Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Whimsical Makeover: The Mustard Seed Edition and Review

So...Milk Paint...We are developing a very tight love/hate relationship. 
As you know, I am a lover of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints. I love the ease of them, the possibilities and the finish.  
That said, I was very excited to try the MMS Milk Paints because of the chippy appearance which I love.
I started out by watching all of the tutorials on MMS's website. They are clear and easy to understand. They made me feel prepared. However, the theme throughout the tutorials was "milk paint is unpredictable". Boy is it!

The first piece I painted was in Boxwood. I loved the color and the finish but kind of disliked the process. However, I held off on reviewing it until I did a more sizable piece and worked out some of my own kinks.
So I decided to get out the Mustard Seed and begin working on a dresser from my garage. 
Before I get into my thoughts, I would like to show you the finished piece.

It is just stunning! I love the color and the finished product.
However, I did not enjoy the process. 
This piece was painted in Mustard Seed and sealed with ASCP Clear Wax and MMS Antiquing Glaze. 

Here are my pros and cons:

Pros: Both colors I have tried are fantastic. The finish seems extremely durable. A bit harder than the Chalk Paint I am use to. The end effect is beautiful. Huge Pro...The Antiquing Glaze is AWESOME!

Cons: You must mix your own paint. This has proven to be trickier than I anticipated. It also makes it difficult to have several pieces going at once (something I like to do with ASCP). You have very little control. My first piece took 1 coat and chipped just right. This piece took 2 coats and didn't chip at all (no bonding agent added). I was hoping for a much chippier appearance. It also has a definite odor to it that is not super pleasing. Finally, the process can be very frustrating and uncomfortable.

That said...
My Final Thoughts:
Is Milk Paint my favorite paint? No. That title still rests with ASCP

Will I continue to use MMS Milk Paint? Yes. I already have at least 2 more major projects lined up for it. I am excited for them because the finish I want is not something Chalk Paint does well.

Will I recommend it to others? Yes, I recommend this paint to people who have painted many pieces before or are like me, willing to experiment. I do not recommend it to people just starting out painting furniture. There are too many variables with this paint.

Disclaimer: Many of my issues could have been user error. If anything gets easier, I will make sure to update with tips and tricks. I highly suggest the MMS Tutorials to get you started.

Good Luck and Happy Painting!

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  1. I just used milk paint to paint my daughter's desk. I wasn't as thrilled
    because I did not use the bonding agent. The wax was easy enough...used
    the clear. This was my first time to used the milk paint, and I thought it chipped more than I wanted. But I should have read tutorials! :)

    1. I feel your pain Amy. I didn't add any bonding agent because I wanted it to chip and it didn't. The paint has a mind of it's own.

  2. I totally agree with your review. I have painted literally hundreds and hundreds of pieces of furniture with ASCP. I simply cannot get past the simplicity of ASCP. I like the idea of milk paint and have used a couple of brands, but each time come back to 'why mess with perfection;. I also could not stand the smell. I thought it must just be my box. Other brands have a definite 'smell' but not this bad.

    Nice to see an honest review, I almost feel like there must be something wrong with me because other reviews are so glowing. I would read them and think, 'huh'?? I adore MMS work and blog, just don't love milk paint.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  3. I like your honest review. I have been using milk paint for years on furniture and in my art work, I don't think your issues were "user errors" it is a very fussy paint it takes time to really get used to it. You can't compare it to ASCP or you will never really like it. I like you do love my ASCP it has really spoiled us painters. You mentioned issues with mixing so I can tell you soke things I have learned from trial and error. After you mix it with a stick blender, let it sit for about 10-15 mins, you will notice a foam layer on top of the paint, apparently the foam is bad in milk paint world, take a spoon and scoop off the layer of foam and your good paint is under the foam. I always mix equal pts water & paint and I start with small mixtures and if you do add the bond your paint will last for a couple of days. Milk paint is fantastic on raw unsealed wood also, if don't want it to chip. And NO, I would never trade it in for my ASCP but I also always have to have it in my paint stash, take care

  4. That is one fabulous paint job. I could stare at it all night.

    I have found that if I refrigerate my leftover mixed paint, it is smoother and easier to work with after a quick stir. I use Old Fashioned Milkpaint and the smell only bothered me when I was using a color that had been sitting on my shelf for ten years.

  5. I am just a beginner myself and experimented with MMS Paint for the first time. The mixing was like guessing to thick to thin didn't feel confidant that I mixed it right. The paint however did go on very nice. I didn't get much chipping with the 1st coat and thought because I sanded the piece down to bare wood that it just soaked it all in. So after the 2nd coat I kept waiting and waiting for the chipping to begin. The only part that chipped was inside a drawer that no one can see. I had to used a paint scraper and sanding sponge to get the look I wanted. It turned out ok, but the top of the piece there was no chipping at all, which is where I wanted most of it to be. So once it warms up, I'm going to sand the top off and try again. I would use this product again, but will be careful what piece I use. I didn't notice any weird smells coming from this paint....

  6. Fascinated by all the reviews and tips. So glad I stopped by. I just ordered MMS anticipating using it on our bedroom furniture - I'll watch all the videos first and make sure I mix the paint well! I do appreciate everyone sharing their opinion and experiences - a big help. I'm going to bookmark your post too for when I share my experience and afford a link-back to this post.

  7. Love the look of the dresser by the way :)

  8. I really love how this turned out. And thanks for your honest view of the milk paint. I, too, love the chippiness of other people's milk paint projects, but am unsure whether or not I want to give it a try eventually. I appreciate your thoughts on this. :)

  9. Thanks for that honest review. The dresser turned out great, anyway.

  10. I sell MMS Paint but I don't have any problems with someone critiquing it. You can't learn if you don't at least try and asking questions is one of the BEST ways to learn! One thing this post does for me is remind me that I need to begin offering classes SOON! I probably have some unhappy customers out there! LOL one piece of advice I'll give is on mixing the paint. I know Marian says to use a stick blender but I have never done that. Here is my method to produce a smooth paint. To the powder, add a SMALLamount of warm water, mix very well into a paste adding water if necessary to get a paste consistency. Then continue to add warm water in SMALL amounts until you reach the consistency you want. Stir often while using. I use small Mason jars to mix in so I can close it up.
    I hope you'll give it another try and if your vendor offers classes it would probably be well worth it if only to save frustration!

  11. Love Love Love the furniture makeovers you do. Love your site too. Am your newest follower....came on over from a blogtalk share.
    Kelly from

  12. I absolutely love this mustard color! You did such a great job. I have an old hutch from my great grandma that needs some love. I think this might be the solution. Pinning it to share with others.

    I would love to have you link this up at our link party!


  13. Hello! Found you via Hometalk. I'm looking to create a chippy appearance, but am somewhat confused at how milk paint does it vs. ASCP? I'm new to ASCP, having just taken my 1st class this last weekend. Love it!
    What would you have done differently to create a chippy finish? Bonding agent: yes or no? Thin or thick coats?

    BTW. I appreciate the review, too, but don't get the "honest" part. I highly doubt you (or anyone) would make up a "dishonest" review. Probably similar to "personal friend," I guess. But I do love your piece and your experience. I plan to read more of your work here! Thanks.

    1. Hi Christine,
      Milk paint does a chippy appearance while chalk paint does a worn appearance. I am not sure what to do differently next time. I did not add the bonding agent because I wanted it to chip. No luck. I need to play with it more to know for sure.
      Point taken with your "honest review" remark.

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