Step-by-Step Guide To Fix Peeling Milk PaintThe rustic matte finish and eco-friendly appeal make milk paint a favorite among DIY enthusiasts, lending a vintage and aged look to your projects. However, the tendency for some brands to peel can take away from the overall aesthetic of your furniture and home decor. Whether you’re facing peeling problems on a recently painted surface or an older application, having true milk paint from the Real Milk Paint Co. for touch-ups and fixes makes all the difference. Discover why milk paint peels, and learn the right techniques to fix peeling milk paint to breathe new life into old pieces with Real Milk Paint.

Understanding Why Milk Paint Peels

Various factors affect the application and longevity of milk paint, and most of them stem from issues other than the paint itself. Understanding how to avoid these challenges empowers DIYers to preempt this painting problem in the first place and repair peeling in previously painted pieces. Let’s take a look at the primary culprits behind why your milk-painted furniture and decor have peeling or chipping paint.

Inadequate Surface Preparation

When it comes to milk paint, the importance of proper surface preparation can’t be overstated. It’s a crucial step that ensures the paint will adhere well to bare wood or a painted surface. Start your preparation by cleaning your project piece with mineral spirits or our new Emerge Cleaner & Degreaser and then drying it thoroughly before you begin. Products like Real Milk Paint work best on porous surfaces that can absorb their natural binders. If your surface is too smooth or slick — or if it’s covered in oils, waxes or other protective finishes — milk paint may not stay put.

Fortunately, you can create a porous surface by sanding before the first coat using medium grit sandpaper to remove the top layer of gloss and finishes, which lets the milk paint soak into the surface. You can also lightly sand between each coat for smooth application and more opaque coverage. After you finish sanding, clean the piece again to remove the dust. Then, let it dry to get the best results and prevent unwanted chipping and peeling.

Environmental Factors

peeling paint with scalpelWhere you apply and cure milk paint matters just as much as how. The medium works best in spaces with low to moderate humidity and moderate temperatures. Environments with high humidity levels or extreme temperatures don’t allow the new paint to dry and cure as it should, leading to peeling over time.

If you plan on painting in humid spaces like basements, turn on a dehumidifier rated for the right square footage before painting. Warm up cold areas with a space heater first, or cool them down with a portable air conditioning unit.

Application Errors

Getting great results with milk paint powder is within your reach. It’s all about mixing it with the right balance of powder and water. Mixing your milk paint with too little water may be too thick for smooth application. You also want to remove all the lumps and wait for the foaming to subside or add our Anti-Foaming Agent before you begin your paint job.

Overly thick layers often prevent the medium from drying correctly, resulting in peeling when the painted surface dries. You can avoid this problem by layering milk paint in thin, even coats with a paintbrush or roller and allowing sufficient drying time in between.

Tools and Materials Needed to Fix Peeling Milk Paint

Real Milk Paint Wood WaxWhen you’re ready to tackle peeling milk paint repair, you need a few things. Below, we provide a comprehensive list of exactly what you need to get the job done, including top-notch supplies available from the Real Milk Paint Co. Our eco-friendly tools and materials help you complete projects efficiently and effectively, whether you’re fixing a previous paint job or adding a fresh coat of paint to a brand new piece of furniture you’ve made.

  • Sandpaper: Lightly sand furniture and decor with fine to medium grit sandpaper before you repair chipping to help milk paint adhere to the surface better. If you have an orbital sander, affix our non-woven discs to your tool for easy surface preparation, or use our non-woven hand pads to remove chippy paint from tight areas like edges and detailing.
  • Milk paint: Real Milk Paint boasts 56 different colors, so you can easily find hues that match the surface where you’re repairing chipping and peeling paint.
  • Paint additives: When you mix your paint, add our Ultra Bond Adhesion Promoter to help Real Milk Paint better adhere to the repair area. Our Anti-Foaming Agent lets you start painting immediately by eliminating the need to wait for foaming to subside. At the same time, our Outdoor Additive helps outside projects resist discoloration by blocking tannins from leaching through the surface.
  • Paintbrushes: High-quality Zibra paintbrushes help you control chipping by ensuring all the paint goes on in thin, even coats. Designed for controlled release with soft tips yet stiff bristles, these paintbrushes also clean up quickly and hold up well to use. They come in various sizes, providing the top-notch tools you need for projects large and small.
  • Clean cloths: Clean cloths — preferably lint-free — complement your projects in multiple ways. They’re great for wiping down furniture before you begin, cleaning up after sanding and wiping the painted surface down again when you’re ready to reapply a top coat after your final coat.
  • Cleanser: Mild detergent and a safe cleanser like the Emerge Cleaner & Degreaser are great for painting projects. Use the mild detergent to clean your brushes, and the cleanser will remove all the dust, dirt and residue from surfaces before you begin.
  • Other supplies: Block off the areas where you don’t want milk paint to adhere with painter’s tape, and remove chipping paint with a putty knife. Though Real Milk Paint can be used in areas without ventilation due to its eco-friendly formulation that’s safe for food contact, you may want to add protective gear to your supplies if you’re overly sensitive.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Peeling and Chipping Milk Paint

man repainting a wall after fixing peeling milk paintUse this step-by-step process to repair wood furniture and decor with peeling or chippy milk paint. Our milk paint powder comes in many colors to make fixing cosmetic issues quick and simple.

Preparing the Peeling Area

  1. Clean the area: Use a mild detergent or TSP to remove grease, dirt and dust. Rinse the surface with clean water before drying it completely.
  2. Remove chipping paint: Use your putty knife to remove loose, chipping and peeling paint, being careful not to gouge or scratch the bare wood beneath.
  3. Sand the surface: Since milk paint adheres better to porous surfaces, lightly sand the area to remove any peeling or chipping paint left behind after scraping.
  4. Wipe down the area: Wipe down the area after sanding to remove dust and debris.

Applying the Paint

  1. Mix your milk paint: Mix your milk paint, including any additives, and wait for it to stop foaming.
  2. Apply the base coat: Grab your paint brush and add the first coat to the area where you fixing the peeling or chipping paint.
  3. Let the paint dry: Wait a few hours for the Real Milk Paint to dry.

Drying and Second Coat Application

  1. Check the first coat: Check your base coat to see if it’s dry.
  2. Lightly sand if needed: Use a sanding pad for improved adhesion to the bare wood.
  3. Apply the final coat: After cleaning off dust left from sanding, add a thin, even final coat of milk paint.
  4. Let the furniture dry: Wait a few hours for the paint to dry.
  5. Add the top coat: To further protect the peeling paint repair, add a top coat such as our Wood Wax.

Tips for Preventing Unwanted Chipping and Peeling

Real Milk Paint Ultra Bond CollectionA combination of factors can lead to chipped or peeling furniture, so knowing how to mitigate those issues enhances the piece’s longevity. Regular cleaning to remove dust helps preserve the longevity of your paint job, reducing the risks of peeled and chipped paint.

Real Milk Paint Co. products go far beyond paint—we also offer protective finishes like Pure Tung Oil to prevent moisture from compromising the surface. The all-natural formulations, which lack volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are safe for food contact, help you feel good about your wood projects.

Create Long-Lasting Milk Paint Creations With Real Milk Paint

Whether you’re decorating a bare wood project you made yourself, revamping a thrift store find or repairing chipped or peeling paint, the Real Milk Paint Co. is there for you every step. We have the tools you need for DIY jobs, top-notch milk paints and additives and exceptionally smooth finishes for every practical and decorative need.