From a First-Timer: Three Tips for Using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

As promised, here are my lessons learned, or three tips, for getting started with using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. I'm not going into a ton of how-to detail below...MMS and others out there do a great job of giving milk paint tutorials. The tips below highlight the biggest "pains" (for lack of a better word) I had. I'm just the average furniture painter...with some projects under her belt. Looking to branch out. So, here we go...

1. Watch Miss Mustard Seed's video tutorial. Alot.

I watched the first tutorial three times. Okay...maybe four. But, that last time was solely just to hear that catchy little intro music she has. The videos are helpful and reassuring...mixing your own paint can be scary. And, the texture is unlike any other paint. It's best to be prepared... 

2. Use a mason jar to mix your paint.

At first, I tried the "mix in a plastic cup" method. There's a couple possible reasons why this wasn't working for me. I put in waaaay too much water. Like a 3 (water)-1 (milk paint powder) ratio. Due to the lack of a nice wooden stick like MMS uses, I used a knife to stir the paint. Then the end of my favorite wooden spoon (may it RIP). I'm also a very impatient person. After mixing for what seemed like 5 agonizing hours, I still had this:

So, I put the proper amounts (1:1 ratio of milk paint powder and warm water) in a mason jar and shook away. I added a tad bit more water (technically, the suggested ratio is 1 part powder to 1 1/2 parts water). MUCH better. While the texture of milk paint is alot different than other paints (it's grainy), it was smooth, mixed and much easier to paint on.

Super cute jar you won't see a trifle in later this week.

 3. Throw caution to the wind.

For the most part, once you put milk paint on, you don't know what's going to happen. While MMS does have a bonding agent that prevents the chippiness; for me, the purpose of buying this paint WAS the chippiness. The paint on your piece might chip and flake off easily. There might not by any chipping at all. Or, there might be a little. With a some effort. But, that's what makes it so fun.

The dresser below was stained and looked like it had a layer of poly on it. I didn't sand it. I barely cleaned the dust off it. In some areas (mostly the sides), the chippiness took alot of work with a putty knife (and even then, I barely had any). There were areas on the top and on the dresser drawers where the paint cracked and were easier to chip off with the putty knife. It wasn't an easy scrape...it took some work. But, I know that was just this piece. Other people have different results. Which is the cool part about this paint.

Also, once the milk paint was dry and adequately flaked off, I was freaking out a bit. I used the color Tricycle. It was a dull red. I was a little mad. Look at the drawers below. Dull!

I finished the piece with Annie Sloan's dark wax...simply because I had some on hand. MMS  has a whole line of finishing products that I look forward to using soon. I should have known from my experience with chalk paint, that once the wax is applied, the real transformation begins.

The colors popped. The chippiness stood out. And, the entire piece is sooo smooth.

I was in love.

{Please standby for an obscene amount of photos of the same dresser. It's mandatory}.

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Tricycle

So, that's it! Here's the before and after. Technically, this piece is slated to be in our closet (Mr. VB thinks it's a shame). I'm starting to think so too.

If you haven't jumped onto the milk paint bandwagon yet, I hope these tips help you! I would love to hear your thoughts on your first time with milk paint!

City Farmhouse
The 36th Avenue


  1. Love love love!!! That red is gorgeous. Your crafting skills never seem to cease!

  2. I'm new around here. Found you on the Anything Blue link party when your little Aubusson table was featured. Just wanted to say, this dresser is beeeeautiful! I've been using different kinds of milk paint for a while now but just started using MMS line and her colors are just so perfect. I don't even have any Tricycle...I guess it's next on the paint shopping list!

    Just something I've learned about milk paint...the longer you let it sit and dry after painting the easier the chipping off process will be. I get really impatient, so sometimes it is hard to let the milk paint do its thing. Try it next time. Paint it, wash your brush, and then let it sit for a handful of days. When you come back to it, you can use a sanding sponge and sand the paint smooth. The sanding will not only make this paint smoother than any other paint finish not done at an auto-body shop, but the paint should have started cracking and chipping in areas and just hitting it with the sanding sponge will knock it off. Easy peasy.

    My latest MMS milk paint piece can be found over on my blog: UrbanDEN

    Let me know what you think :)


  3. Your dresser turned out so beautifully! I agree...the mixing in the plastic cup didn't work me either...and the paint just kept drying against the cup and flaking which was annoying. I love the red with the dark wood.

  4. That turned out gorgeous! Gotta love red, chippy beauty! I'm featuring it in this week's PoPP Spotlight.

  5. I have been wanting to try milk paint forever...you made me want to try it even more!! This piece turned out wonderfully! I would love for you to come link up at my paint party going on now!

    Hope to see you soon

  6. I Love your dresser! Good Tips! I just got my first 2 colors of MMS paints today - I was so excited to hear the UPS man ring my bell ,I just about killed myself running to the door! I have the cutest little skinny chest to paint for my guest room. I'm going to try the color Kitchen Scale..I bought the wax and the antiquing stuff too..I know what you mean about the music in her video's...:-) Sue

  7. HI! I just popped over from Hometalk. I loved your tutorial with the smart tips. Your piece came out beautifully. Going to follow you now!
    Best of luck blogging!

  8. Thanks, Debbie! I'm hoping to try out some more colors, soon. I have like 4 pieces I need to decide colors on. Thanks for the follow!


  9. Did you just do one coat of red paint? Love it by the way!