Milk paint vs chalk paint

What is milk paint and what’s the difference between Milk paint vs chalk paint? We’ll try to figure it out with this guide.

When comparing milk paint vs. chalk paint side-by-side you might notice some key similarities and differences including a matte finish, texture that can be distressing in appearance, and low overall VOC (volatile organic compound) levels.

Both offer unique characteristics that can add an elegant finishing touch to furniture or accents – however upon further investigation, there are multiple key differences between them.

To help you make your final decision as to whether Milk paint vs chalk paint is right for you here’s all you need to know.

What is Milk Paint?

Milk paint has deep roots, originating from the first cave paintings created by people.

Milk paint is something of a mixture between lime and quark, or simply milk. It mostly comes in powder form and requires water for you to carry out your project.

The solution gives it its overall sheen, and with its vibrant color, you can easily make it your own by combining dry pigments into the base paint.

What do you do with milk paint?

Walls, ceilings, equipment, and decorative elements such as cups and jugs can all be painted with milk paint.

The paint has a milky appearance, making it perfect for a paint wash or for thinning out other paints.

What is Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint is a great choice for beginner painters, especially those who are just at the stage of switching from oil paints to water-based paints.

It’s easy to use without needing to worry about priming a surface first which makes it fast and hassle-free to use! Chalk paint will also make achieving your desired finish a breeze.

From distressed paint finishes, crackled paint finishes, as well as limewash looks – it delivers on versatility while letting you experiment with how you want your project to look.

Paint that uses chalk or milk bases will require sealing but anything water-based won’t need wax or varnish unless you prefer it.

It depends on personal taste whether or not you’d like to protect your piece with something like wax, oil or varnish in addition since chalk paint doesn’t provide any protection on its own

What’s the Difference Between Milk Paint and Chalk Paint?

In spite of it containing a variety of ingredients, milk paint recipes have been used for centuries. They are natural and eco-friendly.

However, you can use readymade powders to which you simply add water to create your own milk paint mixture.  Chalk paint generally comes from a powder and water formula. It leaves thicker, smoother coats than ordinary paint when using a brush.

It may come in either non-toxic or toxic varieties so make sure you check that the type you intend to buy is safe for your use before buying it and using it for DIY purposes.

There are also binders available that you can add to regular paints if you’d like to make them thicker which help with those more gargantuan jobs where a roller might otherwise be required.

Usage of milk paint and chalk paints

Milk paint and regular chalk paint are both versatile options but different in a subtle way.

Milk paint requires more specialized preparation: You must stir the contents of the can before using it and add liquid as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

Once applied, milk paint also cracks, flakes, and distress more quickly than its counterpart which is typically smoother and more consistent. Because of these properties,

Milk Paint is ideal for rustic furniture pieces like distressed kitchen cabinets or old farmhouse chairs; this kind of finish with age very well in the hands of a professional painter or hobbyist who wants to give his or her piece of furniture a bit of personality.

What are the most environmentally friendly interior paints for usage in the home?

There are paints that have little or no VOC’s. The most eco-friendly option is the chalk paint because it takes longer to dry and also has a chalky smell.

However, other options might consider like milk paint with little odor. People who make their own may use a natural stain.

No matter what you decide on using, it is actually possible to find non-toxic paints in latex form or oil-based like linseed oil or tung oil.

Before deciding which type of paint to buy, do some research online to find out how much damage it will do to your family members’ health in case of long exposures.

Is it possible to put milk paint over chalk paint?

If you would like to get chippy, distressed finish with layers, you should brush milk paint over chalk paint (that’s already dried).

Painting over old, dry paint will create that antique or provincial feel. If you don’t want to go for a distressed look, make sure your base coat is dry, and then use the Miss Mustard Seed Bonding Agent.

This way you can apply the milk paint directly on top of the Chalk Paint®; it will still provide wear resistance and an extra layer of protection. The same method works if you are applying milk paint over the stain.

Is it possible to put milk paint on kitchen cabinets?

We don’t recommend you paint your cabinets with milk paint because it’s not very durable, but if you do want to, it’ll cost a lot of money.

Wood is porous, which means that it absorbs liquid. Milk paint is made of liquid and pigments, which means that the pigments will absorb into your wood over time and turn grey.

We also highly advise against using milk paint as it has lots of toxic chemicals in it that aren’t very safe for our health.

Polyurethane is a good alternative to standard cabinet paints like milk paint if you’re searching for something different.

It comes in a much different sheen (flat/ satin/ semi-gloss/ gloss) and gives thick coats on your cabinets leaving them streak-free and shiny!

Should I paint my cabinets with milk paint or chalk paint?

When it comes to painting ceramic tile, you’ll want a paint that is specially developed for ceramic. All-Purpose Paint or Latex Paint will be fine.

But if you need something more suited just for tiles, opt for ProClassic Tile Paint instead which will give you long-lasting durability and a perfect finish!

It has been formulated specifically for use on ceramic tile surfaces giving you a super durable finish with much less work to do (50% faster drying than its fastest drying competitors) and cost(about $176 per gallon making it one of the cheapest products available).

Health And Environmental Considerations

Keep in mind that both chalk and milk paint is more environmentally friendly than most paints and may be used both inside and out. Both are formed of water and contain compounds that are safe to consume.

Simple components like lime, milk protein, and colors are commonly used in milk paint formulas.


Milk Paint is famous and has a very high durability rating, but the same can’t be said of Chalk Paint.

Some may claim otherwise, but even the most experienced antique restorers won’t say that they can live with it over a long period of time. Despite this, however, Milk Paint is still quite durable.

To increase its resilience, you may want to apply a coat of lacquer or a different oil-based product such as real milk paint tung oil (found in any DIY store),

Which will make it become nearly unbreakable, As for Chalk Paint, you should use layers on top to create your own unique paint.


Milk paints are without a doubt the hardest and most durable of any paint option on the market today.

Items painted with Real Milk Paint can last for years – even decades – if not subjected to extreme weathering conditions.

Even without finishing waxes, creams, or glazes, the longevity of milk paints like Real Milk Paint is incredible.

In fact, new colors stay beautifully vivid for many years to come while older shades become more subdued and silky smooth over time with regular use!

Milk paint vs chalk paint Final Appearance:

Chalk and milk paints have a lot of similarities and distinctions when it comes to the end product. For example, projects covered with chalk paints retain a matte hue that doesn’t show brush strokes.

While milk paint also imbues a matte finish yet this works well for creating brushstroke effects.

Similarly, you may manually produce distinct distressed and antiquing looks with chalk paint by sanding and burnishing; however, milk paint naturally distresses over time while delivering the same consistent tone as chalk paint.

Both chalk paint and milk paint are ideally suited to work on a variety of surfaces including wood, metal, plastic, glass, and drywall.

They both leave a very rustic yet timeless finish that really adds character to furniture projects but they also look great.

When applying them onto the walls of your home or business. There are multiple ways for one to determine if their surface is paintable.

Conclusions: Milk paint vs chalk paint

Chalk and milk paints are both ornamental, but neither of them offers the same advantages over the other.

Some areas in which chalk doesn’t measure up to milk paint include versatility and hardness;

while chalk paints can be applied to a variety of surfaces including wood, stone, and metal, it’s not as hardy once dried as many milk paint finishes – simply put, it takes more work to get a smooth finish with chalk paint than it does with milk paint.

Also, if you’re looking for artistic effects like brushstrokes or an imperfect look in general, then you’d be better off using milk paints although either paint is fine for your ornamental needs.

In terms of environmental friendliness, both paints are safe to use inside because they don’t give off unpleasant odors by any means, but chalk has less toxic chemicals than its counterpart.


Is milk paint or chalk paint better?

It is also dependent on the type of finish you want to achieve. Milk paint, for example, works better as a paint wash.

Remember that you can mix milk paint pigments to make any color you choose. On the other hand, chalk paint is good for creating a thicker and more even finish with a completely matte appearance.

Is it true that chalk paint lasts longer than milk paint?

With a thinner consistency, Milk Paint Finish offers greater spreadability (meaning your projects will dry more evenly).

You won’t have to use layers and layers of paint to build up color or texture.

To test this new feature out we took a photo of our Milk Paint Finish in its natural state next to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint so you can visually see the difference.

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