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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Armoire Adventure ~ Milk paint versus Chalk paint

I found a wonderful armoire while junking with friends, a smaller one with a little more curves and detail (and it was lined with cedar inside).  I couldn’t decide what to paint it, so it sat for a few weeks.  Then I thought I’d like to paint it using both milk and Annie Sloan chalk paints – comparing the two.  I had only used milk paint in the pre-mixed form and didn’t like it as well as chalk paint – because it was very clumpy and just didn’t cover as well.  So I decided to try the powdered form and see how it worked.  And of course, I didn’t take a pic of the armoire before any prep, only in progress ones.
armoire whole
The armoire was a darker mahogany color.  I had originally planned on painting it with ASCP white and distressing it – so I did use a white primer all over so I would use less chalk paint – but I didn’t sand at all for the pre-painting.  After that, I started painting using the detailed sections of the armoire.  Since I knew I was going to distress and dark wax it, I didn’t try too hard to stay in the lines.  The green/blue color is sea green milk paint, and the red and cream are chalk paints – emperor’s silk and old white, and I used both clear and dark waxes.  I also used gold gilding paste for highlights.
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I painted the milk paint on first.  I used a dry pint of sea green (which is a blue green after dark wax) and mixed it in a one to one ratio, because I wanted it to be similar in consistency to the chalk paint.  Using a whisk and gladware plastic bowl, the milk paint came together quite easily but didn’t seem to make very much, but I didn’t need much for this piece. After about an hour, I noticed the paint started to have a faint ammonia-like smell – I don’t know what kind of reaction was taking place?!  It seemed to cover as well as the chalk paint – at first…
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I tried to save money and didn’t use the extra bond for the milk paint…and it started to crackle and peel as it dried.  I don’t know if it was because I mixed it thicker or because I didn’t use the bond.  I would have loved this if I had used a primer that was any color other than super white!!  After I used the dark wax all over, the white spots really stood out.  I kept repainting the peeling sections, but it just kept peeling, so I gave up and used dark wax on the white spots.
crackle and peel
I did have a challenge with the chalk paint too.  As I was waxing the red chalk paint, I had to be very careful not to brush over into any lighter sections – when I did, I got a lovely pink color (which on another project might be ok!).  After I waxed the armoire with clear then dark wax (brushing it heavier in some areas), I rubbed the edges with gold gilding paste.  If I used too much, I just sanded a little off with a sanding sponge.  I think it really turned out nice.  It reminded me of the colors in the union jack chest I painted last year.
 armoire whole
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armoire top 2
armoire top 1 all paint close up
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So there’s my comparison of milk and chalk paint.  I think if I was painting the armoire entirely with milk paint, the price comparison would be pretty close to a quart of chalk paint (after having to purchase the extra bond and enough dry paint to mix to a quart).  And this armoire is now available for purchase at the Gaslamp Antique & Decorating Mall in Nashville, TN.
Thanks for checking out my blog!  Let me know what you think and your experience with either milk or chalk paint.
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