How to Paint Walls

If your walls are raw plaster or gypsum, no special considerations are necessary, Real Milk Paint ® will stick to these porous surfaces.

If you are in the planning stages with new drywall we recommend taping the joints with gypsum joint compound (does not contain anything that says vinyl) or skim coating the wall with plaster or gypsum. A good product for this is Murco M-100 a hypo-allergenic joint compound with inert fillers and natural binders. Find it at Check the store location on their site for the one closest to you. They will ship. Large holes in plaster and lath or dry wall can be repaired with Plaster Paris as it does not shrink much, then sand and skim coat with the M-100.

If the wall is new dry wall with taped and spackled joints Real Milk Paint ® may work well. Do test area paint across the joints and wait a day to see the results. If a latex binder was used in the joint compound crackling may occur. Also you may see a difference in penetration between the joint and the dry wall. This may be remedied with another coat of paint. If you had crackling occur Ultra Bond must be added to the first coat. A second coat with Ultra Bond may be necessary if good coverage was not achieved with the first coat. After the first and or second coat of milk paint is applied with the addition of Ultra Bond, the remaining coats can be painted with unadulterated milk paint.

If the walls are old, unknown paint they must be cleaned with TSP (tri sodium phosphate) and scuff sanded to promote adhesion. Mix Real Milk Paint ® with Ultra Bond and do a test area. Wait a day to see the result before full application.

If the walls are in a high humidity or high traffic area we would recommend sealing the paint with Pure Tung Oil. One to two coats should be sufficient. If you have chosen light colors such as White or Cream, you should consider sealing with an acrylic finish, as the amber cast of the Pure Tung Oil might make these colors yellow.

If the walls are a non-high traffic area or ceiling no additional sealing is necessary.

before-wallsBefore: Here are pictures of the dining room in our 1896 clapboard country Victorian farm house. The walls are original horse hair plaster covered with wall paper. The trim in this room is in “Original Paint” which we wanted to keep. We stripped the wall paper with soapy water in a garden sprayer and steel putty knives. Then we patched the large holes with plaster paris and the smaller gouges with Murco M 100. Of course much sanding was needed.
Before and After Walls After: The ceiling is painted in “Pearl” milk paint down to the picture frame rail. I installed the picture frame rail to help preserve the walls while decorating, it is also a period detail which could have been. The walls were painted with a mix of one part “Deep Windsor Green” and two parts “White” Real Milk Paint. We used a natural sea sponge to apply the paint in broad up and down strokes. The corners and edges were first cut in using a 3 inch sponge brush then the sea sponge was used for the broad surfaces. The fact that Real Milk Paint® is so flat really hides all the imperfections. I have a nice small brass chandelier for this room, but it needs restored as well. Can’t resist a project :)