Milk (Casein) Paint

This is the perfect paint for people who love the dappled,
richly textured look of old plaster but find themselves surrounded instead
by flat drywall.

It is sold as a powder, made according to a recipe that’s been around
since the time of the ancient Egyptians. As you need it, you mix it with
water and ochres
and oxides color pigments. People enjoy using these earth-based pigments
because it gives them freedom to make an endlessly variable range of pastels.
When small batches are intermixed and sponged on, walls emerge with the
handmade look of aged plaster.

Note from Milk Paint User: Milk paint, which comes in many warm
colors, differs from the more modern acrylics and contemporary finishes
in that it does not come ready to use. Milk paint comes in powder form
and must be mixed with water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to
make this nontoxic, water-soluble finish. Start by mixing equal amounts
of milk paint and water in a plastic container, using a slow-speed mixer,
until the powder is completely blended with the water. A mixer works better
than mixing by hand because you avoid lumps and get a smoother consistency.
I usually strain the mixed paint through a cheesecloth or nylon stocking.
Clean the equipment right after use. The object you will be painting should
be thoroughly sanded and cleaned. Wring out a moist rag and wipe down the
object. This removes the dust and dampens the surface. Apply the first
coat with a sponge brush. Plan the sequence of painting (top, bottom, sides,
etc.). As soon as the first coat is finished, start with the second, painting
the surfaces in the same sequence. Then apply a third coat, again in sequence.
Remember to stir the paint occasionally as you work. You should have a
good, even buildup of paint, which you should allow to dry for 24 hours.
When thoroughly dry, rub it down with 4/0 or 6/0 steel wool. Be creative
to get an antique look, rubbing through the finish on the edges. Fine (400
grit) sandpaper will work quickly, but you should follow with steel wool
to remove the sanding scratches. Once you have the effect you want, dip
a rag in Danish oil and rub down the project. Buff lightly after 30 minutes
and add another coat. You can achieve an attractive effect by using artist’s
burnt umber. Allow to dry overnight.

Environmental benefits include:

  • Made of natural materials, minimally processed
  • No solvents, no VOCs
  • Extremely durable
  • No waste. Mix just what you need.
  • Only a faint milk smell when wet; odorless when dry

Average Price Per Gallon: $36

Brands: BioShield, Real Milk Paint

Purchase from: Environmental
Home Center
or Bioshield
or Real
Milk Paint

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