Peter Galbert (author of “Chairmaker’s Notebook”) has just released the first of his two-part video series: “Peter Galbert Teaches Milk Paint.” (The second part, which will go in-depth on using more colors, will be available in May and is included in the purchase price).
I just finished watching part one, and it is fantastic – like pretty much everything Pete does, from his chairmaking to his book to his teaching. The video is a good mix of wide and close-up views, and the pace is just fast enough that you get the instruction you need without any superfluity.
Shot in Pete’s enviable shop (with a cute cameo from Georgia, his dog), the video starts off with an inspiring gallery of some of his work (painted in a variety of colors) and an explanation of what milk paint is and why he likes it. Then Pete provides an overview of the process.
He then breaks each step down into easy-to-follow instruction.
First up is surface prep, for which your approaches will vary depending on the type of wood and whether you sanded or scraped it. Then, Pete shows how to properly mix the paint (much thinner than you might expect), rest it, and strain it for easy-to-apply coats that go on smoothly. He applies two coats of red, sanding between them, before mixing the black (which is thinner still) and applying two coats.
Once all the paint is on and dry, he shows you how to mix and apply an oil finish, and how to adjust the mix for your desired sheen.
Plus you get a good look at the gorgeous details of Peter’s continuous-arm Windsor chair as he goes along.
With Pete’s help, I think even the most novice of milk-paint users will be reassured that a great finish is simple to achieve, as long as you proceed apace. And even if you’ve used milk paint a lot, I suspect you’ll still pick up some pro tips.