Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Check out these two photos.
The one on the left is satin latex paint (Ben Moore). The one on the right is General Finishes Milk Paint.
I'm relatively new to using milk paint, and I'm not even sure that the General Finishes version qualifies as true milk paint, but I'm becoming a believer.
I was working on a project a few weeks back where I needed to distress some red paint, like I did to this sideboard a few months back. I ran out of the Red Pepper milk paint that I'd been using. I went to Woodcraft to buy more but they only had one pint. I went through that one pint pretty fast and then couldn't find any more Red Pepper milk paint anywhere in my city...until a friend offered me a quart from her garage. That's what friends are for, right? I didn't want to use up the end of her valuable supply of milk paint, though.
So I had it color matched (sort of...it's not an easy color to match and I had to go to three different paint stores, but eventually I got close) in a satin latex paint.
The results were not so nice.
First of all, the regular latex paint stunk. I guess it smelled like normal latex paint, but it's been a while since I used normal latex paint (I've been trying to stick to the Sherwin-Williams Harmony line and other no- or low-VOC paints as much as possible). General Finishes Milk Paint has almost no odor, although it is not considered to be a low-VOC paint.
The other problem I noticed was how the latex paint distressed (or didn't distress) when compared with milk paint. I knew this would happen, and it was one reason why I was using milk paint to begin with, but knowing didn't make it any less frustrating. You can see in the photos above how the latex paint gums up, while the milk paint sands into a powder.
I've read that chalk paint sands into a powder too...it's on my list to try. I may start by making my own.
One other line I'd like to try is Mythic Paint. According to the couple who supplies my PolyWhey, flat Mythic Paint may distress as well as milk paint, but in a no-VOC formula. And the colors are completely customizable, unlike milk paint which comes in a limited variety of pre-mixed colors.
I haven't found my dream paint yet, but I have been reminded why I'm trying to quit traditional latex.