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At Spoonfest I sat down with Tom Hepworth from The Greenwood Guild and made a video about painting spoons with milk paint. Towards the end there’s a brief introduction to the magical process of ebonising.

It’s available at and at their free YouTube channel.

Painting and Decorating with milk paints, at Spoonfest 2019

There are a lot of different paint effects you can achieve with milk paint. They’re used a lot for painting furniture, up-cycling with fancy shabby chic type effects for example. The brands mentioned below all have social media channels and tutorials on their websites with some examples of different effects and ways to mix and apply the paint.

The brand of milk paint I’m using here is Miss Mustard Seed in the UK I buy online from Emily Rose Vintage.
The other brand I’ve used and can recommend is Old Fashioned Milk Paint which can be bought online in the UK from Old Fashioned Milk Paint or The Blueberry Store.

Just buy tester packs to start with – the paint goes a long way and one tester pack can paint dozens of spoons.

First Lavaspoons - Spoonfest 2016
The first Lavaspoons – painted at Spoonfest 2016

Another brand the I’ve heard good things about but I’ve not used is Real Milk Paint. There’s no UK reseller at present although they will ship to UK from the US. I can’t really say anything about these as I’ve not used them.

You can try mixing your own, there’s lots of recipes online. Basic ingredients are skimmed milk powder or casein powder, food quality slaked lime and natural (food safe) pigment. I’ve experimented with this but didn’t get it to work as well as the off the shelf versions. In particular it didn’t stick as well to the wood and flaked or washed off more easily.

So experiment and have fun, remember to don’t have to test out ideas on a finished spoon, just use an off-cut or scrap of dry wood.