Monday, 10 September 2012

Martha's Homemade Milk Paint Recipe Review

I've used up the last of my homemade milk paint, taking a lot more time on the finishing touches this time since I didn't have a deadline (other than to use the paint before it went bad).  Here is a summary of my experiences with Martha Stewart's homemade milk paint recipe.

1. DO add 1/2 tsp of Borax.  Otherwise it's like painting with cottage cheese.

2. DON'T wait too long before using the paint.  Mine was starting to turn gelatinous by the time I used up the last of it.

2. DON'T attempt to paint a "bureau or other large furnishing" with one batch of paint.  You will not have enough paint, no matter what Martha says.  The paint is translucent and requires two coats to get an even finish.  I had just enough to do two little treasure boxes and a small table.

3. DO experiment with colour.  That was the fun part!  I had almost no colour plan when I started adding colour to my paint.  I ended up with two shades of turquoise and a navy.  I love all three colours.

4. DON'T try to use a water-based glaze over the milk paint.  It will start to dissolve the paint.  I'm not 100 percent happy with the look of the glaze on the table.  Especially on the top.  I had to work really fast, touching the finish as little as possible while blending the glaze.  When I was doing the top, my babysitting charge started climbing the stairs so I had to go rescue her.  The glaze was dried and irreparable by the time I got back.  Oh well, it's starting to grow on me.  The table looks like it came straight from Home Sense (or Home Goods, for the Americans).

Actually my husband built this table for me when we were engaged.  He gave it to me for my birthday.I love that it is one of a kind.  But the knotty-pine look wasn't quite working for me any more.  Since it had no varnish on it, I decided to take a gamble and try the milk paint on it.  I love the result.  I may attempt to wax it, if that doesn't dissolve the paint too.  In the meantime, the smooth finish of the milk paint is lovely.And my son loves his treasure box.  It has the same starry interior as the one I painted for his cousin.

In The Old Road
Also linked at Get Outta My Head Please


  1. Thanks for the tips, Jo. The table looks awesome and I like the glaze finish on the top - gives it a lot of depth. Well done.

  2. I love how those turned out!! they look great!

  3. Gah! I love this. I'm definitely going to have to try this technique on something. Gorgeous!

  4. What color paint did you use? Did you have to sand the table before? Oh and did you prime it with a white or is it still wood beneath the pain? Sorry for all the questions, this is my first project!

    1. Hi Whitney. Honestly, I didn't use any particular colour of paint. I used acrylic craft paints in an "a little of this, a little of that" method. Sorry I can't be more help. I started with a cobalt-ish blue and white, then added green and more white to get the teal colour once I was finished painting with the blue. I didn't prime or sand, and the paint is sticking pretty well, except in a few places (which is excellent for milk paint with no bonding agent!). Good luck with your project! Remember if it doesn't turn out, you can always paint it again.


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