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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.