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Guaranteed Best to Use Between Milk Paint and Chalk Paint

Guaranteed Best to Use Between Milk Paint and Chalk Paint

Do you get overwhelmed when you walk into the paint aisle of your favorite home improvement store? Understanding the distinctions between latex, oil, milk, and chalk paints as well as the optimum applications for each can take longer than the actual painting project.

Both milk paint and chalk paint are suitable substitutes for conventional paint when going for a farmhouse or vintage appearance. Comparing the variations between these two types of low-VOC paint will help you determine which is preferable for your project if you’ve already reduced your options to them.

What Is Milk Paint?

Beautiful finishes can be achieved on painted items by using milk paint, a nontoxic, ecologically friendly paint composition. Casein, a milk protein, is combined with other all-natural components like clay and lime to create a no-VOC paint that lacks the overpowering smells that you might be accustomed to when using a paintbrush. When you’re ready to paint, you combine the powder form of it with water.

What Is Chalk Paint?

The creator of chalk paint, which is distinct from chalkboard paint, a substance that transforms surfaces into chalkboards, is Annie Sloan. Sloan developed chalk paint as a result of her frustration with the furniture paint alternatives that were offered in the 1990s. Talc, acrylic binders, pigments, calcium carbonate (which gives chalk paint its distinctive chalky look), and talc are the main ingredients in this low-VOC paint. In addition to wood, metal, glass, brick, and plaster, chalk paint adheres effectively to a number of surfaces, just like milk paint does.

Painting between Milk Paint and Chalk Paint

Milk Paint vs. Chalk Paint — Key Differences

People frequently find themselves contrasting milk paint vs. chalk paint because both products are eco-friendly choices. Both types of paint produce a matte surface rather than a shiny one, and they both work well for finishes in the vintage, distressed, and farmhouse styles. A common DIY project is painting furniture using one of them.

Despite their similarities, milk and chalk paints have a few minor distinctions. These distinctions can frequently assist you in selecting the best type of paint for your various DIY home improvement projects.

Milk Paint

  • Thin consistency
  • Pigment comes in powder form
  • Requires DIY mixing with water
  • Adheres to most clean, dry surfaces and requires minimal surface prep
  • Allows for unlimited custom color options
  • Organic, no VOCs, and nontoxic
  • Powder can be stored indefinitely
  • Short shelf life once mixed
  • Matte finish with a slight sheen
  • May leave visible brush strokes
  • Can have smooth or distressed finish

Chalk Paint

  • Thick consistency
  • Comes pre-mixed
  • Adheres to most clean, dry surfaces and requires minimal surface prep
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • No custom paint color options
  • Inorganic, low-VOC, often nontoxic
  • Can be stored for 1-5 years
  • Matte, chalky finish
  • Leaves no visible brush strokes
  • Can have smooth or distressed finish

Consistency of Chalk Paint vs. Milk Paint

If you compare the consistency of milk paint and chalk paint, you’ll see a difference. Compared to chalk paint and other forms of paint, milk paint has a thinner consistency. This thinner consistency might help you get the desired distressed look by letting the piece’s original grain peek through. For a smoother finished appearance, thicker chalk paint can also assist hide the texture of whatever you’re painting.

If you’re combining milk paint from powder on your own, it can be a little lumpy. You can get smoother results without lumps by blending it with an older blender or using the drill’s mixing attachment. Premixed chalk paint is frequently available, so you may avoid lumpiness.


How each sort of paint is prepared differs greatly. When you’re ready to paint, you mix milk paint, which is typically purchased as a powder, with water. Before using, allow the freshly mixed paint 10 to 30 minutes to settle and allow the pigments to dissolve. The pot of chalk paint is ready for use. To redistribute the pigments, it merely has to be slightly stirred.

Neither milk paint nor chalk paint often needs priming or sanding to prepare the surface you want to paint. Most clean, dry surfaces will take the paint without much preparation. Sandpaper can be used to smooth down the surface, though, to increase adherence. This is particularly useful if you’re using milk paint, which usually sticks a little better with sanding.

Paint Color Options

Both forms of paint come in a wide range of hues, but milk paint gives you more choices. This is so that you can make unique mixtures by combining various paint powders. Keep track of the ratios you used if you experiment with bespoke colors on a small scale so it will be simpler to duplicate later.

The colors that are generally offered for chalk paint are your only options. A new color cannot actually be created by combining two separate hues. This means that chalk paint often has a smaller color selection.

Chalk Paint vs. Milk Paint Toxicity and Eco-Friendliness

Although there are low-VOC and no-VOC formulations available, both are typically healthier for you and the environment than latex paint (common water-based paint), which is poisonous. The nontoxic, organic milk paint contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, if you add binders or other additives, you can be introducing harmful substances or VOCs. If you want to keep VOCs out of your paint, pick your additives wisely.

Even though chalk paint contains some VOCs, it is nevertheless regarded as low-VOC paint. Although some products are harmless, it contains inorganic substances. Both solutions are excellent substitutes for traditional paint, but milk paint often has a little advantage in this regard.

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