Chalk paint is a water-based paint made of solvents, pigments, and binders. Milk paint is a traditional paint made of a natural formula.
Chalk paint is more durable and easier to distress than milk paint. Milk paint is easier to apply, costs less, and has a more colorful finish than chalk paint.
What is Chalk Paint?
Chalk paint is a water-based paint designed by Annie Sloan and known for its dry matte finish with a chalky feel. It’s made of binders (Plasters of Paris), solvent (water), and pigments (colorants).
Chalk paint has a fast drying time because of its water-based nature and its solvent (water) evaporates fast from the coating. You can use it on indoor furniture, cabinets, shelves, and other similar indoor surfaces.
Don’t use chalk paint over outdoor surfaces because the paint isn’t durable enough to withstand weather elements. If exposed to constant water, chalk paint will get washed off because it has low moisture-resistance qualities.
What is Milk Paint?
Milk paint is a traditional paint known for its natural formula. It’s made of milk protein (casein), pigments (colorants), lime, and extra natural ingredients.
Milk paint comes in powdered form and must be mixed with water before application. You can decide whether you want a thin or thick viscosity based on how much water you use to mix it.
It creates a dry matte finish with a chalky feel, similar to chalk paint. However, the paint isn’t durable enough to withstand outdoor weather elements.
Chalk Paint vs Milk Paint
The differences between chalk paint and milk paint are listed below.
Chalk paint is harder to apply than milk paint as it has a thicker viscosity that is harder to control and leaves brush marks behind.
Chalk paint has a synthetic formula made of binders (Plasters or Paris or gypsum), chalk (calcium carbonate), pigments, and acrylic latex.
Milk paint has a natural formula made of milk protein (casein), lime, pigments, and extra natural ingredients.
Chalk paint is more expensive than milk paint as it comes in larger containers and is easier to use. Milk paint costs less as it comes in powder form that must be mixed with water before application.
Both paints create a colorful finish, but milk paint has more color shade options as it comes in powder form and can be mixed with different pigments.
You can mix chalk paint with different pigments, but you can easily over-thin it if you add too much.
Chalk paint and milk paint both create a matte finish with a chalky feel that appears vintage or old and is easily distressed.
Chalk paint is more durable and lasts longer than milk paint as it’s formulated with extra binders (or plasters) that increase its finish durability. Milk paint isn’t durable and will wear off if exposed to water.
When Should You Use Milk Paint Instead of Chalk Paint
You should use milk paint instead of chalk paint for the following cases:
- Light Coats: Use milk paint if you want a thinner finish as it has a thinner viscosity.
- Colorful Finish: Use milk paint if you want a more colorful finish as you can easily add more pigments before mixing the paint with water.
- Decorative Surfaces: Use milk paint if you want to paint small decorative surfaces that aren’t exposed to water.
When Should You Use Chalk Paint Instead of Milk Paint?
You should use chalk paint instead of milk paint in the following cases:
- Finish Durability: Use chalk paint if you want a more durable finish that lasts longer. However, you must seal it with a sealer if applied outdoors.
- Surface Type: Use chalk paint for wall surfaces as it offers better coverage and durability compared to milk paint.
- Distressed Finish: Use chalk paint if you want a distressed finish as it’s easily sanded.