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Thread: Milk Paint

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Clinton, NY
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    Default Milk Paint

    This is a big site, I tried searching but pretty much nothing came up. If this is the wrong place for this thread, would someone please move it to the right place? I wasn't sure...

    I was just wondering if anyone else makes and uses their own milk paint? It's extremely cheap and easy to make, but can be rather expensive if you buy it in powdered form. It last for decades, especially if you add a little boiled linseed oil or apply linseed oil after the milk paint dries. It's completely VOC-free as well as having nothing else in it besides milk, hydrated lime, and maybe pigment (it looks like snot if you don't add pigment - sorry, but it does!); in fact, leftovers get tossed in the compost pile or in the garden.

    I know that there are a lot of "recipes" for it, including using cottage cheese (a friend uses that, turns out just as good as anything else) that's gone bad. Not that you have to do it that way, but he does.

    So, just wondering -- anybody else? If so, what's your recipe?

    - Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
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    1,104

    Default Re: Milk Paint

    Never heard of it
    Tell me more

    Tommyt
    Last edited by tommyt; 04-23-2011 at 07:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Clinton, NY
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Milk Paint

    Been around since -- well, the Egyptians used it; and it's what I remember the neighbor using on his barn when I was a little kid and that paint is still there, but of course I don't know if he's repainted over the years. It's a big barn, it was a big undertaking when he painted it and as far as I know it's the same. I know it lasts a long time on whatever I put it on. I haven't yet repainted anything, the most I've done is put another coat of linseed oil on whenever I remember to. Just google "milk paint recipes" and you'll get more than you wanted! I don't go with skim milk, as many or most call for, and I don't use vinegar to curdle it. I use the slack lime method. As far as curdling the milk, my friend that uses cottage cheese goes that route but just uses the already curdled milk (cottage cheese) instead of using vinegar and then having to wait a day or two. Pigment can be expensive, but fortunately a very little bit goes a long way. I use iron oxide - rust - for the reds. For hives, I'm thinking of adding a little beeswax to the mix, but IDK if it'll be necessary or how it'll change things. I go with the titanium oxide white instead of the chalk white pigment for hives, but am looking at different colors. That's another thing, usually applying linseed oil after the milk paint dries will change the color of the paint. Wierd, and I don't understand that process.

    The protiens in milk combine with the lime and really bond to the wood. I add a bit of borax, too, to increase the resistance to mold, mildew and bacteria but most folks tell me that it's not necessary since milk paint already does all that. I still use borax, though. And yes, it's as simple as the common 20 Mule Team Borax that you find in the store. Just don't use too much or it'll go gritty on you.

    Milk paint leaves a very flat finish, but today a lot of people are using various admixtures to give it a sheen. I never saw the need to. Start adding acrylics and everything else and -- well, now it's acrylic and whatnot, not milk paint.

    Try it, once you see how simple it is and how well it works, you'll be hooked. And it feels good to know that YOU made it.

    - Tim

    Milk paint. It does a hive body good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Susquehanna county, PA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Milk Paint

    For the outside of my warre hive i used boiled linseed oil and beeswax. I put the mix in a small coffee can and then add water to make a double "boiler" with a larger coffee can and once heated it goes on with a foam or regular brush real easy. I just heat it with a small propane torch.

    BeeTulls, thanks, I also have an electric fence around my bees to help keep the 4 and 2 legged threats off them.
    Last edited by forgeblast; 04-25-2011 at 05:22 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Clinton, NY
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Milk Paint

    I do the same with other woodwork, except that I also use a bit of turpentine in the mix. I've been hesitant to use the linseed oil and beeswax on hives because I was told that it attracts bee predators; not sure how true that is but where my next hives will be the threat of raccoons, skunks and bears will be much lower. It just doesn't quite ring true given the fact that the entire contents of the hive consist of beeswax, BEES, AND HONEY; I can hardly imagine a better attractant than a hive reeking of the good stuff. IDK if the warning has merit or not, but your finish is a great one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Milk Paint

    Thanks for sharing i would have never thought of that...where can one find the pigment?
    mike
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
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