With summer finally approaching us after what seems like the longest winter ever(!), we are starting to think about painting exterior projects. Decks, porches, bird houses, sheds or plant beds, Milk Paint can be used on any size project. If you’re going to invest your time in a project for the exterior, and don’t want to have to worry about re painting it two years down the road, then Milk Paint is your new best friend!
Question: “I was wondering if milk paint has been used to paint exterior wood clapboards? I am restoring a 1860’s house and am replacing the siding. The wood is unfinished right now. Will milk paint protect the wood? How long will it last in direct sunlight? What prepwork is required to repaint when needed? What treatment would you recommend for the backside of the trim?”
Why Milk Paint outside?
It will never chip or peel! We have all experienced painting a project outside, and after a few years, mostly all of the paint has peeled right off, leaving you a big project to tackle to re paint it.
With Milk Paint, as long as you apply the paint to a porous wood, one that has no finish on it, the Milk Paint cements itself to the wood, binding with it creating a very durable hard wearing paint that will last decades. Over time, with much physical abrasion, for example on steps, you will notice gentle wearing away in those areas only. However there is no prep work required to re paint over it, simply apply the paint and go! If you were using a conventional paint you would be required to fully remove any and all of the chipping paint and sand down the surface! Vertical surfaces painted in milk paint fair extremely well and almost never need to be repainted in our life times!
Why does paint fade outside?
Depending on the quality of the pigments used, most pigments are not rated to withstand years of UV rays. Car paints are typically the most UV resistant, however most conventional house paints will fade quickly. The beauty of the Milk Paints. UV Rays do not affect the Milk Paint colours, they will retain their vibrancy for many years!
Why do paints peel in the first place?
It is important to understand the most basic chemistry of conventional paints and how they are not breathable. They are essentially a by-product of the petrochemical industry, similar to a plastic. (A conventional paint is anything that comes premixed in a can/container.)
If you apply a conventional paint, let’s say for example on a deck, within 1-2 years you will have major peeling and “paint failure”. Conventional paints are not breathable, but what does this mean? When you have moisture seeping into the wood from the ground, the sun hits the wood, it starts to heat up, and that water or moisture trapped under the paint will force its way out, resulting in peeling. With Milk Paint, there is no synthetic barrier therefore it is completely breathable, allowing the moisture trapped inside the wood to evaporate right through the Milk Paint without harming the finish.
Really quite simple isn’t it?!
What is the best top coat to use outside?
Tung Oil! It is the most water resistant of all of the natural oils on the market. Our pure Tung Oil is 100% unpolymerized, and not cut with any thinners or solvents like most are on the market. For your first coat, adding a thinner makes it easier to penetrate into the wood and dry a little faster, however it is not 100% necessary to use a thinner. You will get a very pure, clear matte finish that is water resistant. This oil is natural and breathable therefore you will not have the issues with trapping moisture within. Using waxes or other poly coatings will lead to many problems outside.
A few more answers to the Question of the Week!
-Milk Paint itself will not protect the wood, therefore a coat or two of Tung Oil, a natural breathable non peeling oil should be applied on top of the milk paint to protect it from water spots. If you decide not to put a top coat natural oil, then the colour will not achieve its true vibrancy, and you may see water spots from rain.
-There is no prep work required is the wood is already unfinished. If it was coated in something you would need to remove it down to the porous bare wood.
-I would not recommend any treatment at all on the backside of the boards, nothing is required when using Milk Paint for prep.
*Colours Used- Algonquin and Bard Red from Homestead House Paint Co.