Painted Bowls

  • by Corin Flood
  • January 30th, 2013

Birch and maple bowls look great natural but they also make a great canvas for milk paint.


Milk paint is an ancient paint formula that uses lime to activate the casein protein found in milk. Once the turning is completed the bowls are painted with a couple of coats of milk paint usually in different colours. The paint dries to a hard matt surface. Once the paint is dry the bowl is mounted on the lathe and very fine sand paper is used to remove some of the paint exposing the colour below. The outside of the bowl is turned off the tool which leaves some light ridges on the surface. When the paint is sanded the under coat is exposed faster on the ridges, beads and coves giving the bowl a soft distressed appearance. The painted surface is finally polished and waxed saturating the colours and giving the surface lustre.

The interior of the bowls are finished just like a natural bowl with walnut oil and beeswax.

The bowls in these photo’s are turned from birch and maple, the largest is birch with a 12″ diameter and about 4″ depth, the middle size is 10″ in diameter and turned from maple with the smallest birch bowl being about 8″ in diameter.


Stack of painted bowls 2012

DSC_0004 detail


I was finishing these bowls when the sun came through the shop window and made this colourful shot of a stack of 8″ bowls.

IMG_0296 - Version 2