Milk paint has been used for thousands of years, and is still a great product for today to create timeless, long-lasting pieces in the home. It is called milk paint because it contains casein, a milk protein, along with other basic natural ingredients. Because of these earthy materials, it is super durable - once dried it has cured rock hard. No other paint cures so quickly. 

This type of paint is incredibly versatile. Depending on how you apply and finish it, you can get that super smooth MCM sleek finish, or a weathered and distressed look.  Milk Paint is just like choosing your own adventure. Depending on the look that you’re going for, you’ll mix it a bit differently, you’ll prep a little differently, you’ll apply it how you prefer, distress if you wish, or don’t, and you’ll topcoat it to your desire. It’s completely customizable.

So what actually is Milk Paint and how does it differ from other paints on the market? 

  • It produces a look and feel like no other paint, from a smooth and refined finish, to a rustic chippy distressed look. 
  • Only real Milk Paint comes in powder giving you this unique look. Watch out for the pre-mixed copy cats on the market that do not yield these same results such as the chippy look.
  • It comes in powder – just mix it with water. Unused powder can be stored indefinitely.
  • It’s your turn to get creative and achieve any look from a stain to a textured finish with one product, you’re in control simply by how much water you add.
  • No brush strokes. Really, none! It mixes to a thin paint, so it self levels flawlessly. 
  • To bring out the true intensity of the color and protect the paint from water marking, add a top coat of your choice. We suggest Wax or Hemp Oil for most projects.  Stain & Finishing Oil is great for kitchen tables or cabinets for a more resistant finish. 
  • It will never chip or peel when applied to a porous surface such as bare wood or plaster. 
  • Get the unique chippy look only doable with Milk Paint. This will only happen when painting onto a surface with a previous glossy coating or wax. 
  • Can be applied to laminate plastic, metal or glass by adding the Bonding Agent.


Choose your surface and clean with Fusion TSP to get started.

No primer is needed for milk paint - it actually binds with the wood fibers when applied to raw wood, not allowing for that peeling to occur. Milk paint can absorb into porous surfaces without any additional product being used for instance brick, mortar, plaster etc. Chipping happens when it’s applied to an existing glossy sheen paint or a surface that has been oiled or waxed. Since it cannot absorb or adhere very well to these surfaces, the milk paint will chip randomly, which is also a beautiful effect. Fusion Mineral Paint is a low matte sheen so milk paint can be applied to that. Always test your methods prior to doing a project.


Applying Milk Paint to a surface that’s not a dull finish or bare wood? Bonding Agent (also known as Fusion Ultra Grip) makes the impossible possible! Be confident knowing there will be no chipping, flaking, or peeling. Mix 1 part of Bonding Agent into 1 part paint before applying. This will extend the drying time to 2-4 hours, so wait before applying your second coat (12 hours is recommended).


Milk Paint is a little untraditional in the sense that, it comes in powder and you need to add water to “make” the paint!

Stir 1-part water to 1-part powder and you’re good to go..  It may seem intimidating to use milk paint because of the mixing aspect – but don’t be discouraged. Rather, think of it as a chance to really get involved in the process. Once mixed, it may keep for weeks - store in an air-tight container in a cool place.

Solid or stain coverage – you can choose. Mixing instructions for a solid, opaque coverage are 1 part Milk Paint powder to 1 part water. If you want more of a stain look,  mix 1 part Milk Paint powder to 3 parts water. Adjust as desired. Too opaque looking? Add more water. Too transparent? Add more powder.

When mixing, it is best to add your water to the container first, then the powder. Using a clear container helps you see the dissolving pigments and check for any clumps. The mixed paint should have the consistency of runny table cream.

Any type of brush can be used to apply (those with natural bristles will hold the paint better). Milk Paint is truly the most forgiving paint to work with, it’s almost impossible to create brush strokes thanks to its smooth, creamy consistency. Super smooth, every time. (Any small clumps not smoothed out by your brush can be sanded smooth once paint is dry.)

Fusion Milk Paint cures in 30 minutes. No, that’s not a typo! This is the fastest drying paint you’ll find on the market. Within minutes you see the colour of the milk paint start to change –it almost goes chalky, and less intense of a colour. You may stop and think, “this isn’t the colour I was going for!” – but  wait until you top coat it to see it in all its glory and at its true vibrancy.

Water based top coats can turn cloudy on dark colours, so oil based top coats are recommended. Options include: hemp oil, furniture wax, tung oil, or Fusion's Stain & Finishing Oil. 


Smooth As Silk : Make brush strokes ancient history

Fusion Milk Paint Night Swim Smooth Finish

Fusion Milk Paint - Night Swim

Clean your piece and remove any dust, wax or flaking paint. Give your piece a light sand to smooth and even out your surface prior to painting.

If you have a shiny, glossy finish, use the Bonding Agent to ensure even adhesion.

If the surface is flat and porous, new bare wood or a dull, old finish, simply apply the paint straight onto it. Apply as many coats as desired and when satisfied with your coverage, apply your desired top coat. Prior to applying your top coat, use a 400 grit to lightly sand your finish for a super smooth as silk feel!

Crackle and pop : quirky, unexpected and surprisingly simple

Milk Paint Skinny Jeans Crackle Effect

Fusion Milk Paint - Skinny Jeans

This stylish effect is simple – and fun – to recreate. Just mix your Milk Paint slightly thicker and use a hairdryer to quickly dry it. Cracks will appear during the drying process. The higher the heat setting, the larger the cracks!

TIP: Paint a base coat of Fusion Mineral Paint first in the colour you want to see showing through the cracks.

Tip: To really show off the details, add a tinted wax to highlight the cracks and the details. Liming wax will lighten and brighten, whereas an ageing or espresso wax will richen and darken it up! Either way, you’ll accentuate those beautiful cracks!

Elegantly distressed : refined and classic

Milk Paint Millennial Pink Distressed Finish

Fusion Milk Paint - Millennial Pink

Milk Paint is perfect for achieving authentic, natural- looking distressing. Layer colour over colour of Milk Paint, or simply apply over a water-based stain finish, or a coat of Chocolate Fusion Mineral Paint which will look like a dark wood stain when sanding through.

220 sanding grit is recommended. When pressed along the edges and any detailing, you will reveal the details!

Try using our Beeswax Distressing Block between the layers of paint. This will ensure it’s easy to distress to reveal each colour.

TIP: Add our hemp oil when distressing so you can see the true pops of colour coming through from below as you are sanding, and to eliminate any dust while sanding! Wipe away the excess residue with a cloth that has hemp oil on it after sanding to reveal the beauty!

Chippy chic : Farmhouse meets penthouse

Milk Paint Hotel Robe Chippy Finish

Fusion Milk Paint - Hotel Robe

You CAN control the chippy! On a surface that has a sheen to it, the chipping will simply occur naturally. On a low sheen surface, you can force the chippy by first applying a resist like our Beeswax Finish or Furniture Wax onto the surface, then the Milk Paint you apply over it will chip off.

You will need to apply more wax to a bare wood or porous surface, than a previously finished/shiny surface. Test this first to see how much wax you need; too much and all the paint will flake off! Not to worry, you can always try again!

Apply the wax strategically in areas that you are looking to see the chipping or flaking paint effect appear.

TIP: Want an aged look? Add one of our tinted Furniture Waxes or our Stain & Finishing Oil for an aged effect.

TIP: Do not add any Bonding Agent if you want the Chippy Chic look.


Fusion Mineral Paint vs Milk Paint Guide


Milk Paint by Fusion is available in 28 curated mix-and-go shades designed to bring an instant boost of colour to your space. 

Fusion Milk Paint Colour Chart

I hope this post has encouraged you to try milk paint and make the process fun!

If you have any questions please leave a comment below :)

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