|New Milk Paint Results|
I've used one brand of milk paint almost exclusively, which I've covered in other posts. It can create a lovely translucent finish, but is plagued by many problems such as a short pot life, lots of filler that needs to be strained out, strange hazy white specks that show up when least expected, trouble retouching and I'm afraid the list goes on. I've stuck with it because of the softness of the paint that allows it to be easily burnished to a high sheen. But after suffering my own traumas and fielding many calls and emails from others with the same trouble, I thought it was time to direct some attention to finding a solution.
What I didn't like was the matte finish and density that made it hard to get that translucent glow that I like. Lucky for me, I had a strange job recently reproducing a 200 year old chair that pushed me to play with some new techniques that seem to have surmounted those issues.
I will spell out the basic process here, and then give the blow by blow in the next post or two. I also hope to make a video soon. There have simply been to many folks in the shop lately for me to attempt a video, which would give far too much teasing fodder to my so called friends.
The key to the process is to mix the paint thin and use a very thin coat of shellac to seal between the different colors, and at the end of the process before varnishing.
|Ugly Stain and Shellac Seal Coat|
Then I paint the chair with red paint twice. The mix is 1 part paint to 2.5 parts water. I gently rub the chair with mirlon pads to remove any rough areas. I also sand any scraped areas to eliminate the raised grain between the first and the second coats. I have found that the shellac seals the first paint coat from raising the grain excessively, bonus. In between each coat of paint, I use the mirlon to rub off any caked up areas of paint, which makes getting a smooth result later easier.
|Red Milk Paint|
Then I paint the chair black, with a similar ratio of paint as the red. You'll notice that paint is a bit slippery on the surface and doesn't melt into the red. The second coat of black should be applied once the first is dried for at least 3 hours.
|First Thin Coat of Black Paint|
Once the black is dry, I burnish the chair with the mirlon again until it is somewhat smooth.
|Mirka Mirlon Pads|
It will be tough to get it shiny like the other brand, but that is what the next step is for.
Once the final coat of black paint is burnished, paint one more coat of shellac and then burnish it to even it out.
Finally, apply your favorite oil or varnish. If I want a quick build up, just one coat of Minwax antique oil can do the job.
I know that it sounds like a lot of steps, but it really isn't because the shellac goes on thin and fast. The benefits of control, consistency and ease make this a great finish. And if you like a more matte finish, just skip the last shellac and go straight to the oil.
I did the finish you see here in less than 24 hours and I've done samples this way and run them under the tap after a few hours to see the water bead off.
There is still lots of experimenting to do with the other colors and layering possibilities, but for my most popular black on red finish, I'm sold.