DIY Paint

Making DIY Eco-Friendly Milk Paint

blue front door, milk paint door

Why DIY Milk Paint?

Milk Paint is an extremely old process from ancient times, when people started milking animals for a food source. The process of milking an animal usually involves spilling some milk, which led to the discovery that milk had great adhesion attributes when dried. These early inhabitants mixed milk with the local dried color ground pigments and used that mixture to draw or paint on cave walls and dwellings. These painted walls and drawings have lasted for thousands of years, as long as it was protected from the outside elements.

Over the centuries milk paint has been used in every culture and society for an esthetic and protective finish. Milk paint is made from all natural ingredients from the earth. It is safe, eco-friendly, natural and non-toxic.

Milk Paint needs to be sold dry, or it would need to contain unwanted preservatives and toxic chemicals. Milk Paint sustains as a powder for at least six months sealed very tightly against moisture. After extensive moisture exposure the product may not have the adhesive power. Once you mix Milk Paint it should be used that day, however it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week for continual use. After refrigerating Milk Paint, let it come to room temperature before using. Milk paint can be applied on virtually any surface including interior walls and ceilings, wood work such as furniture, base boards, cabinets, doors… the possibilities are endless!

When mixing Milk Paint it is advisable to use distilled water rather than tap water. In most areas of the country water that comes from the tap has chlorine and or a combination of chlorine and ammonia called Chloramine. This additive in the tap water could have an adverse effect on the mixing of your Milk Paint and compromise the performance of the paint.

Milk Paint is a powerful environmental paint alternative to your typical household paint. Unfortunately, many manufactures sell “milk paint”, which they modernize with unwanted unnatural raw materials.  Milk Paint is an eco-friendly all-natural decorative finish. This product comes from the earth and protects and preserves our planet by being biodegradable and organic.

Side Note! When you have today’s inorganic chemical paint that is left over you cannot throw it into the trash because of the chemicals in it. Milk Paint is biodegradable. Simply let the paint harden and throw it in your trash.

Tips & Techniques

Using milk paint is one of the healthiest, most sustainable ways to paint your home.

• You can mix as much as you want. 1 part powder to 1 part water for traditional paint consistency. It can be easily diluted to use as a color wash.

• Mix water first, then stir in powder and then add color pigment. Test out desired color intensity on paint stick or spare piece of wood.

• Can be easily distressed – No stripping needed. Paint right on existing finishes for a flat smooth, weathered, distressed or chipped look.

• Needs NO Primer on raw wood and porous surfaces. Please make sure your surface is clean. In most cases Milk Paint will adhere to previously painted surfaces. It may be necessary to do a light sand prior to application if you want a traditional paint finish.

• Dries fast – paint one coat to test color and adjust color as desired. Recommend two coats for coverage.

• Once mixed, it is best to apply that day; however, it can be refrigerated for a week for continual use. Milk Paint powder will sustain in freezer for at least 6 months. Make sure to seal it tightly against moisture.

• Endless possibilities – interior walls and ceilings, woodwork such as furniture, cabinets, doors, baseboards, wanes coating, etc.

• Recommend use with beeswax for a protective coating and to deepen and intensify the color.

How to Make DIY Milk Paint – 1 quart

Non-fat Powdered Milk – 1/2 cup

Calcium Carbonate or Dolamite – 1/2 cup

Calcium Hydroxide (aka picking lime)  – Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime – 1/4 cup

Colorant of your choice:  Mixol Universal Tints (Amazon – $2.00 – buy small size – goes a long way!) – as desired

Water – equal parts – 1:1 ratio – 1 1/4 cup

Optional:  a small amount of linseed oil can be added for moisture resistance and promote adhesion.  This is important to add when painting outside.

* All of these items can be purchased at Amazon.

If you would rather buy a natural milk paint, please check out Miss Mustard Seed.

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  • Reply April Boothe May 12, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    So happy to find this post. Thanks for sharing. I despise the odors from even the low VOC paint, so this is now on my list of things to try for the kids room.

    • Reply Charlene Rookard August 5, 2019 at 6:59 am

      Thank you for the time to let us know how you made this I’ve been doing research on how to make it. I can’t wait to try it.

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