Important Brush Tips to Ensure Your Milk Paint Project Looks Great

The Rustic Milk Paint Style


Milk paint is forgiving and easy to use, and it has a unique character and quality that other paints lack. It’s definitely not the right type of paint for your project if you’re looking for flawless, uniform coverage. The beauty of milk paint is that it creates a perfectly imperfect artistic and rustic look. Real Milk Paint is ideal for creating a number of effects and finishes, including:

  • Distressed effects
  • Antique and aged looks
  • Textured or layered finishes
  • Crackling

The trick to using milk paint is choosing the right brush and knowing what to expect from the paint, because it doesn’t behave the same as other paints you may be used to working with.

What Are the Best Brushes for Milk Paint Application?

While you can apply milk paint with a roller, most people avoid them because they can trap air bubbles in the paint. But rollers don’t leave brush stroke marks, and if the roller effect is what you’re looking for, we recommend a foam brush instead. They are reusable, and are great for applying milk paint, Real Milk Paint Tung oil and dark Tung oil, and even our natural Citrus Solvent. Moreover, foam brushes are a little more forgiving, making them a great choice for first-time milk painters. Brushing milk paint can leave pronounced stroke marks that are difficult to correct, but a foam brush will ensure more even coverage and fewer drips.  


Brushes do, however, give paint finishes a nice depth, and if that’s what you’re going for, we here at The Real Milk Paint Company are particularly fond of Italian oval brushes. They are high-quality and will last for years if you take care of them. They have stiff bristles that are still soft, meaning they’re great for details and carvings, but are still quick to use. Their shallow oval shape also means they hold a lot of paint, making your job easier and faster. We also like natural-bristle chip brushes for projects, which are popular for many applications, and can be reused several times.

Applying Real Milk Paint

Perhaps the biggest difference between milk paint and other paints is the first coat. The first coat will be quickly absorbed into the wood and appear translucent. You may feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything, and your instinct may be to go over the same part over and over again, but don’t! Apply the milk paint in long, even strokes in the direction of the wood grain, and avoid excessive brushing over the same area. You may find you’re going back to your paint tray often, and that’s fine. Your second coat will go on much faster and have a much deeper color, since the wood will be sucking up less and less paint with each coat.

Always allow Real Milk Paint to dry between coats. Rinse out your brush with Lye Soap and water  after use and wrap with with a piece of cloth leaving the bristle end open to air dry . Lightly tie a string around the cloth wrapped bristles to hold it in place  . This will keep the bristles in shape and allow the brush to dry properly . Our Lye Soap kit has all you need to clean and care for your brushes . Now all your brushed will be ready to go for the next adventure !!!