I am building kitchen cabinets and would like to use milk paint on the inside of the cabinets. Do you see any problems with this? Is regular milk paint OK or would the synthetic milk paint by General Finishes be better? – Jim Ryan
Tim Inman: Why? Is it the look? Is it the feel? Is there a historic preservation ethic you’re dealing with? All other things being equal, I would suggest that a better choice for anything kitchen – even on the interior of the cabinets – would be a modern coating. Kitchens are greasy, hot and humid. You can get a good paint that has the look and feel of milk paint. So, unless the chemistry of the real thing is important to you, I’d go with something that is designed and proven tougher for your kitchen work. Remember, originally, milk paint was used because it made use of the casein resin in milk that was locally available. It was not used because it was just that much superior to anything else. It was cheap and available. You are not restricted to that parameter.
Chris Marshall: I’d go with an acrylic latex that’s tinted to match the milk paint color you are after. The sheen won’t be quite right, of course, but the color can be darn close. Kitchen cabinets need easy-to-clean surfaces, even on the inside. And that means there has to be some degree of sheen to the paint above a “flat.” I like satin—it looks flat enough but still wipes clean easily. For me, the ability to take a wet, soapy sponge and clean off fingerprints, dust or greasy cooking residue outweighs all other considerations. And, soapy water won’t damage the paint.