What’s the difference? Milk Paint, Chalk Paint & Mineral Paint.


What’s the difference?

What’s the difference? We get asked that every single day at the shop and I think it surprises people to know that there is a big difference between them. All are used for furniture, Interiors and more and all can be found up and down the UK ( and across the world ) in Independent shops and from online retailers.

 Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

Let’s start with Milk Paint, this is the odd one out in this crowd as it comes in powder form all sealed in a pretty little package. It is mixed with water in equal proportions to make a thin single cream like consistency. (Click to see how easy it is!) It gives you an unrivaled flat smooth brush free finish but is also famous for it’s ‘Chippy’ look. Milk Paint is a porous paint, meaning it needs sealing with a top coat.

smooth finish mmsmp
smooth finish achieved with Bonding Agent

Milk Paint is very versatile and you can get lots of different effects with minimal effort. It can be used as a wood stain by adding more water or will naturally crackle if applied thickly. It can be used as a wash, to tone down a vibrant colour or as a glaze to highlight nooks and crannies. The famous ‘Chippy’ look is simply achieved by painting a prefinished or an already painted piece something that’s slightly shiny, the milk paint will resist the already finished surface producing the authentic chips of peeling paint….vintage heaven.

Antique French cabinet painted in MMSMP 'Mora' with a lovely Chippy finish
Antique French cabinet painted in MMSMP ‘Mora’ with a lovely Chippy finish.

What is Milk Paint?

So now we know the basics of what it can do, what the heck is it? Milk Paint has been around for century’s and has been used for many things from ancient cave paintings, drawings on the pyramids to more recently used for Barns and as a raw wood paint.

It’s made from just 5 all natural ingredients including milk protein ( casein ) Limestone, Clay, Chalk and natural pigments….. that’s it! It’s bio-degradable, no VOC’s, mold resistant and makes a breathable coating so it’s great for lime plastered walls and other surfaces. Milk paints eco-friendly formula makes it a safe option for asthma and chemically sensitive people.


I have already mentioned that Milk Paint is a porous paint and needs to be sealed to be ‘finished’ and there are many ways to do that. Hemp Oil is a solvent free oil finish and protects and seals by absorbing into the wood and hardening to make a water resistant seal. It brings out the richness of the colour and drys to a low luster sheen. It can not be chipped off or peel as it doesn’t leave a surface film.

Hemp Oil is food safe and can be used on chopping boards, kitchen counters etc, it can also be used to bring life back to old cast iron, stone, and bare wood! ….it is basically magic in a bottle!! I’m addicted I literally try and find things in my house to oil.

Hemp Oil on Milk Paint and Bare Wood.
Hemp Oil on Milk Paint and Bare Wood.

Wax is also a great finish for Milk Paint and Miss Mustard Seed’s Wax is amazing, it’s soft and buttery and has virtually no odor and is made from beeswax and a little carnauba. It is a fine museum quality and is simple and easy to use unlike some others on the market, it drys to a low luster with no harsh sheen. Wax brings out the richness of the colour and provides a water resistant finish. Miss Mustard Seed has a range of waxes including Antiquing, white and beeswax.

MMSMP Tough Coat is a water-based non-yellowing wipe on poly, it’s perfect for high-traffic areas such as table tops. It can be brushed on or wiped on and I use it a lot for bleed through (bonus). When you achieve a ‘chippy’ finish and you don’t want any more chipping (which can happen over time) a coat of tough coat seals in the paint chips and leaves a nice matte finish. Easy water clean up.

chippy finish sealed with tough coat.
chippy finish sealed with Tough Coat.

Chalk Paint.

Chalk paint comes ready to use in a can. It has a reputation for being a no-prep paint ( although some prep is alway required even if it’s only a good clean!). It has a thick consistency and can be used in lots of different ways to get different effects. It can be allowed to thicken to make texture, watered down to make a paint wash, and a dye for fabric. It is a porous paint and needs to be sealed. Wax is the preferred method to seal Chalk Paint although it can be sealed with a varnish or poly water-based topcoat. We only use Chalk Paint if a customer specifically asks for it on a custom job now and never ever wax it, we always seal with a water-based varnish. It is easily distressed and is often used for Shabby Chic style painting.

Annie Sloan chalk paint can of paint

Fusion Mineral Paint.

Fusion Mineral Paint is the big daddy, the grande finale, the piste de resistance!

It truly is the best one step paint on the market, a professional paint for the DIY’er,  it’s an acrylic base paint and natural minerals making it UV stable and eco-friendly, only the finest ingredients are used to achieve that perfect flawless matte finish. It comes ready to use straight from the 30% recycled clear plastic containers through which you can see the gorgeous colours, all 52 of them. It has a thinner consistency than chalk paint but exceptional coverage. It is zero VOC’s, unrivaled durability and drum roll, please …… no top coat is needed! yes, you read that right! no top coat required! why?  I hear you ask, well because it’s an acrylic based paint it is waterproof when dry! yes waterproof so the only reason for you to add wax or glaze is for decorative purposes. So if you hate waxing but love the matte chalky look this is the perfect paint for you.

Fusion Mineral Paint is easy water clean up.

Paint stripe in Fusion Mineral Paint

Fusion is very versatile, it’s perfect for the contemporary flawless solid coverage and can just as easily be distressed for the vintage vibe. As its name suggests it fuses itself to the surface and is very tough when dry so if you are thinking of distressing your piece it’s best to be done soon after the paint drys. It does require some prep work though, so if your piece is shiny a light ‘key’ with sandpaper or our fabulous Sandi Hands is good enough. The only thing Fusion won’t adhere to is Wax, so if the piece you are going to paint has a wax finish you would need to wipe down with white spirits and lightly sand.

Midnight Blue contemporary look.
Midnight Blue contemporary look.

 Finishes and accents.

With so many different D.I.Y paints on the market, we know it can difficult to make the right choice for you and your project. So Fusion Mineral Paint has made it easy! they have made a premium paint, luxurious finishes and everything in-between.

We are trained and highly knowledgeable on all the products in the range so any queries and question you might have can be answered. Fusion Mineral Paint have such a diverse collection of products that it makes us a one -stop shop! no more running around trying to find a finishing or a prep product we carry them all under one roof! and of course, you can purchase them all in our on-line shop.
Some of the products available from Fusion
Some of the products available from Fusion

So what’s the verdict?

The conclusion we can take from all this is no one paint does everything, we need to know the pro’s and con’s and decide what is best for our projects before we go ahead. Reading customer reviews is always a good start when trying a new product. I have put together an infographic for a quick tick list for you to check which paint will work for you and your project.

What is the difference between the comparison chart 

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  1. Astrid gibbs


    Can you use mineral paint on melamine / non wood kitchen cabinets and if so what prep would be needed?

    • Sarah Pelley

      Hi, yes you can! Fusion has made a product called Ultra grip, which makes painting slick shiny surfaces a piece of cake, just a light sand a coat of Ultra Grip and your chosen colour of Fusion and you have a new kitchen.

  2. Do you need to poly after you put the stain/oil finish products on?

    • Sarah Pelley

      Hi Peggy,
      You can’t apply Poly after Hemp Oil, it would be the last step in the refinishing process. You could however stain and then poly if that’s your preferred finish.
      Hope that helps
      Sarah x

  3. Hi Peggy

    which can be used on a single wall for a baby’s room? I want a safe product and easy too.

    • Sarah Pelley

      Hi, the Tones for Tots range in Fusion Mineral Paint were designed for nurseries. Have been tested to the highest standards for safety and a beautiful colour range to choose from .X

  4. Pingback:Why we love Fusion Mineral Paint. - Home Revival Interiors

  5. I have a nest of tables that could possibly be French polished . I would like a satin finish with minimum prep work . Which product should I use and what prep woul I need to do
    Thanking you

    • Sarah Pelley

      Hey Julie,
      For a Satin finish, you could use Fusion Mineral Paint and a satin varnish as a top coat, as with all paints the prep would need to assess on a piece by piece basis. Genreally all that’s needed is a clean and a scuff sand. Your other option is finding a paint that has a satin finish.
      Have you joined ‘How to paint like a pro’ ? It’s a Facebook group and is perfect for people wanting to gain some more knowledge in painting furniture.

  6. Pingback:An easy guide to glazing - Home Revival Interiors

  7. Nadine collins

    Have just moved into a rented flat where previous tenant has painted over all the kitchen cupboard doors with black gloss paint.. And hasn’t done a good job! What’s the best paint/method to use to paint over this and right this terrible wrong please, it looks awful?

    • Sarah Pelley

      As long as there are no chips or peeling of paint, you can sand untill the sheen is taken down and then use Fusion
      Mineral Paint. I have done many kitchen’s and they have held up very well, it’s hardwearing and washable you can also use the Tough Coat sealer for extra protection if you feel it’s needed.

  8. Christine Lavin

    Can l use milk paint as a base for encaustic art?

    • Sarah Pelley

      I’m really not sure, this has me stumped. If you join the Facebook group Paint it Beautiful Loree Pringle is the go-to expert where milk paint is concerned. I’d ask her for her advice.

  9. Pingback:How to apply Tough Coat Fusion Mineral Paint - Home Revival Interiors

  10. Can you advise me on which paint is suitable for a surface that food could be on.

    • Sarah Pelley

      Food grade products should be used where food will come into contact with the surface. Our Hemp Oil is perfect for that.

  11. Pingback:Milk Paint by Fusion coming soon to the UK - Home Revival Interiors

  12. Greetings!
    Im thinking of painting our fireplace brick surround with Fusion Mineral Paint. Does it need to be sealed? Also do you know how the paint will deal with the soot, frequent heating and cooling that comes along with being near a fireplace?

    • Sarah Pelley

      Painting the fire surround is no problem, the fire can’t be painted or anything that gets too hot to touch. Not with Fusion anyway. Hope that helps

  13. Pingback:Milk Paint by Fusion bedside table - Home Revival Interiors

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