Furniture Painting Series Part 3: Old Fashioned Milk Paint

Hello, Remodelaholics!  It’s Cassie from Primitive and Proper here today with another paint review for you.  Please remember that anything you read is my opinion and mine alone- just a little preface.

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Today I am going to talk about…. Old Fashioned Milk Paint!  I have only recently begun using it and so far I am sold.  The first piece I tried it out on was this cute little nightstand, which was once part of a vanity.  I picked it up at a yard sale…. I am always a sucker for these pieces!

Now, with Old Fashioned Milk Paint no sanding or priming is necessary, but the paint will flake off where the paint wants to.  I love that about this paint- it makes it a little more interesting and gives it an authentically old look.

Old Fashioned Milk Paint comes in a powder form and the directions state to mix one part water with one part powder.  In my own experience, I have found that warm water works well.  I put it with the powder in a small container, I put the lid on, and I shake it up instead of stirring.  This creates a bit of a foamy paint, but you can actually paint with the foam.

I painted this piece with two coats, and then sanded it all over.  This piece was pretty dry with much of the original finish worn, so the paint adhered well, and was harder to distress.   Once I finished distressing it all over by hand, I gave it a coat of a clear wax to finish it…. it felt silky smooth to the touch when that was done!  I also added some new knobs I purchased a while back on clearance at Anthro.  Here is the after….




Now, soon after, I painted another piece with the same paint, and achieved a much different look.  The color and chippiness were different in this piece as you can see….

Here you can see a side by side of the two pieces, to see the difference…

I also recently finished a coffee table, and the paint flaked off much more than these two pieces, giving it a much more weathered and chippy look.

So as you can see from these examples, the paint reacts differently with different woods and finishes.  I don’t always know what result I will get, but I happen to love that!  It’s half the fun!

So here are my overall thoughts on Old Fashioned Milk Paint.


1. Easy to mix and apply.

2. Dries quickly.

3. Environmentally friendly and safe.

4. Gives an authentically old finish.

5. Finishes beautifully with easy to apply wax.


1. Works best for an old look…. doesn’t lend well to modern.

2. The chippiness and finish are somewhat of a surprise…  I consider this a pro, but I am sure many people would not like the unpredictability.

3. Limited on colors, though colors can be premixed in powder form before water is added.

All in all, I absolutely love using this paint and love the look it creates- it is like no other paint I have used! Hop on over to my blog…. I have a couple more milk paint projects in the works soon to appear!



If you want to know more about Cassie’s other paint reviews check out these as well:

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  1. Great review of Old Fashioned Milk Paint! You’ve inspired a new board for us (Crown Point Cabinetry) on Pinterest! We offer Old Fashioned Milk Paint as a finish option and we have had great success with layering stains with the milk paint, or even two different milk paint colors and, of course, burnishing. We agree, the results are very exciting and always unique!

  2. Thank you so much for this review! I was just talking about this paint yesterday, since my friend was saying that ASCP doesn’t have a true black {and this does, right?} I really appreciate the feedback about its unpredictability, because that would make me a little twitchy, to be honest. 😉 Thanks again.

    1. hi aimee! if you want a really great true black- general finishes makes lamp black paint and that is my go to black. it has fabulous adhesion, too! that review will be coming up on the next couple months, but if you want a black, i highly recommend it. 🙂

  3. I have used this excellent product for many, many years, I would say it is the best of the ready to mix (as opposed to make yourself) milk paints and I think far superior to the ready mixed varieties. However this paint makes no claims to stick to pre-finished surfaces and in fact only recommends applying without preparation onto unfinished furniture There are no adhesion promoters nor is there any reason why it would cut into the existing finish on a surface like …..milk paints are not designed to be like that.
    There may be surfaces – like french polished surfaces that might pick this up quite nicely so those that want to try it don’t despair but on finished furniture it will be fairly hit and miss

  4. Could you tell me about the color you it the slate? I am looking for that color, and it’s hard to identify from the samples on the website. Also you said you coated it with a clear wax. I am not sure what that is? Is it like painting on a varnish?
    THank you so much!n Looking forward to starting my project.