Milk paint is a non-toxic paint that lets off no fumes and grants furniture and walls an antique, translucent patina. Used as far back as ancient Egypt, milk paint is perhaps not a new invention but certainly one worth rediscovering.
Made with… you guessed it, milk, the non-toxic alternative that milk paint offers home decorators uses milk to bind pigments together instead of polymers, which are found in the more common, home decorating latex paints.
Today milk paint is often used by craftsmen, because of its beautiful, antique colonial feel.
For home decorators who are looking for a non-toxic paint alternative, milk paint is an excellent choice, especially for vintage, shabby chic or cottage style decorating, which encapsulating the memory of days gone by.
You can buy ready-made milk paint at MilkPaint.com, but you can also make milk paint at home. The following recipe for milk paint comes from Martha Stewart (see references).
How to Make Milk Paint
Simple to make, this recipe will render enough milk paint to cover a large piece of furniture or one wall. You can always double the ingredients if you need more paint, but this will make straining the milk curd more difficult. It’s recommended to make milk paint in small batches, then use it up and make more milk paint for the next craft project or section of wall.
Here’s What You’ll Need to Make Milk Paint at Home::
1 quart of milk
2 large bowls
Dry color pigment (from an art supply store),
Follow These Steps to Make Milk Paint at Home:
Step 1. In a large bowl, mix the juice from one large lemon with 1 quart of skim milk.
Step 2. Leave the mixture overnight (at room temperature) to allow the milk to curdle from the lemon acid.
Step 3. Rest a cheese cloth over a large bowl and secure it loosely with a large rubber band. Pour the mixture onto the cheese cloth. The solid curds will remain trapped on the cheese cloth, while the liquid whey will trickle into the bowl.
Step 4. Pour away the liquid whey and place the curd in the bowl.
Step 5. Put on a protective mask to avoid inhaling pigment powder. Add 4 tbsp. of dry color pigment to the curd. Mix until the color pigment and curd become one.
And that’s it. Your milk paint is done. It will have a sour scent when wet, but this will disappear once the paint dries. Be sure to use your homemade milk paint immediately. After a few hours, milk paint will go bad.
For more home improvement and decorating-ideas, here are 10 Fabulous Home-Improvement Ideas Anyone Can Do, which is a collection of the ideas I used in fixing my old home. Then to fill you with home decorating ideas, here’s my collection of 15 Interior-Decorating Styles to Spark Your Imagination
1. Milk Paint: Authentic Finish
2. Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine: Ask Martha, Homemade Milk Paint. May 2007, #162, p. 40.