With so many modern paints available on the market today, why would anyone choose paint that’s been around since people were living in caves? There must be something that makes us keep going back to it. If you are just discovering it for the first time, read on to find out why milk paint has been able to stand the test of time.
Milk paint has an incredibly durable finish – so much so that items dating back 49,000 years have been found in South Africa, with remnants of paint consisting of ochre mixed with a milk base still visible. This makes you wonder if 10,000 years from now, archaeologists will find remnants of our civilization with matt emulsion still attached? Maybe wood chips will remain, since nothing seems to destroy those.
One of the biggest complaints about modern paints is their odor. You can always tell when someone has been painting, since the smell permeates their home for days. Even low odor paints, although not as bad, can linger in the air quite awhile afterwards.
Milk paint, however, is mostly odorless, unless you make it from scratch with ingredients that have passed their peak. Milk paint has no volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which means that you can safely use it in your home without having the odor cling to everything for days or weeks on end. You wouldn’t dare try to paint with modern chemical paints without the windows flung open.
Milk paint is entirely made from biodegradable, solvent free materials. Being completely free of volatile organic compounds makes it the perfect choice for painting furniture, especially in nurseries where babies explore the world around them by sticking anything they can reach into their mouths. If it’s safe for babies, then it’s safe for anyone.
Also, as milk paint is completely harmless to the environment, you can rest assured that it is absolutely safe to dispose of anywhere. You can even toss unused milk paint on the compost heap where it will degrade into the ground. You can’t get much more biodegradable than that.
You will probably find that many if not most trash companies and city waste management services won’t let you dispose of regular paint with your trash. You’ll need to take leftover paint cans to a city-wide household waste disposal center or find another way of getting rid of your old latex or oil paint.
Wide Range of Colors
The pigments used in milk paint come in a wide range of colors. In fact, you can mix and match to create any color or hue imaginable. It might be worth keeping notes of how much of each pigment you use, in case you need to recreate a color.
You Can Make It
Milk paint is incredibly easy to make – all you need is some skim (fat free) milk, plus powdered pigments and something to curdle the milk like vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice, and possibly some hydrated lime.
You can keep your milk paint in the fridge for up to a week and use it for all sorts of different projects around the home, safe in the knowledge that it’s completely natural and contains no harmful chemicals. For some great tips and recipes for milk paint, you can visit RealMilkPaint.com.
How About You?
Are you familiar with milk paint? Have you tried it? How did it work out for you?
This post is underwritten by RealMilkPaint.com; please read my disclosure here.
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