Here's where I stand with paint. I pulled everything out a few nights ago to get it started, and read the secret instructions, only to find out I didn't really have what I needed. The simple instructions for Milk Paint are "mix with water, paint." The complete instructions, printed on the insert that you don't find until you open the package include: "if you are painting a dense wood, like birch, you should add our other product, Extra Bond." I considered buying it from Amazon, but I wouldn't have been able to get it before Friday, and would have paid double the list price to have it shipped, so I went back by the fancy woodworking shop and picked up a bottle of extra bond this afternoon - then came home and got it all together.
I've got the paint powder (silver package, top left) the extra bod (white bottle) assorted cups and trays and the foam roller than Milk Paint says should be least likely to make streaks (after spray, which would give the most even finish, but too much hassle for me - plus they say spray at 30psi, so my HVLP sprayer is not what they want). The finishing guru at the shop says use a hand mixer, scrape off the foam, then strain with cheese cloth.
When I mixed up the first batch, figuring proportions by eye, I thought I would get by without straining. I did, but shouldn't have. The first batch I mixed up was a little on the thick side, and had less Extra Bond than it should have. Here you ca see (I hope) how foamy it is. There seemed little chance that the foam would rise to the top to be scraped away, so I got started as is.
Here's the results of the first coat:
I kept with the same cabinet. The first coat was dry to the touch on the first panels I painted by the time I got all the way around, so I just started again - still working from the same batch of paint. At this point, I got a little nervous because I was getting a lot of little bubbles in the paint as I rolled it on. I hadn't seen any in the first coat at all. This picture is hard to see, but there is a field of bubbles, each about 1mm, and about 2mm from the next bubble. They seemed to not make a difference and disappeared as the paint dried. I was also able to work much of the foam out by overworking the paint with the roller after it was running low on paint.
About this time, I was running low on paint and wanted to get more Extra bond into the next batch to start fresh on the second cabinet. So I mixed up another batch, using the recommended proportion of Extra Bond (50%! but I didn't measure) and the paint came out a lot thinner. I strained it through cheese cloth to avoid the clumps that I was beginning to pick up on the roller toward the bottom of the first batch of paint. You can see the wood grain pretty clearly with this coverage. If not for the wood filler, I might like to leave it like this. Here's a couple shots of the first coat on the second cabinet:
After two coats on the second cabinet, I was running low again, so I beefed up with lots of pigment (maybe a little more water) to make the third batch of paint. It was very thick. Straining it took a long time - I had to un-double the cheese cloth (going from 4 layers to two). Eventually, it was ready. This picture may not convey the viscosity, but trust me, it was high.
I put two coats from the thick batch on each cabinet. I'm not sure if I'm done yet - I could use some advice. The portions without wood filler look great. They're just what I envisioned. This picture is the best representation of the color, and don't mind the two dark spots - they're some kind of photographic artifact.
The problem is still the areas with wood filler. The color is inconsistent. The flash magnifies the problem, but it's evident under normal light as well. The paint had dried for about an hour - maybe more - by the time I took this photo.
I still have the ceramithane to apply eventually. I am reasonably happy with the texture of the cabinets, but they might benefit from a light sanding. What can I do to get the color to match?