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What's the Difference Between Milk Paint and Chalk-based Paint?

What's the Difference Between Milk Paint and Chalk-based Paint?

, by Amy Howard, 5 min reading time

When you first set out to start your next DIY project, you might be overwhelmed by options. Which tools do you use, and which paints? Even more confusing, what if two paints seems to be nearly identical in terms of color but you’re not sure which formula is best for your specific project? And how do you know which paint will help you antique your piece the way you envision? Amy Howard knows how hard it can be to choose paints and tools for your project, which is why on this episode of Finish Friday, she is diving into the difference between chalk-based paint and milk paint.

When you first set out to start your next DIY project, you might be overwhelmed by options. Which tools do you use, and which paints? Even more confusing, what if two paints seem to be nearly identical in terms of color but you’re not sure which formula is best for your specific project? And how do you know which paint will help you antique your piece the way you envision?


Amy Howard knows how hard it can be to choose paints and tools for your project, which is why on this episode of Finish Friday, she is diving into the difference between chalk-based paint and milk paint. If you’ve ever wondered which one of these Amy Howard at Home paints is right for your rescue and restore project, check out this Finish Friday video:


 

Chalk-Based Paint

There are a lot of chalk-based paints out there on the market. As Amy explains in the Finish Friday video, a true chalk-based paint has a matte finish — if you find a “chalky paint” that has a sheen or gloss to it, that’s just cheap acrylic paint. The Amy Howard at Home line of One Step Paint™ is a true calcium carbonate paint that has no VOCs, no odors, and you do not have to seal it. With One Step Paint™, you could also come back over the topcoat with glazes, waxes, and other finishes to really make it pop. Whether you choose to use additional products or not, this chalk-based paint offers consistent, opaque coverage for an authentic vintage finish. If you’re curious how to use One Step Paint™ (a pure chalk-based paint) for your next project, Amy walks you through that in the Finish Friday video, as well as in other videos in the Facebook library!

Milk-Based Paint

If you want a more antique finish for your furniture, Amy recommends her line of Toscana Milk Paint. Milk paint offers one-of-a-kind depth that you can’t get with other paints out there. High quality, European-sourced pigments lend the Amy Howard at Home line of Toscana Milk Paint true-to-color tones that you don’t get from other products on the market. Of course, milk paint has a few “quirks” to keep in mind as you use it. For one, make sure that you stir your milk paint every time you add paint to your brush because the pigments will settle. To avoid this as much as possible, Amy recommends making your milk paint the night before you plan to use it. This will allow the pigments to soak up the water as much as possible. Of course, you must still make sure to keep mixing as you use it! Avoid extreme temperatures when applying your milk paint. What about ventilation? Since these are food-grade, no VOCs products, you don’t have to worry about fumes or toxins, so it’s safe to paint indoors. Finally, to get the most out of your milk paint finish, Amy recommends using other antiquing products, such as the Legno Gesso or Antiquing Glaze, for a beautiful, aged look you can’t emulate with any other products.

For Easy Reference: Chalk Paint vs. Milk Paint


Chalk-Based Paint (One Step Paint)

Milk Paint (Toscana Milk Paint)

Longer shelf life

2-week shelf life after mixing

Thicker consistency

Thinner consistency

No sanding, priming, or stripping (just cleaning!)

Remove lacquer and prime your surface (with One Step Paint!)

Use for full coverage on top of lacquer, oil-based paint, old woods, melamine, resin, plastic, glass, brick… the list goes on!

Use for depth, aging, layering, antiquing, cracked patina, and other finishes on stone, plaster, wood, and more.

Opaque, 100% coverage

Slightly transparent, textured coverage

No sealants needed! Waxes and finishes optional

Sealants needed to protect the finish. Waxes should go on top of your final finish.

No VOCs, all natural

No VOCs, all natural


More DIY Education Every Friday

Because of Amy Howard at Home’s One Step and Toscana Milk paints, furniture — including pieces made from particle board, formica, resins, and more — no longer need to be thrown out. You can actually paint on these surfaces too! This makes it easy to rescue and restore furniture… instead of adding to the 28 million tons of furniture thrown out each year. Hopefully, you now feel empowered to make the most of your painted refinishing projects. Please be sure to join the Amy Howard at Home Before and After group to see more tips and learn how other DIYers are using these products every day.


Of course, Amy goes live on the Amy Howard at Home Facebook page every Friday at 12 noon Central time to share more tips and in-depth tutorials. Tune in next week and every week so you can learn how to make furniture beautiful… instead of throwing it away!

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  • Last Friday’s Live video was FABULOUS! Do not have FB, however I watch on IG. I have looked everywhere for a replay of June 21 episode! I want to order kit with noir milk paint if possible! But I need that video also! Thanks for your help. I e been wanting this finish for years!! Thanks so much.

    LA

    Lady Beth Ross on

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