This is what the room looked like when it served as a nursery for my firstborn. Over the years it got cluttered and crowded as it became a room for two young boys. (3.5 and 2)
Here is what the room looks like now with a fresh coat of paint and new “big boy” decor.
The closet isn’t finished yet, but just imagine lots of shelves in there where I will have all the boys’ clothes organized in banker boxes by size and by season. It’s going to be beautiful. It just hasn’t happened yet in this busy season of life. I must say, I have A LOT of respect for bloggers who run design blogs. Just trying to keep this room clean for five minutes to take pictures was an all day project, mainly because I had a lot of “help” from these cuties:
Honestly, in a perfect world, the bunk beds would have been a natural wood tone, and the sheets would have been a bright red, and there would be bright colorful pillows. However, this was also a makeover on a budget and I don’t think the kids will ever care that their room didn’t exactly match “mommy’s vision”. Almost everything in the room was repurposed, DIY, bought used, or bought on clearance.
And now it’s time to talk about the paint. The beautiful paint which I’m in love with. The beautiful, non-stinky, non-toxic paint which I find myself staring lovingly at. Real Milk Paint.
The pictures don’t do it justice and don’t show the true “whiteness” of the paint. I think the curtains caused an “orangish” tint and the shadows from the lighting caused a “bluish” tint, but the paint is crisp white in real life.
My Review of Real Milk Paint
Real Milk Paint comes in powder form with directions on how to mix it up. We simply added the powder to a large 5-gallon bucket with the suggested amount of water and used our immersion blender to blend it up. For the first coat we added Ultra Bond to help it stick to the walls better. This is what it looked like in the bucket before we blended it:
When applying to walls that have already been painted, the directions at Realmilkpaint.com tell you to first treat it with TSP (trisodium phosphate). I read up on TSP and wasn’t exactly comfortable using it during pregnancy, although I couldn’t find anything that said to directly avoid it. For the main walls we had to prime them first anyways, so we weren’t too concerned about the paint sticking, especially with the Ultra Bond mixed in. We chose to skip the TSP for the main walls. By the time we got around to painting the closet (which didn’t need priming), we weren’t even thinking about the TSP, and as you will see, that was a mistake – the paint ended up crackling in a lot of areas. So my first suggestion, learned the hard way, is to follow the directions! (although we actually aren’t disappointed with the crackled look – it fits the industrial vibe we were going for, and it’s not even noticeable from far away. This was our own fault for not following the directions and not a reflection on the quality of the milk paint. Here’s a picture up close:
When applying the paint, it is a little trickier to get a smooth finish. You don’t want drips, because unlike the synthetic paints, they won’t just blend in. They will dry exactly as a drip. Below is a picture of a drip that we missed. I later tried to peel off a piece, but it took the dry wall with it. I think it’s safe to say it was well adhered to the wall. It looks huge in the picture, but in real life you don’t even notice it unless you are really looking for it.
- Completely non-toxic
- You can mix up as much or as little as you want. I love that I can save some powder for whenever I need touch ups.
- Much easier to store: A small bag of powdered paint versus a huge gallon bucket of paint.
- The possibilities for mixing your own colors are endless. For the gray in the closet, we mixed a pint of black with a quart of white and loved the final color. You can see all of the colors they sell here, and then you can also custom mix your own colors.
- When mixed with water, it will last up to two weeks, unlike other brands of milk paint which spoil much sooner.
- Real Milk Paint is great for people who are trying to refinish antique furniture with authentic paint from that time period.
- The colors are gorgeous.
- You are in control of how thick or thin the paint is. If you want it really thin, then add more water. If you want it thicker, add more powder. It’s very versatile this way.
- You have to mix it yourself. This isn’t really a con to us, but I think it may be to some people who are used to the convenience of store-bought paint.
- You have to paint a little more carefully so you are not producing drips that can dry on the wall. We used a roller and found it worked great when we used a medium pressure. If we pushed too hard on it, then that’s when the drips would occur, although they were easy to swipe over again.
- You can’t skip the prep work (TSP) if you are trying to use them on pre-painted walls.
- With the white (not the gray), it took three coats to get the kind of coverage we were looking for.
Here’s another picture of the finished product:
Ya’ll, I am in love with the outcome. Seriously, the little bit of extra work it took to mix it up and paint was well worth it. I would not hesitate to use this paint again on other rooms in our house. Was there a learning curve for us? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes!
Oh and I almost forgot, but we used Safecoat Acriglaze (affiliate link) in satin as a topcoat.
If you are trying to reduce toxins in your household and are looking for non-toxic paint, you will definitely want to try Real Milk Paint. You can check them out at www.realmilkpaint.com or head on over to FB and like their page, tell them Sarah sent you. There are so many different colors I would like to try out, and I noticed on their website that they do sell samples.
What do you think of the boys’ new room? Have you ever painted with milk paint? Are you bad at following directions like we are?
(Pssst – Just a reminder that I did receive the milk paint in this post from the company for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own and I am the person who sought them out because I was so excited about their product.)