them with bleach water and it's probably the wrong thing to do, but I haven't seen mold in there either for a long while. |em22|

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Farmfresh
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Re: Milk Paint ... the old fashioned alternative

Unread post by Farmfresh » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:54 am

The thing most people don't know about mold is that it is usually behind the sheet rock where it is nice and dark and then you finally notice it when it comes around to the front more airy side.

We have a mold issue in our bathroom around the tub surround. I just bleach what we can see too. Most likely it is the result of loose tiles allowing the wall behind to get damp. That is why if you have a good builder these days they surround the tub with concrete backer board sealed well under the tile. A lot less chance for mold. Of course in the old days that isn't how it was built.

Both of us live in a more humid environment and that insulation and ventilation stuff is huge. Anywhere we have loose paint and mold we have problems with both issues. Also... sadly... the real fix is not probably going to be easy. We can paint and spray and scrap, but until we track down the real issue and fix it, we will have problems. As for my bathroom... I don't want to deal with it right now, so I will keep bleaching for a while.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
"Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT !"
Every little bit ... is a little bit.

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Farmfresh
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Re: Milk Paint ... the old fashioned alternative

Unread post by Farmfresh » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:35 am

I have turned my attention back on the unfinished kitchen project lately, since the weather outside is so cold and grey. I just finished painting the unfinished cabinet that I got at the Restore for $35 recently. It takes a while for the finishing.

I am using milk paint in a "creamy" white color for the finish. It takes about 3 or 4 light coats of milk paint, sanding between coats and 2 to 3 coats of clear acrylic sealer on top of that, also sanding between coats, for the finish I am aiming at. The milk paint soaks deep into the wood grain where the casein in the milk chemically bonds with the resin in the wood. The finish look is almost a solid color but you can see some variations and still can see the wood grain. The acrylic dries perfectly clear and makes a slick surface that is easy to wipe clean. It has an old look to it, but should last for nearly ever. Because it is bonded with the wood milk paint makes a really good finish for places where wood gets a lot of abuse and is subjected to moisture, like the bathroom or kitchen. It won't peel or chip.

I will have to get some pictures later.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
"Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT !"
Every little bit ... is a little bit.

patriceinil
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Re: Milk Paint ... the old fashioned alternative

Unread post by patriceinil » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:01 am

Sounds interesting, can't wait to see pictures of the cabinets.

dizzy
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Re: Milk Paint ... the old fashioned alternative

Unread post by dizzy » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:03 pm

Same here.

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