Painting Radiator Covers in Milk Paint!

Last summer I had the pleasure of painting custom made Radiator covers for a historic century home. I was so pleased to take on this job as it really fit with the heritage aspect of milk paints, and the finish turned out to be spectacular!

Milk Paint is ideal as it does not react to heat and is breathable, therefore never leading to potential peeling issues. It was a scorcher of a day, over 100 degrees and I was painting this outside in the garage! Not to worry though, as Milk Paint doesn’t react to temperatures when painting, where it’s cold or super hot, all it will do is slightly affect drying time. Since Milk Paint in synthetic free, there’s no “curing” time as in acrylics or oil paints, when it’s dry, it’s dry! Usually about 30 minutes between coats and then you can top coat!

1st Coat


You can see here the first coat applied. I had a very nice mixture made up with excellent coverage for this off white colour. If your paint colour is too transparent, or thin looking, simply add more powder and mix again until you get this type of coverage.


Here you can see I’ve put one coat of milk paint on almost the entire left side of the piece. the right side is un stained or treated before applying the paint. I didn’t stain as there was to be no distressing to these pieces. There was no primer required for this as it was bare wood allowing for the milk paint to soak in a bind with the wood fibers nicely.

She’s a beauty!

I found it helpful to lean down the radiators and spray the middle parts as there was a lot of detailing that was very difficult to achieve with just a brush. I just used a simple spray bottle typically used to water plants- it didn’t gunk up or clog the spray gun at all. This all has one coat of milk paint. Typically you will need 2-3 coats depending on your mixture.





A Close up shot of one coat of milk paint. This could be considered a lime wash, or stain.





Voila! The finished piece.

I used a Milk Paint wood stain, the finished it with Hemp Oil as a protective non peeling top coat.   A Close up of the finished product!