Mixing Milk Paint Misstep

This past week I have been working on quite a few pieces for the upcoming Vintage Thymes Market in November. It’s fun, other than the fact that my house looks like a bomb hit it-I have bits and pieces of projects going on everywhere!

Family Room WorkshopThe smaller pieces I can do in my basement workshop, but the big pieces stay upstairs. Man, I really, really, really do need a studio! For my current project, I decided to use my Miss Mustard Seed’s “Eulalie’s Sky” Milk Paint for the back of a beautiful step-back cupboard I am working on.

Cupboard Back BeforeI read the instructions and set out my necessary tools: air-tight container, measuring cup, warm water, bag of milk paint, mixer-what?!?

Milk Paint Mixing ToolsYup, a mixer. You see, milk paint comes in powdered form, in much the same consistency as powdered milk we used to use as kids when we ran out of regular milk. (I can’t help but notice that in this advertisement, they are using a cocktail stirrer to mix the milk. Those were some crazy times…)

Non Fat Dry MilkInterestingly, when I first opened the package, it appeared to be white.

Mustard Seed Paint PowderUh, oh, I thought, they put the wrong color in here! But once I added the water, the magic began. Now, according to the instructions I had read, this paint needs to be blended for 3-5 minutes, which makes sense, to break up all the powder bits and get them blended smoothly.

Mixing Paint with MixerAnd it says you could use a blended or a stirrer stick. Well, my blended is reserved solely for frozen margaritas, so not using that! And, standing there for 5 minutes stirring paint didn’t seem like all that much fun, so I decided to use a single whisk on my mixer. FAIL. BIG FAIL. I should have stopped once I noticed that my paint was looking more like a blue vanilla frappe than a bucket of paint, but I didn’t. So once the 5 minutes were up, I had this:

Blue Frappe

A big container of frothy blue milk. You cannot paint with blue bubbles. I repeat, you cannot paint with blue bubbles. So, I put it in the fridge for awhile to allow it to settle-it is milk paint, after all! Once I removed it, it looked a lot less frothy, so I attempted to paint the cupboard. While it was actually useable, the color was very sheer, obviously from the aeration still present.

First Coat SheerIf I had wanted it to have a stained appearance, it would have been perfect. So I waited awhile, stirred up the paint again with a stick to smooth, then added a second coat.

Breaking Down the FoamBetter, but still kind of streaky and with a lot of color variation.

Second Coat Milk Paint

So, then I went online and watched all of the Miss Mustard Seed Tutorials to make sure I was doing this correctly.

Miss Mustard Seed Video

(You would have thought it would’ve been a no-brainer to do that first, right?) And I was doing it right, with that one fatal flaw-frothing the paint first. That was most definitely NOT in the tutorial. Oh, well, another DIY lesson learned. One more coat, and now the color is deep and true on the inside of the cupboard.

Final Coat Eulalie's Sky

And, although there are variations and some streaks, it gives the piece some striations and depth of color-much like the sky itself. (I took this from my car yesterday-so beautiful!)

Rainbow Sky PM

Now I just have to finish the rest of it! And I will, while watching the Red Sox Duck Boat Parade from the comfort of our family room  paint workshop. In the meantime, anyone got a studio for rent? Happy weekend, everyone! Susan


  1. Looks to me like you’d be better off buying a cow before renting a studio with all the “milk” paint you’re using . . . Oh, waaaaaaaaull, just a thought. lol


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