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Cracking and Color Layering With Milk Paint

Cracking and Color Layering With Milk Paint

, by Amy Howard, 3 min reading time


One of the questions we get most often on Finish Fridays is how to create layers and finishes that look truly “Old World.”

While milk paint provides a velvety, vintage finish that you can’t get from any other paint, many people don’t know that it can also be used for cracked finishes and color layering when you want to achieve a distressed Old World look.

In this Finish Friday broadcast, Amy shares how to create a multi-layered project using Amy Howard at Home Milk Paint. She explains how our milk paint is formulated without actual cow or goat milk, but still uses casein and other essential ingredients for an authentic finish.

All of our pigments are shipped directly from natural quarries in Italy, which creates the rich Toscana finishes and colors you get from our milk paint. Best of all, our milk paint is VOC-free and contains no commercial ingredients that are considered toxic, unlike traditional commercial paints. Because of this, our milk paint is safe to use on virtually any decorative surface.


Introducing you to the Toscana Milk Paint, Amy explains that all you need to create an amazing, layered finish is a horizontal surface, milk paint, and water. Mix the combination thoroughly until all clumps and foam are removed. Depending on the look you’re going for – maybe a thin glazed patina or a multi-layered antique finish – Amy shows you how to add water and additional coats of paint as needed.


Because of the nature of milk paint, Amy also shows you how to layer many different paints and create layers of color with different Amy Howard At Home products. Instead of using sandpaper to get an aged, smooth surface, she shares how to use a base layer of Legno Gesso (pronounced jess-o). Our cracked gesso, which has its own unique ingredients, goes on any surface smoothly and separates into an aged, cracked finished. Best of all, Legno Gesso serves as a beautiful white undercoating for Toscana Milk Paint.


After creating a cracked gesso base, Amy shows you how to apply your first coat of Toscana Milk Paint, which should go on smoothly thanks to its watery texture. Once that first layer is dry, you’ll likely see it begin to separate and crack into a beautiful, aged pattern. You can continue to layer your milk paint for richer color and a more pronounced patina, or you can choose to move on to the Antiquing Glaze and a blended mix of Light Antique Wax and Dark Antique Wax.


The Antiquing Glaze will give an unmistakably Toscana finish to virtually any raw surface, as you use a sea sponge to imitate an aged texture. Amy demonstrates how the glaze will lighten areas of the milk paint’s color and also how (once the glaze is dry) the light and dark wax can highlight the grooves and designs. As a finishing touch, Amy loves using Dust of Ages, which lends a delicate and truly historical feel to any piece.


Make sure to watch this week’s installment of Finish Friday to catch a few of Amy’s extra tips about applying paints, glazes, and wax to create cracks and layers in your DIY project. Stay tuned for next week’s Finish Friday broadcast by following Amy Howard At Home on Facebook and Instagram.



  • Beautiful


    Kimberly on

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