A Glossy Coating Over Milk Paint

A finisher has been asked to color-match some milk-painted pieces, but with a glossy finish. Pros consider the feasibility of using conversion varnish or clear acrylic over milk paint. December 15, 2005

I have a customer who wants us to build an entertainment center to match some items he built a few years ago and painted with milk paint. He wants a satin finish rather than the dull finish of the milk paint. He has some of the milk paint powder we can use. Can you spray precat or conversion varnish over milk paint? We want to give him the satin finish, but we also want to keep the durability of the catalyzed finishes in mind. We donít have much experience with milk paint. Another option would be to have our paint company just color match the milk paint.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
Almost anything can go over a milk paint finish, but do keep in mind that a coating over the dead flat look of the paint will change the color of the paint. Once coated, it wonít look anything like the original color of the paint. Milk paints are quite durable by themselves and the beauty of them is that they donít need a coating unless the project is going outdoors.

I have some milks at the shop from a company who makes their own coatings for their own milk colors and they claim that their coatings donít change the original color, as others do. On a side note, I use milks as stains and just water them down. Glazes and distressed finishes look splendid. Have you considered a cab acrylic coating? They are non-acidic and non-yellowing - all the things a CV has.

From contributor B:
I would think that the alkaline surface pH of the milk paint would interfere with the acid catalyst in the CV.

From contributor C:
A barrier coat of vinyl sealer ought to be a good tie-in coat.

From the original questioner:
I expected the color to change, so I did plan on making a few test pieces to show the fellow. Looks like I'll have to take a sample of bare milk paint finish to the paint shop and get them to match it. I know what I'm dealing with when using Magnamax.