Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Milking it

If you take a look on Facebook at the many pages dedicated to furniture painting, you’ll see lots of people using chalky paints like Annie Sloan or Autentico or traditional paints by brands such as Little Greene and Farrow & Ball, but one thing we don’t see much of, on this side of the Atlantic at least, is milk paint.

Milk paint is a traditional decorating tool that has been used for thousands of years (you can even make your own), but, what with it being made out of milk and all, it has a short shelf life, so was overtaken by more commercial water-based and oil-based paints.

In the States, Miss Mustard Seed is probably the most well-known brand and there are now three stockists in the UK (one of which we hope to visit very soon).

We’ve been an admirer of MMS for a few years now and love the chippy look the paint gives. So we were interested to hear about Pinebrush Colourman – a Devon-based family business that has been producing buttermilk paints since the 1970s.

Laura gave it a try and was pleased with the results. I caught up with her (who am I kidding, she’s sitting right next to me) to find out what she thought.

J: So, how did you get on with the Pinebrush paint?

L: On the whole, I liked the paint a lot. Besides the fact that it smelt of delicious yogurt, the paint, perhaps unsurprisingly, had a 'creamy', velvety texture to it. One thing I did notice, though, was that it took an extra coat (four, rather than our usual three) to ensure that all the brushstrokes had gone completely, so that's something to consider when calculating how much paint you'll need, or how long something will take you to do. A great thing about the paint, was the texture created during the distressing phase. The paint seemed to be slightly more 'chippy' than regular eggshell paints, which helped to create a really natural looking, well-worn finish.

The finished piece

J: Would you use it again?

L: I would definitely use it again, if only to sample the delicious smell once more! Looking at their shade card, they have some really exciting colours, and I'd love to try out some of the brighter ones. 

J: The best thing about it?

L: The smell, indubitably.

J: And the worst thing?

L: Coverage. The drying time seemed to be slightly longer than usual too, so we had to make sure we allowed a good few hours before recoating.

Laura applies the first coat (and suddenly fancies a yogurt)

So there you have it. A pretty good endorsement I’d say.

Let us know how you get on if you try it.