Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In the Studio ~ Milk Paint Recipe

Milk Paint Recipe is obviously not for drinking. Making gentler demands on the environment, and your wallet, the following is an old method that the pioneers used. Most of the milk paint recipes of old, had two things in common, Milk and lime. When combined they form a natural binding agent. Color can be added with any natural substance or water soluble dye. Historically, Black pigment may have been derived from coal, soot, or charcoal. Red from the earth's crust or a crushed brick or berries. Yellow Ochre harvested from the earth. Interestingly, many of the Classic Red barns were most likely the result of an abundance of milk and the availability of red pigments in the form of rust or iron oxide. Apparently, Livestock blood was also added to milk to produce a bright red blood paint.

For this recipe I recommend powdered dyes found at art stores. Experiment with dye quantity to achieve the color desired. (photo - work of Kimberly Winkle).

1 Cup Organic Powdered Nonfat Milk
1 Cup Water
Powdered Paint Pigment or Dye (Color)
Mix milk powder and water. Add natural paint pigments to color, if desired. Too much pigment will lessen the durability of the paint. This paint formula should dry to a glossy finish. After the paint has dried 3-4 hours you may top coat with varnish, oil finish, Pure Tung Oil, lacquer, or wax. Try in inconspicuous area first, the color may change. milk paint is perfectly suitable for untreated, new or restored wooden furniture.

Other links of interest: 
Natural Paint Manufacturer


Audrey said...

Very cool!! Would never have thought to make my own. Thanks so much for sharing!!

pops said...

oh i so love milk paint! haven't used it in a while but when i did i got the most glorious burgundy red from adding natural beet juice! a strong expresso or coffee is also fabulous for browns. thanks for sharing this age old tradition (i do believe that we will achieve our reds in a different manner than our pioneer ancestors : ) well at least i will : )think beets and red zinger tea : ) lol!!! thanks again -- your blog is outstanding and wow did those crayon hearts bring back memories...it has inspired me to make them and send them to a village in kenya where our foster child from christian childrens fund is -- when we send a package of art supplies -- the kids go wild -- what we take for granted is a huge life gift to them! i think these would be awesome! take care...your "wordy" friend andrea...aka pops!

Tiedupmemories said...

This is so cool! I'll have to try it! Thanks for sharing!

Cottage In The Sun said...

Oh, wow! That looks like so much fun - I have always, always wanted to try, but now I have a recipe! Thank you!

Beth said...

The colors are fantastic! I never would have thought to make my own paint. And none of those nasty fumes, either.

Olitopia said...

Milk paint is wonderful, great post!