whitewoodco milkpaint 2

Photo Credit @whitewoodcompany

Painting unfinished wood with Real Milk Paint has lots of advantages to both novice and experienced do-it-yourselfers. First off, it’s particularly well suited to common woods like pine and fir since their grain patterns aren’t especially attractive, providing you with an easy way to improve the quality of handmade projects. Next, milk paints boast all-natural ingredients and a time-tested formulation, making them an extremely safe finishing option that beautifully endures years of use and display.

Additionally, Real Milk Paint lends an aura of age to new furniture that helps you easily achieve an antiqued look that meshes famously with on-trend farmhouse furnishings. The thin consistency works great when painting raw wood as it readily absorbs highly pigmented Real Milk Paint for gorgeous opaque coverage. Lastly, Real Milk Paint’s vast array of colors ensures lots of creative variety when designing palettes with multiple coordinating hues. With all those advantages in mind, let’s look at the steps you need to take when using milk paint on unfinished wood.

Mixing Real Milk Paint

Real Milk Paint arrives powdered, so you need to mix it with water before you begin. To do this, add equal parts of powdered paint and water to a suitable container or just use the provided container Real Milk Paint is packaged in, then stir the mixture for three minutes, either by hand with a stirrer or whisk or by using a paint stirrer drill attachment. If it’s too thick for your usage, add a little more water and mix it up again. The consistency should be like heavy cream or thin pancake mix. Once you’ve thoroughly blended your Real Milk Paint and water, let the formulation sit for about 15 minutes to let the foam dissipate. When painting raw wood with milk paint, you typically don’t need a bonding agent.

Preparing Your Surface

The next step for painting unfinished wood with Real Milk Paint is preparing your chosen surface for application. First, take a damp cloth and remove all dust from your handmade or unfinished wood piece, and while doing so, inspect the surfaces for knots or divots. If you find areas that need evening out, use sandpaper to smooth out the surface, then fill in voids with fast-drying shellac or DAP Plastic Wood. Once your repairs dry, wipe down the surface again with a damp cloth to clear off any remaining dust to prep for using milk paint on unfinished wood. Keep in mind that the damp cloth moistens the wood, helping it better absorb the Real Milk Paint color you add. Some DIYers even spray a gentle mist over wood, allow it to dry and raise the grain, then sand down the surface before applying milk paint, though this step isn’t always necessary for rustic, distressed, or primitive furniture styles.

Painting Unfinished Wood

Painting raw wood with its first coat of Real Milk Paint goes easily when you begin covering your piece with an angled paintbrush. The shape of the bristles ensures you get into tighter spots or areas with lots of carved detailing, and angular brushes work better than rollers because they help you better control dripping. Be sure to start at the top and work your way down, blending any drips or runs into the surface as you go. There’s no need to obsess over how you apply the first coat since your main goal is coverage. Let the first coat dry before you continue, which can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight, depending on your environment.

Once dry, apply the second coat. Unlike with the first coat, focus on maintaining smooth, even brush strokes. Be sure to keep the paint well stirred as you work. Just like with the first coat, work from the top down to control drips. When you have uniform coverage of your entire piece, let it dry. If you feel like some spots need more coverage, add extra layers over those spots. If you want the earthy antiqued look of Real Milk Paint in all its glory, you’re ready to move your finished product to its spot of honor once it dries. If you want to protect the finish, The Real Milk Paint Company makes several sealants ideal for completing your piece, including all-natural Pure Tung Oil, Hemp Oil, and waxes.