One of the questions that I get asked the most when holding my painting workshops or on Social Media is what is the difference between, Chalk Paint Milk Paint and Mineral Paint. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to actually write a post and share it with you all! I guess it is better late than never and hope this goes some way forward to answering this question for you.
The Difference Between Chalk Paint Milk Paint Mineral Paint
When I started painting about 24 years ago there used to be very few paints available. And when painting furniture there was an insane amount of prep work that was needed before you could actually pick up your brush and start painting! It almost deterred you from wanting to paint at all!
These days we are so lucky to have a choice of so many wonderful brands and some that you need very little or to no prep. 3 of them which I am very grateful enough to supply over in my shop! Sweet Pickin’s Milk Paint, Fusion Mineral Paint and Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.
Two Milk Paints I hear you ask? Yep, I love milk paint so much that I supply 2 brands and the only reason is because of the colour range that each beautiful product offers!
Let’s get down to what is the difference between these wonderful paints.
The thing I love most about painting furniture is that it transforms something old into something new without breaking the bank. Instead of having to go and purchase another piece of furniture you can give your existing piece a new lease on life and completely change the feel of your space. It also helps hugely with the amount of waste that we have as a society.
Milk Painted Cupboard
Milk Paint Benefits
- 5 all Natural Ingredients – Milk Protein (casein), limestone, chalk, clay and natural pigments. Zero VOC’s, biodegradable and non-toxic
- Comes in powder form and then mixed with warm water of a ratio of 1:1
- Super versatile and can be used on furniture, walls, metal and unfinished wood floors
- Can be used outdoors when protected with Tung Oil
- Can achieve a naturally aged look and can also give a modern look by applying an opaque coat
- Mixed with bonding agent promotes a good cohesion to previously painted or varnished surfaces
- Indefinite shelf life before mixed with water
- Once mixed it can be used for about 1 week
- 2 to 3 coats for best coverage
- Can be layered using different colours
- Porous paint so needs to be sealed with a wax, hemp oil or top coat
- Can be used as a stain on raw wood by adding more water – SEE MY POST HERE
- Comes in a wide array of beautiful colours
- Easy clean up in water
Fusion Painted Side Board
Fusion Mineral Paint Benefits
- Built in Top Coat
- Environmentally friendly
- Low Voc’s
- Minimal preparation required for any surface before applying. For high gloss surfaces, I always recommend using Ultra Grip for better adhesion
- Self-levelling and pre-mixed
- High durability once cured. I still add a top coat when painting furniture that is used in high traffic. For example Tables and Chairs, Kitchen Cupboards for extra protection
- Has a shelf life of up to 7 years once opened
- Extremely good coverage with 23 sq metres (75 sq ft) per 500ml jar
- Ready-mixed acrylic paint
- Can be layered with different colours
- One to 2 coats needed for full coverage
- Can be sanded and distress but needs to then be sealed with a wax or top coat. Because you have opened up the pores of the paint by distressing and removing some of the built-in top coat
- Has a wide range of beautiful colours, hemp oil or waxes to finish your project
- Can be used as a stain on raw wood
- Easy clean up in water
Music Sheet Side Table
Chalk Paint Benefits
- Is premixed in a can
- Prep needed. Light sand to open up the pores of the project that you are working on and remove any glossy finishes and then apply the paint
- Can be distressed
- Needs to be sealed with a wax or top coat for durability
- Can be used as a layering paint to give a nice effect
- 2 to 3 coats needed for full coverage
- Easy clean up in water
- Lots of different styles of paint colour available
Milk Painted Side Table Before Waxing
So as you can see all of these paints have there own uniqueness! As I always say to my students in my workshops is to start on small things like a picture frame, small stool, chair or small side table. Experiment and get used to the paint and brush before tackling a giant armoire.
Old Screen Door Painted In Fusion – Coal Black
I hope that this has helped a tonne and as always if you have any painting questions please don’t hesitate to ask away! I am always happy to help!
I’ve always wondered about that. We don’t get any kind of milk paint here in South Africa, so for easy pieces, I usually reach for chalk paint. I’ve been a little disappointed with its durability though. One day hopefully there’ll be milk paint on the shelves here so I can experiment. Your post will come in so handy then Sam, thank you
I have never tried milk paint or mineral paint. I am hoping to find some small jewelry boxes which would be a perfect starter project.
I hope you get to one day soon, Leanna! Each is so unique in their own way!
Sam I want to paint my bathroom vanity with no or little prep. Because of moisture which paint should I use?
Hi there Irvin,
Thank you so much for your question! I would need to just check to see what your vanity is made out of. Because surfaces like laminate do require a little bit of prep work and important for the longevity of your paint. But I would strongly recommend using a mineral paint which has a built top coat in it and then also go the extra mile and seal with a tough coat. Please reach out if you have any further questions 🙂
Great post Sam. I have used both chalk and milk but never mineral paint. I hope to correct that soon!
Oh you will have a ball, I’m sure, Mary!!
Thank you Sam:)
I’m trying to decide whether to purchase 2 of your Easter signs 🙂
You’re so very welcome, Karen!! Oh bless you, that’s so sweet of you to be thinking about them! xx