We have an exciting news if you haven’t tried this yet, as well as some awesome updates if you have been using milk paint for awhile now! (Read the end of this post for updates!)
For those of you newbies, our bonding agent is a his water-based concentrated acrylic emulsion. You add it directly to your mixed paint. For the best adhesion, mix equal parts bonding agent to mixed milk paint. For example, if you have 1/2 cup of milk paint powder, mixed to 1/2 cup water- you have a total of 1 cup mixed paint. You will add a total of 1 cup bonding agent to your already mixed paint.  Bonding agent can be adjusted, depending on the surface you are working with, but for the best adhesion, mixing equal parts to mixed paint is recommended.

Bonding Agent will allow your paint to adhere to finished surfaces, metal, and glass. To show you how well it works, I painted this old vintage metal step stool with Eulalie’s sky. The majority of the metal was in wonderful shape, there were a few places where they metal was rusty.
Here is the stool before:

I did no prepping, cleaning, or sanding. I mixed 1/2 cup of Eulalie’s sky, and 1/4 cup of bonding agent.


I used the MMSMP 1.5 paint brush and the medium oval wax/paint brush .For the legs I used the medium oval wax/ paint brush. The contoured bristles made painting the rounded legs so much easier than a flat paint brush. It is my new go to brush for spindles, chair legs, and small round surfaces!
After the first coat was dry- I let it bond and cure for at least 2 hours. This gives your bonding agent time to adhere to the substrate. There have been times I have painted my second coat quickly (milk paint dries so quickly it’s tempting to just keep going!) and the bonding agent hasn’t had adequate time to bind, the water in your second coat possibly could reactivate your 1st coat, causing the bonding agent to lift up.
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AFter your first coat is cured, if you need another coat- add bonding agent again in your paint. This is a new discovery we have found in recent research.
For superior adhesion: Add Bonding agent in every coat!
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My paint got on the old rubber steps as well, and when I went to clean it up, it actually was stuck on there really well! So there you have it, it even adhered to rubber!
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I was finishing up this stool when an elderly gentleman moseyed into my shop. He stood up and said, “Your not going to paint that orignal old stool are you?! That is a gem!”
I assured him I wasn’t, gave him a wink, and went on waxing.
I think that’s a stamp of approval when a fellow from when the stool was made thought it was original! What other paint can do that?
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Just a light sand, and a rub down with furniture wax, and the stool has a fresh new face, yet keeping it’s authentic vintage patina.
It felt smooth, and the coverage was excellent.

Now, a quick note from the staff of MMSMP, whom have been working hard trouble shooting the bonding agent woes of those who have used it, and still received chipping:
**When MMSMP first came out, our original instructions were that you just needed bonding agent in the first coat. Since mmsmp has grown so fabulously, and you all have been trying it on a vast array of finishes, you have really helped to put our bonding agent adhesion to the test. From high gloss wood finishes, to veneers, and laminates, we have received the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Here is what we have found:

-Use the bonding agent in EVERY coat. This trick has made a world of difference! As you saw above, it allows your paint to adhere to most anything.
Milk paint is not a one sized fits all paint. It really shines on raw wood. In fact, you can’t get better adhesion on raw wood than with milk paint. Some surfaces will take the paint better than others. A little scuff coat is not necessary, but never hurts if in doubt on the porosity of the piece.
Certain surfaces are highly resistant, even with bonding agent. Many newer “big box” stores are manufacturing their furniture with flame retardant finishes that are also highly resistant to certain paints.
Milk paint likes to be “absorbed”. Remember what you are mixing your paint with: Water. That means that the more porous the surface, the better the stick. If you are using bonding agent, chances are your paint is not being absorbed into the substrate- so it needs time to cure.
Try to keep it under 3 coats. As a professional who paints several finishes weekly- I have found the best best is to mix my first coat a bit creamier- think icing consistency, to get better coverage. This way I don’t need to keep adding more paint layers risking breaking down my bond.
If you received unwanted chipping, scuff off the flakes, sand down that spot really well, and add another coat of bonding agent mixed paint.
If the surface is right, and you follow these tips, we know you can get that flawless finish!
ADU-24 copy*If you are unsure about your surface and if it is a good milk paint candidate, contact your local retailer, or email us!


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8 thoughts on “MMSMP | BONDING AGENT

  1. Sharon Rexroad's Bringing Creativity 2 Life

    thanks for the insights!

    Can you clarify the following sentences in the first part of the article: “The recommendation for mixing milk paint is, mix one part of bonding agent to one parts of milk paint. For an even strong grip, mix in equal parts.” To me, one part to one part is the same as equal parts…

  2. Patti

    I think you meant to say at the beginning of the article:

    mix one part of bonding agent to two parts of milk paint.

    Rather than:
    mix one part of bonding agent to one parts of milk paint.

    Thanks for this interesting article.

  3. Jelena

    I have discovered some of these tips on my own, when trying to paint an old metal chandelier and a bookshelf that was a modern, dark, high gloss finish. If I want better coverage (and I generally don’t like too much chipping), I use bonding agent in every coat. The extended drying time makes sense, too. Now, I will have to find a metal object to paint in order to test this tip. 🙂

  4. Ap

    I’m confused. Do you mix the dry paint with the bonding agent only, or do I mix the dry paint with water then add the bonding agent?

    1. Patti Cruickshank-Schott

      Hope this helps… Here’s what I found in another article on this blog: “To use with Milk Paint: Mix one part of bonding agent to two parts of milk paint already mixed. For an even stronger grip, mix in equal parts. Mix the bonding agent with all coats of paint for optimum adhesion.”

  5. Tom

    Hi MMS

    I was wondering… What if you want to have some chipping but the piece that your painting is resisting 90% of the paint? Adding bonding agent will only allow it to crack a little bit.


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