tutorial

Milk Paint is a natural paint. Think 100year old chippy paint and Milk Paint usually comes to mind. This post will show you how easy it is to get a smooth full coverage solid look using Milk Paint with just a few added steps.

Milk Paint by Fusion Night Swim mixed
Mixed Milk Paint in a bowl

Mixing Milk Paint

Mixing Milk Paint is really simple, just add the same amount of water to Milk Paint powder and stir. It doesn’t take long at all, maybe a minute or so. IF you have used it before you know it can sometimes look gritty. Where the pigments and other ingredients haven’t dissolved properly.

Lumpy Milk Paint

This example is extreme just to show you how it can look if you don’t allow the ingredients to dissolve. Even this isn’t a problem! You just brush back and forth and watch it blend into the paint.

Top tip to smooth Milk Paint.

The best tip for getting your mixture just right is this…. Mix as normal and go put the kettle on! …have a nice cuppa, mix again and viola! the perfect Milk Paint mixture. This blend will make the flawless flat smooth Milk Paint. For a chippy look see this post.

Sanded Milk Paint, chalky looking and smooth

Prepping for smooth modern finish.

The next step to getting a modern clean look is your prep. The usual cleaning and scuff sanding is usually enough on most no glossy surfaces to ensure a non chippy look. IF you surface is glossy a more vigorous sanding will work or just add bonding agent ( Ultra Grip ) into the mixed Milk Paint.

Ultra Grip

At a push you can add a layer of ultra grip to your piece before painting with Milk Paint, that works too. For a modern clean finish I usually just sand it well before painting.

pigmented watery paint

Sanding between coats.

For an ultra smooth finish you can lightly sand between coats, luckily Milk Paint dries very quickly and cures in 30 mins! There is only 5 natural ingredients and water, so once the water has evaporated it is cured. Compare that to modern paints on the market today and it really is amazing.

Sanded chalky looking paint

When Milk Paint dries it looks almost chalky and much lighter than the in the wet state. Do not fear! as soon as you apply any topcoat the vivid colour comes alive. When sanding be sure to wear an appropriate mask, and remove the dust before applying another coat.

Redesign with Prima Transfer.

Some interest was added to this piece with a furniture transfer, This one was the Folk 11. It has a boho vibe to it and looks great over this dark inky/navy blue.

Transfer over Milk Painted chest of drawers. Blue with white transfer

It didn’t take the whole transfer and one drawer was left with just the paint on. The over all effect looked good so now it was time to topcoat it.

Sealing Milk Paint

You can use almost any sealer / topcoat you like over Milk Paint but it does need sealing unless you are using it on walls. It is porous like chalk paint is and although really durable it will soak up water and dirt and grease. Adding a topcoat is a simple way to ensure you paint finish lasts.

Stirring a can of Stain and Finishing Oil

For this piece Stain and Finishing Oil in the natural was the perfect option. It will add a slight sheen and give it a water resistant protective finish. Alway make sure it is mixed well before using it, all the good stuff sinks to the bottom of the can. It enriches the colour and really makes it pop!

applying SFO over blue milk paint

The SFO was applied with a cloth and rubbed in circular motion across the whole piece. The excess was buffed in the same way with a clean rag. The difference between the the finish with and without a topcoat is huge, and it’s always fun to watch the colour come alive.

MCM Boho vibe

The overall look is a MCM Boho vibe and the colour gives the piece versatility. This chest of drawers would look good in a hallway a lounge or even a girls or boys bedroom.

side view of blue MCM chest of drawers

The hairpin legs give it some height and glamour. See another MCM piece painted in Fusion here.

Close up of of blue MCM chest of drawers

The wooden handle were wax with Antiquing wax and buffed to a sheen.

upward view of of blue MCM chest of drawers

The size and shape of this AustinSuite Mid Century Modern chest makes it a really useful piece of furniture and a style that never goes out of fashion.

Full frontal view of blue MCM chest of drawers

Is Milk Paint for you?

What I will say right off the bat is if you are a perfectionist this won’t be for you. Why? because there are imperfection when using Milk Paint even on a flat modern finish like this. There can be slight variations in colour or pigment streaks.

Close up of transfer on blue MCM chest of drawers

This is a natural paint with no modern binders in it. It relies on you mixing well and often durning painting to keep the mixture good. Not stirring during painting can result in the heavy pigments sinking to the bottom of your cup changing the colour of your paint very quickly and easily.

left side view
 of blue MCM chest of drawers

The many benefits of Milk Paint.

The huge list of benefits far outweigh the cons. First it is an all natural paint, ancient, tried and tested. Durable and long lasting. If you use a natural finish such a Hemp Oil you have a eco solution to painting! so not only are you saving furniture from landfill this paint is bio degradable and not harmful to our environment !It has anti bacterial properties is perfect used over lime plaster as a breathable solution.

Milk Paint by Fusion colour chart paint sticks - Home Revival Interiors

We stock the Full Range of Milk Paint by Fusion and all the topcoat options you need in our online shop. The whole process of mixing your own paint and the end result of a tactile finish is my favourite things to do. It is so therapeutic and all natural paint. Give it a try!

This is the question I get asked the most. Do you need to prime before painting furniture? So with our modern paint, there are only two reasons why you would prime before painting. The first reason is adhesion. The second reason to prime would be to stop the bleed-through of wood tannins, Saving you time painting so let’s jump straight in.

bare wood cabinet doors

Priming for adhesion.

Let’s start by checking the surface we are going to paint. Is it shiny?  If it is shiny, we need to work out why. Has it got a varnish or lacquer on it which could be sanded? Or is it a man-made surface such as a laminate veneer or melamine?

This is varnish/lacquer and can be sanded.

If it is lacquered or varnished you can scuff sand after cleaning with a degreaser such as TSP Alternative. Your aim is to de-gloss the surface, to make it matte-looking. You can then go ahead and paint. See this blog post where this method was used.

I have a video showing you how on IGTV

If it is a man-made surface such as melamine or veneer ( wood veneers can be sanded and falls into the above category) Plastic like melamine and Thermafoil and laminate ( think Ikea furniture) will need an extra step. For these types of surfaces, you will need to clean, scuff sand if possible, and add a coat of Ultra Grip before applying your paint. 

Ultra Grip adhesion primer.

Ultra Grip is an adhesion primer from Fusion. It is made of 100% Acrylic resin (the stuff in paint that makes it stick) apply in thin coats with a damp applicator pad or sponge. Using a brush can create texture and a little of this product goes a long way. It needs to dry overnight for best results before applying your paint.

If I wanted adhesion and I was painting a dark wood to a light paint I would use Whitson’s adhesion Primer. It is a great quality white adhesion primer giving you a light coloured base to paint from.

Priming to stop wood bleed through / wood tannins/knots.

The second reason you would need to prime when using Fusion Mineral Paint is to stop knots or wood bleeding through the paint. This can happen with red coloured woods and oil knots. For this you will need a shellac based primer. This is the only stain block that works effectively with wood bleed through. It completely seals it in and stops it migrating through the paint.

Zinnser Bin stain blocker

I would recommend Zinnser Bin in the Red can in comes in a spraycan too which can be useful for just knotting. Apply a couple thin coats, it dries very fast so there isn’t much waiting time before you can paint over. You would still need to do the usual prep before using this product of cleaning and scuff sanding.

Saving time painting furniture

When I had the shop I painted all day 5 days a week and I rarely had to get the Zinnser out. I would maybe bust the can out once every 6 months or so. Checking if you need it first will save you so much time! This applies to both reasons you would use a primer for. Saving time painting.

Gold leaf a before and after.
This was red oak and needed stain block

If you think your piece may bleed test it by adding a thin coat of white paint in a spot that looks suspect. Wait 10 mins or so and see if the white paint has change colour. If so bust out the can, if not proceed with caution keeping a spray can on hand for spot control.

Despite it being metal this didn’t need Ultra Grip .. alway test first!

This metal piping was a big job and I thought it may need to be Ultra Gripped before painting. After testing first by painting a few coats of paint on a day later I couldn’t scratch it off! So testing first will help. Saving you time painting! Watch the video of that test.

Just for your reference here is Fusions Prep card to take a look at.

Hope that helps

Sarah X

Now for sale on the website

Furniture Art Milk Paint by Fusion

My Daughter Stevie Leigh is a talented canvas artist ( you all know this I brag about her often ) I am a furniture painter, so it really did take a while before I thought about getting Stevie to paint her art on my furniture!! I mean hello McFly! 🙈 Introducing MCM sideboard hand-painted Art with Milk Paint

Milk Paint by Fusion colour chart paint sticks - Home Revival Interiors
See the full range of colours here

I got Stevie to paint a stunning MCM sideboard with one of her meadows. Watching her paint always fascinates me, she paints like she was born to do it, without any fear and with a clear vision of what it will look like ….amazing! Find out more about Milk Paint here

corner of painted flowers on  sideboard and dog in the background with plant
Tinkerbell had to get in on the action

Milk Paint art

We used few different brands of Milk Paint for this meadow, Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint, Homestead House Milk Paint, and Milk Paint by Fusion. I mixed them all up and watched as Stevie created magic. Mixing Milk Paint is so easy to do! Just add one part powder and one part water, stir for a few minutes and viola! Instant paint.

Timelapse of Stevie doing the Milk Paint art work.

Milk Paint

I have long had a love affair with Milk Paint, it is the reason actually that I found Fusion! It is the perfect paint if you are feeling creative. If you would like to get your hands on some and you are in the US or Canada I have an affiliate link that you could use. ( I get a some pennies for my coffee habit if you use it 😊 )

Side view of painting on furniture

Stevie has decided to call her Spring Meadow and she is listed up on the website for sale. Spring Meadow the first in an exclusive collection of furniture hand-painted art pieces.

Low view of hand painted milk paint art MCM sideboard
side on view of milk paint art MCM sideboard showing flowers

Bespoke painted furniture

Having a one -off unique bespoke piece of furniture in your home is always such a treat just like art. Now you can have the best of both worlds! Be sure to leave us a comment Let us know what you think…Stevie is nervous about showcasing her first #furnitureart piece.

Creating different paint effects can be easy, and one of the simplest techniques I know, to enhance beautiful effects to features such as carvings, and intricate details on your furniture is my paint glaze and dry brush technique. I love to glaze!

Supply list – You will need the following 

  • A mid-tone Fusion Mineral paint colour of your choice.
  • A dark coloured glaze. Such as the antiquing glaze or the clear glaze with a dark colour to tint it with. 
  • A light tonal colour of Fusion Mineral paint which compliments your mid tone colour. – This will be for the dry brushing effect. 
  • A brush to paint with.
  • An old brush for glazing.
  • A large flat brush for dry brushing. 

For example you could Devine lavender and twilight geranium.

Enhancing the details on your furniture 

Starting with your chosen mid-tone colour. Give your piece of furniture two good coats of paint. Make sure to follow all the prep steps for the paint, and allow the given drying times. If you’re not sure about how to prep your furniture for painting checks out this blog post here. After your paint has thoroughly dried. I would leave the paint to dry for at least overnight. This is really important because we need the paint to be as dry as it can be. You will be applying a wet glaze over the top, and wiping it back. So we need the paint to be really good and dry. 

Coal Black Fusion Mineral Paint - Home Revival Interiors
Make sure you paint is really dry.


We are now ready to apply the glaze. You can choose to use the antiquing glaze, or Fusions clear glaze can be coloured/tinted using a darker colour. I often use the Fusion Mineral paint clear glaze with Fusion’s coal back colour paint as a dark glaze, it is my go-to.

pot of Fusion glaze on clear background

Tinting your Fusion glaze 

Tinting fusion’s clear glaze can be real fun. You can choose any colour you like, including Fusion’s metallic colours to make your tinted glaze. In this video I used Cranberry to create faux leather using a technique called frottage.

Always love seeing my wonky eye on camera! lol

Top tip:
The rule of thumb for tinting your glaze is the more paint you add the more opaque the glaze will be. The less paint you add the more transparent your glaze will be. So think about it like a pair of tights you may put on. The higher the denier of the tight , the less of your leg you can see, its the same thing with your glaze.  
Glazing pops the details


You apply the glaze in sections making sure you get the glaze into all of the details and features on the furniture. I always leave my glaze for 5-10 minutes to make sure it’s got enough time to seize up and grab hold of the paint. I then use a lightly damp cloth to remove the excess glaze. You can use a dry cloth but I like the control havening a damp cloth gives me it allows me to remove almost all the glaze on the flat areas leaving it in the recessed areas perfectly. I want the contrast between the two colours to be strong. 

Antiquing Glaze over Gold Leaf for a great contrast


The fusion glaze is very forgiving and it has a long open time. This just means that it stays wet much longer than the paint does. So you have got the time to stand back and look at the piece, assess it, and decide whether you have removed enough of the glaze or not. After the glaze has dried which will take around 48 – 72 hours. 

Dry brushing for a 3d effect 

When your furniture has carvings or intricate details and you paint it in one colour it can appear to make the details look flat and take away from the feature. By adding the glaze your re-applying in some dark and mimicking age and dirt, which helps to bring back that depth and 3D effect.

See more in this blog post

By dry brushing with a lighter colour then adds to the effect bringing back the highlights. You can think of it as contouring with your make-up. Adding a highlighter to your cheeks just makes them pop! This helps to enhance your features.  That’s what we’re doing to your furniture with this technique, just highlighting its cheekbones.

We do this by dipping a large flat brush very lightly into some paint. You need very little paint, as we’re going to wipe it all off. I use some scrap cardboard as a pallet to dap off the excess paint on my brush, till there is barely any paint coming from the brush. Then we’re going to brush vigorously but lightly over the tops of the carvings and it will just catch on all of the high points. This is what you’re looking for to bring out those highlights. When it’s all done it really does give it a 3D effect. 

Virtual paint class
Plaster, Antiquing glaze with a touch of Bronze metallic and Raw Silk Dry brush
Dry brushing and glazing The Beast.
Dry brushing and glazing The Beast.
Pin this

A few weeks ago a client asked me to paint a large French sideboard for her. It had been previously painted and I had just a picture to go off. There was some distressing on the piece from what I could see and I thought I’d be able to prep and smooth out the distressing and repaint.

This piece was in storage.

My client had sent me some images from Pinterest of the finish she wanted for this piece, and I was excited to get it started. I have lots of furniture on my Inspiration Board on my Pinterest account, you can check it out here.

Open Pinterest click the camera icon and old it over this Pin code … watch the magic happen!

When the 7ft+ piece arrived I quickly saw that the paint was not going to be easily smoothed out, it was heavily distressed and the paint was thick! It would need stipping! That wasn’t going to be any small feat but I applied some chemical paint stripper to one of the drawers to see how well it would work. While I was waiting ( impatiently ) I grabbed my heat gun to see if I could get it off that way.

The Heat gun worked well but I very quickly realized that there had been zero prep done on this sideboard because the paint was coming off in strips! It seemed that the heat was warming up the original wax enabling the paint to just slide right off! I have a Facebook Live video showing a little bit of that process.

https://www.facebook.com/home.revival.1/videos/1128185310708679/
Why NO PREP is not a good idea!

Correct Prep.

When I had stripped off all the old paint I used white spirits and some steel wool to remove the wax. I did a very quick video on removing wax on FB you can see that here. The white spirits breaks down the wax and the steel wool removes it. When it was dry I used Fusion Tsp to clean it and a wire brush to scuff it. The surface was now wax-free cleaned and scuff sanded. The perfect surface for your paint!

Prep almost done, ready for paint.

“Your paint job is only as good as the surface its going on”

Some very wise woman once said

It was ready for the good stuff now and I got started using Fusions Coal Black and a good quality Staalmeester brush and it went on like a dream! The first coat looked amazing already and I knew it was gonna be a knockout!

Smooth Brushstroke Free finish
Fusion Mineral Paint Coal Black

The second coat went on just as smooth and I used some steel wool to buff up the hardware. It turned out great and the client is happy! I enjoyed painting this one despite the extra work. It has a wonderful classic timeless look and I am more than confident that this will last for many years to come.

The hardware came up great with a little buff with steel wool.
2 coats of Coal Black

In the Clients home.

I Don’t often get to see the pieces I paint in their forever homes so I love it when the client sends me pictures. It now takes pride of place in her home and what a statement piece it is!

Lamps and mirror also available at the shop

Let me know what you think?

Sarah X

A guest blog post.

Hi Sarah here!

I have had such great feedback from the last guest blog post we are having a little run of them! I’m so pleased to be able to highlight some of the talent we have here in the UK and Laura Downes is no exception!

Laura’s business is Cherbubs Chalk Interiors, you should pop over to her Facebook Page a give her a like! Laura is currently renovating her home office space and has kindly shared this brilliant filing cabinet makeover.

Introducing Laura.

My filing cabinet transformation:

Let me give you a little backstory…

When I started my business, I soon realised that there are many rules and regulations to adhere to, including the all-important data protection. We must keep all documents containing customers details in a locked cabinet, so I started looking into lockable filing cabinets. I found that these can be expensive! And money can be tight in the early stages of building a business. There are a lot of outgoings, as you buy in materials, equipment, marketing etc and there is not so much money coming in! With this in mind, I started hunting for a second-hand filing cabinet, who knew this would be so difficult? The majority of them don’t lock, and the ones that do, don’t come with a key, as it has been lost long ago. Still, after a few weeks of looking, I snatched this one up for £20. Bargain! But boy is it ugly 😳 

A plain filing cabinet ready for a makeover!

Luckily, painting things pretty is what I do, so here I will show you how this filing cabinet went from drab to fab, and now fits in with my office. 

Looking for inspiration

I started off, not quite sure how I wanted my office to look. I admire so many different styles, and there are so many colours to choose from. Decision making isn’t always my strong point. So I headed over to Pinterest, seeking inspiration from others who had transformed their workspace into a homely, environment. Here, I was able to see what I did and didn’t like, decide what I wanted to include, and then I made a mood board.

Home Revival has a whole board dedicated to Home Office

I don’t know about you, but, paperwork isn’t my thing. It’s boring, complicated and I just struggle to find time for it. I’m a creative and I just want to be playing about getting my hands dirty.  What I’m trying to say is, I find office work uninspiring and I do everything I can to avoid it, which means I leave everything to the last minute and then I turn into a total stress head, trying to get the invoices sent out, the finances to add up, and the tax return in on time. SO, the plan = to create a gorgeous cosy workspace to encourage me to spend time and actually enjoy this really important aspect of my business. 

Choosing colours: 

For a while now, I’ve been totally in love with Fusion Mineral Paint, it’s smooth, it’s creamy, it’s a dream to work with and it’s oh so durable. Their colours are just divine, but there are so many to choose from! I knew I wanted pink, but which pink? I grabbed the different shades I had to hand and started testing them out. 

Fusion Mineral Paint comes in over 50 colours

For my project, I chose Damask and Metallic Copper. 

Prep:

Your finish is only ever as good as your prep. Cleaning is always the first step. This is a second-hand piece, I don’t know where it has been, or what it endured before I got my hands on it. Now, it looked pretty clean, but don’t let that fool you. I’ve come across pieces that appear clean until you start scrubbing, and the cleaning cloth turns black. 🤢 I took all of the drawers out, and all of the hardware I could remove, to ensure I got into every single nook and cranny. I use grime cutter, spray it on, wipe with warm water, let dry and then wipe again with a wet cloth.  

Cleaning your project is essential.

I’d never painted metal before, so this was something I wanted to research, to ensure a long-lasting finish. As metal is such a smooth, shiny, non-porous surface, it needs a bit of help and priming to make sure that the paint is going to stick. Fusion sells a product called Ultra Grip, by applying this to smooth surfaces, it gives the paint something to grab onto. I applied ultra grip all over, using a roller and a brush in the hard to reach areas, and let dry overnight. Always make sure to clean your brush as soon as you’ve finished, if you leave it to dry out you will find it very hard to bring the brush back to life. 

Now for the exciting bit! 

First I apply masking tape around the edges of the drawers, to ensure smooth clean lines. I don’t want any paint to run down the sides of the drawers. 

Damask and Copper hardwear.

Once that’s done, I can start painting. I applied 2 coats of Damask, again using a roller and brush, leaving a few hours in between each coat. Then I painted the hardware copper. Once all was dry I fitted it all back together and TADAAAA! She’s ready to go back in my office.

Before & After

Keep an eye on our Facebook page Cherubs Chalk Interiors for the next instalment. I’ll be painting my leather swivel chair to match! 

Thanks for letting me share my project with you.

Laura X

Almost a year ago I painted the outside of the shop in a custom mix of Fusion’s Midnight and Liberty Blue. It was a straight 50/50 mix. Fusion mixes so well together that making a custom colour is simple and easy. The colour turned out beautiful and it looks great with the Signage.

Midnight Blue and Liberty Blue custom mix 50/50

Did I use a conversion primer?

I get asked this often, as the shop was originally painted in an oil base paint. Firstly lets just quickly and simply go over what a conversion primer is. When painting over oil base the best practice is to use a primer that will help the water base adhere to the oil-based paint. To do this conversion primers usually have an acrylic base for best adhesion and the great news is that Fusion is made with industrial grade acrylic and so there is no need for the extra product. #winning

The prep to get the exterior ready to paint was simple and quick. The paint was in good condition, flake-free and all intact so all we did was wash really well and let it dry. The custom mix covered in 2 coats and was dry to the touch quickly. The project from beginning to end took a whole day.

So how has well has Fusion held up?

My front door has a few marks on it but it is the only way we can bring furniture in and out and I wouldn’t be able to guess and how many pieces have been through that door over the year! I often line furniture up outside the shop in good weather so it gets some wear but the paint is still in tack with no chips or dings in the finish. Fusion Mineral Paint is UV stable so it doesn’t fade in the sun making it perfect for outdoor projects such as garden sheds or maybe your front and back door. Even your plant pots could get the Fusion treatment.

This was the week it was finished
The exterior of the shop a year on.

Using Fusion Outdoors.

All in all, I would highly recommend using Fusion for your outdoor projects. The exterior of the shop took less than 2 pots so that’s £43.98. This makes it much more economical than traditional exterior paint. It also was a quick project. Just imagine, If you were painting a front and back door you would only need 1 pot for that price you could change the colour every year 😉