How to Use Milk Paint and Cracked Gesso for Aged, Antique Finishes
Each week on Finish Friday, Amy walks us through a new DIY project or refinishing product. In one of our latest episodes of Finish Friday, Amy talked about the differences between chalked-based paint and milk paint. It was such a popular Finish Friday episode that we’re expanding on it and diving into how to properly use and age furniture with milk paint.
The Beauty of Our Toscana Milk Paint
One Step Paint is one of Amy Howard at Home’s most popular products because it’s great for thicker, opaque coverage. But Toscana Milk Paint, another popular item, allows for more depth, highlighting, and aging because it is thinner and more transparent. This makes it great for layering and cracking that gives antique pieces those really unique finishes. Our milk paint is great for indoor and under-cover pieces and should be paired with Legno Gesso and waxes (not Cracked Patina, like the One Step Paint). To get an amazing antique look on any sort of wood furniture using Toscana Milk Paint, you can check out this Finish Friday video — and the Milk Paint Project bundle that goes with it!
In the video, Amy also reminds us that, when we’re getting ready to antique or paint a piece, we should think of where that piece would wear naturally. After all, milk paint is thinner and easier to age, but it can be “overdone.” Sometimes, people use sandpaper or tools that make the aging look forced, but with Toscana Milk Paint you don’t have to do that. Your piece will have a patina, but it won’t look fake! Check out this week’s Finish Friday video if you want to learn how.
Milk Paint & Cracked Gesso for Better Aging
When you’re using Toscana Milk Paint and want an aged, cracked, layered look, you’ll want to use the Legno Gesso. Simply apply the cracked gesso (after mixing) to your piece. Make sure you’ve got good coverage and let it dry for 35-40 minutes. Then come back with 400 grit sandpaper to make sure the cracked gesso lays flat and that there are no rough edges. Then, you’re ready for milk paint! Mix your milk paint the night before if you can, and remember that it’s supposed to be runny! Do not add more powder to thicken it up, as this will remove the paint’s ability to age and antique properly. Once you’ve applied your milk paint to your piece, which should be laying flat on a table, let it dry fully before moving on to the next step.
Next, pour some Antiquing Glaze (included in the Milk Paint Project bundle) into a bowl and dip a sea sponge into the glaze. Squeeze out the excess glaze and pat it gently across your horizontal piece. You can layer milk paint after you’ve aged it, as well as layer different colors for authentic aging. Feel like you aged your piece too much? Make sure your milk paint is mixed enough and dip your finger into it. Then, simply dab your painted finger on the spots you went to heavy with the glaze!
Of course, with milk paint, it’s very important to wax it. Our light and dark wax pucks are perfect for these milk paint projects because they provide a beautiful finish and also offer great protection when they harden. Amy shares a rule of thumb for using these wax pucks: Make sure to use the light wax on about 80-100% of your piece, and the dark wax on only about 20%. People can ruin their piece with too much dark wax, so make sure you’re offloading the excess and pressing lightly with your brush!
Watch the Video for Even More Tips!
Amy talks a lot more about the technique and specific application she uses to provide her pieces with that beautiful, rustic, aged finish we all love so much. If you want to create that look for yourself, definitely tune into the video to get a step-by-step tutorial and extra tips from Amy. You can also check out the video for a BIG spoiler about Amy’s next workshop and don’t forget you can save 20% when you purchase the Milk Paint Project bundle. With the bundle, you’ll receive everything you need to complete the same furniture refinishing project Amy taught in this week’s Finish Friday.
Of course, the fun doesn’t stop here. You can see Amy every Friday at 12 noon Central over on the Amy Howard at Home Facebook page. Follow and like the page if you want to be notified when the next Finish Friday goes live.
June 11 2019
I love your work and want yo do learn