Chalk Paint, Milk Paint, & Other Things

This past weekend I wrote a blog post that border line broke the internet. I kid I kid.

Let me summarize:

For months…..well longer than that, but we will go with months….I have contemplated writing a post on chalk paint. I have a lot of friends that use it and didn’t want to hurt feelings so I wrote it and came back to it probably 10 times to edit it and never had the courage to publish it.

Well, most of you don’t know this, but I have an autoimmune disease. It is pretty rare, no cure, and can be completely non symptomatic OR get pretty debilitating requiring many surgeries. Well I have been having little “flare ups” for a couple weeks and pretty much Thanksgiving thru Sunday was probably one of the worst ones so I will be thankful it was short lived. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt like my bones were being crushed. Coming from someone who is always in pain – trust me that is saying something. Anyway, I am not looking for sympathy, it really isn’t that big of a deal. My point of this little paragraph is to explain my state of mind when I finally hit “Publish”.

So, cranky Nicole had the courage to submit the blog post. Levelheaded, back to normal, Nicole is now glad I did. I basically wrote a diatribe of all the reasons I don’t like chalk paint. I was purposeful and intentional with my introduction to the post that chalk paint can be beautiful.  That there are scenarios where it will be problem free and with sealer it is always problem free. This was because I knew my negatives would weigh heavy on some people so I wanted to start with, ‘Chalk paint is okay’. Some people didn’t catch that part and that is okay too. My post wasn’t for the small business owner per-say although I appreciated all the calls and emails and comments from DIY’ers and business owners that appreciated it and got something out of it but it was for the novice DIY’er that is thinking about waxing their kitchen.  I thought the response would be a lot more split then it was. The overwhelming amount of support and encouragement was so great, even from chalk paint lovers. For that, I thank you!

If you read my post you will notice that most of the reasons for me not using chalk paint really came down to the misuse or misapplication of wax. I know you don’t have to use wax with it but since I don’t wax ANY pieces and have approximately one crap load of colors at my disposal I don’t typically have an issue color matching so I have no reason TO use it.  My blog post was not to condemn those who use it or any one brand. I got so many calls and emails that were summed up as “yep, you are right. I use and love chalk paint but we have to work around those issues”…and that is fine. We all have things to work around with any product. Some still felt I was personally bashing them or their products. Let me be clear, I would NEVER do that. You can use chalk paint. You can use wax.

.I get asked on a DAILY basis, especially since I quit my job (read about my mid life crisis here) WHY I don’t use chalk paint. Some people felt like it is not my right or prerogative to tell people why I don’t use it.  BUT if I am willing to explain that to people in person or in private messages, why not on my blog? You can read the internet breaking post here.  Supporting small business is extremely important to me (another post, lol). Even my competitors, because small businesses doing well are good for other small businesses. I have many small business owners that use chalk paint that come in all the time.  I love to see their projects.  If they have questions or problems with chalk paint I have several sources I refer them to because I do not consider myself an expert in the chalk paint and wax world. All I know, is why I don’t use it and that is what I wanted to share.

With that out of the way I wanted to talk about some other things I get questions about.

Milk paint…(same as my chalk paint post – this is generalities – not brand or company specific). I don’t use it. Why? Well, mostly just because. Super scientific right?

It typically is used for that super distressed, chippy, chunks missing, type of furniture. I don’t do a whole lot of that and while they have products to mix in to make it not do that, I just don’t see the point since that isn’t my thing. I have only had extreme distressing requested a few times, which turned out great by the way and I love getting to do out of my box things every now and then!

It also needs to be mixed, which again, isn’t my thing. Some people like this because it can give you color variation but that isn’t really what I am after most of the time. If I have a client wanting color variation it can usually be done with other methods.
Milk paint is actually pretty crazy durable once it cures but I have a small caveat to that…if it wasn’t correctly applied or if it didn’t have all its flakes knocked off then you will have some issues down the road.

It requires a sealer (I can’t speak for all brands but from what I know milk paints tend to need to be sealed). Requiring a sealer is not a negative to me because I think everything should always be sealed BUT it matters what you are sealing with. Some paints are self sealing and we will talk about that later this week.  If it is sealed with an every day hardware store sealer than I can almost promise you that you have taken the durability factor down several notches. I am going to be writing a blog post soon on JUST sealers because that is what we have most extensively tested. If it is sealed with wax which is typical for milk paint, it kind of depends on how it is being used. Is it near water, is it heavily used, will it be near grease, etc? There is a time and place for when wax is appropriate and not.  If it is sealed with a super sealer than it will be awesome.

So that is pretty much my spiel on milk paint.

Like any paint….and with wax….application makes a difference. Do your diligence with prepping and application because your paints are just a part of your tool box. While there is a difference between a good tool and a not so good tool, knowing how and when to use them is even better.

Your thoughts? What should be next?