Guide in Using Milk Paint on Walls

If your walls are raw plaster or gypsum, no special considerations are necessary, Real Milk Paint® will stick to these porous surfaces with ease. Unlike chalk paint or latex paints, our milk paint is an environmentally friendly, no VOC paint that comes in powder form. It contains all natural paint ingredients including powdered purified casein – or milk protein, lime and pigments.

If you are in the planning stages with new drywall or plaster walls (sheetrock) we recommend taping the joints with gypsum joint compound (does not contain anything that says vinyl) or skim coating with plaster or gypsum.

A good product for this is a hypo-allergenic joint compound with inert fillers and natural binders. Large holes in plaster and lath or sheetrock can be repaired with Plaster of Paris as it does not shrink much, then sand and skim coat with the M-100.

How to Examine the Walls Before Prepping and Painting

If there’s already a new drywall with taped and spackled joints, milk paint may work well. Do apply milk paint and test the area across the joints and wait a day to see the results.

If a latex binder was used in the joint compound, the finish of the painted wall might crackle. Also you may see a difference in penetration between the joint and the drywall. This may be remedied with another coat of paint. If you had crackling occur, an adhesion promoter like our Ultra Bond adhesive must be added to the first coat.

A second coat with the adhesive promoter or bonding agent may be necessary if good coverage was not achieved with the first coat of the porous surface. 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 surface is old and previously painted walls, they must be cleaned with TSP paint remover (trisodium phosphate) and scuff sanded to promote adhesion. Mix milk paint with Ultra Bond adhesive and do a test area. Wait a day to see the result before full application.

If the walls of your home are in desperate need of a new color palette, you’ll need the proper essentials first-hand before you can paint walls. So you can just pick up a brush and go. Order milk paint powder, surface prep products, and finishes here so you can get started on your new DIY project. Call 800-339-9748 or fill out our contact form for any questions about our products.

Before room prep ready for old fashioned milk paint job

Before: 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.

Interior walls after applying traditional milk paint

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 :)