Milk Paint Bowls

I’ve started work on a small collection of bowls that I’m doing something different on… painting them! Now I know some folks really don’t like the idea of “painting” wood and rather have the natural grain showing through. I felt that I needed a change and I really like the look of painted wood, when done appropriately. I have, I think, managed to blend the two concepts of natural wood and paint nicely.

I’m also a big fan of bowls that don’t have multiple layers of modern acrylic or urethane finished that end up making them feel more like plastic than wood. As a result, I decided to only minimally sand them so that the slight texture of the wood can be felt though the finish coats.

The wood that I used for this collection is more of the Norway Maple that I was given last year by a friend. This maple is a bit of a bland wood at times, so they were a natural choice for the splash of colour. I used milk paint from a great store in Toronto, Homestead House, that comes as a powder and can be mixed to the desired consistency before applying. The colours used are Bayberry Green, St. Laurent Blue and Fort York Red. I had the blue and red sitting around from a previous unfinished project and the green I picked up to give some variety.

The milk paint went on very well with a simple sponge brush. I used only one coat with the Bayberry Green but two coats on the blue and red. I really just wanted to see what kind of colour intensity and opacity was achieved depending on the difference in applications. I’m happy with both versions. The blue and red came out very intense which I feel is great and really want I was trying to capture.

Once the milk paint was dry and had a bit of time to set (which it didn’t really need but I felt like doing it anyways), I applied multiple coats of hemp seed oil (also from Homestead House) which is a Canadian made, food safe, and no VOC finish. It gives a lovely colour to the wood while bringing out the grain patterns really nicely. A thin coating of beeswax over top and they were done.

These bowls were meant to be used, abused and get some real day to day living. I’d much rather have the bowls that I make get used regularly as part of daily living rather than just sitting on a shelf somewhere and only be picked up to be dusted twice a year.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the bowls and how they look. These will be available at Gallery in the Attic (Facebook Page) in Peterborough sometime in April.

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