The ingredients of Real Milk Paint are purified casein, lime, and pigments, which, for those of us with lungs and brain cells, warrants a sigh of relief. 100% non-toxic and made only from organic materials with no solvents or VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), Real Milk Paint cuts out all harmful fumes, making for a pleasant, nearly odorless afternoon of painting in the studio.
Finishing a project with paint usually requires excellent ventilation at the minimum, or at worst, a respirator and coveralls. Real Milk Paint is the polar opposite - as the pharmaceutical-grade lime cures, it carbonizes, actually improving air quality by absorbing the greenhouse gas CO2 (beneficial if you’re painting an entire room).
So Milk Paint will save the world - what does it look like on my project though? Developed for an antique restoration business, Real Milk Paint recalls a formula dating back to 16th century painters, who were jazzed about the saturated colors and superb adhesion of their lactose-fortified concoctions. Though it is typically used for antique or distressed-vintage finishes, milk paint can be adapted for a wide breadth of finishes, from olden chalky to smooth flat (see the Usage tab for instructions and dry time, etc.).
Made in the USA.
For reference - all color swatches are actual paint photographed against a neutral White and Grey color card and post processed using the correct temperature. However, before painting an important project, or the family heirlooms, paint a small area first to test the color, as ambient lighting, coating thickness, and substrate will all affect how the paint looks.
Real Milk Paint arrives in a powder form - just add water! Shake for 5-10 minutes to mix thoroughly, and add extra water if thinning is desired. Unlike most milk paint, Real Milk Paint is designed to last at least two weeks after mixing (and sometimes up to a month), whereas many formulas will congeal after a day. Real Milk Paint dries quickly - between 30 minutes and 4 hours depending on pigment and atmospheric conditions.
For a matte, solid finish, use a creamy consistency, dilute with water further for a stain or wash finish. Milk paint is commonly used for textured finishes, at it will naturally leave a chalky surface and retain the brush or roller strokes. Use a foam brush for a uniform finish. Sand between coats with 320-grit sandpaper and burnish with a brown paper bag (hats off to Mr. Schwarz) for the smoothest finish.
Real Milk Paint adheres well to wood, plaster, concrete, drywall, unsealed brick, and stone, and it typically does not require priming or sanding. Real Milk Paint is highly breathable - use a sealant for high-moisture or high-traffic areas. After drying 3-4 hours, Pure Tung Oil, varnish, lacquer, or wax can be applied.
Coverage, one coat
| 1 oz. || 2 sq. ft. |
| 16 oz. || 35 sq. ft. |
| 32 oz. || 70 sq. ft. |
| Gallon || 280 sq. ft. |
It's like brown but with less confidence.