Chalk Paints vs. Milk Paints

Chalk and milk paints have become a game changer in the decorative finishes world. You can literally take a piece of furniture and transform it completely with these products. You can make a chair look washed out, distressed or sleek and solid with a few coats of paint. The great thing about these paints is that they are both environmentally friendly and easy to apply too.

Although they have similar appearances, chalk and milk based paints are two different products. Here’s the inside details on their similarities & differences:

  • Both paints have a chalky, whitish undertone to them masonjar
  • Super easy to apply
  • Both usually dry very quickly
  • Nontoxic and low VOC levels
  • Usually no priming or sanding involved before applying either
  • They both adhere to almost any surface you can think of
  • Clean up is easy and quick
  • No special brushes need to be purchased to apply either paint

Milk paint: was first to enter the market. It’s typically made of pigment, lime, clay and milk protein and its sold in a powder form. It’s very popular in kitchens and for painting furniture with. The great thing about milk paint is that it is fade resistant and less expensive. However, it needs to be stirred more frequently to prevent it from drying.

Chalk paint: is a more recent creation. It’s typically made from calcite, talc and pigment for colour. It comes premixed in cans so there’s no need to mix anything at home before you start a project. Chalk paint also has greater tones of colour and consistency. There’s less chance of this product flaking unless it is done intentionally.

Once you’ve painted your item with either chalk or milk paint you can also add a layer of wax to finish the project. Wax offers a light protection to make a piece more suitable for everyday use. We love using the Fat Wax Beeswax Polish. It’s super easy to apply and smells lovely.

Here is one of our favourite pieces we love to share that was created by Fergie and Fray using milk paint. Isn’t it lovely looking? If you have any older pieces of furniture you are looking to donate I would love the opportunity to transform them into a beauty like this!


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