Safe paint for coop interior - 2 milk paint recipes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tricia, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. tricia

    tricia Songster

    Jan 25, 2007
    West Central Wisconsin
    I was looking for milk paint to use inside and found that to buy it it is terribly expensive - $50 for a gallon! SO instead I Googled how to make your own....

    1870 Milk Paint Formula
    By Dwayne Siever, Copyright [​IMG] 2002
    What is milk paint?
    Before commercially prepared paint was available, paint was made at home based on formulas handed down from generation to generation. Milk paint was made from old curdled milk or cottage cheese, lime and earth pigment for color.
    1870 Milk Paint Formula
    * 1 Quart skim milk (room temperature)
    * 1 Once of hydrated lime by weight (Available at building centers. Do not use quick lime, as it will react with the water and heat up. Hydrated lime has been soaked in water then dried.)
    * 1 to 2 1/2 pounds of chalk may also be added as a filler.
    Stir in enough skim milk to hydrated lime to make a cream. Add balance of skim milk. Now add sufficient amount of powder pigment to desired color and consistency (Pigment powder must be limeproof). Stir in well for a few minutes before using. For best results continue to stir throughout use.
    Apply milk paint with a cheap natural bristle brush. Allow project to dry sufficiently before applying next coat.

    Extra paint may be kept for several days in the refrigerator, until the milk sours.
    Double or triple the recipe for paint. Allow to dry thoroughly 3-4 hours before use. For extra protection, give paint a coat of oil finish or sealer. Color may change - test in inconspicuous area.

    From the Homestead Mailing List
    Lee--does milk paint hold up well outside? Can it be colored? (Gotta keep the barn red!) Do you know how to make it?

    Yes, yes and yes. It holds up great outside - very waterproof, almost plastic-like. Pioneers painted canvas roofs of sheds and waterproofed their covered wagons with it. You can color it with any sort of water soluble powdered dye. Art stores usually carry them, or you could even use RIT or any of those cheapie dyes from the drugstore. Just experiment first with the color to see how much of it you need to put in.

    To make 5 gallons of milk paint:

    Stir 2 quarts of builder's lime, OR 3 quarts of sifted white hardwood ashes (one or the other, not both) into 4 gallons of skim milk. Stir very thoroughly. Then, stir in one gallon of boiled linseed oil. Then add your dye. Last, strain the paint through a piece of cheesecloth to get any lumps out. That's it! Just be sure you use it within 2 days of mixing it.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008
  2. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for posting those, I remembered reading about it years ago and have been thinking about it lately for a new coop, too.
  3. tricia

    tricia Songster

    Jan 25, 2007
    West Central Wisconsin
    Tomorrow I am going to get the stuff for it. I'm really excited to see how it works out. I'll post about it when I do paint my coop. [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, has anyone else used milk paint? What did you think about it?
  4. henvy

    henvy Chirping

    Mar 29, 2012
    I know the original post is very old, but . . . I've used milk paint extensively in my house, especially in my kitchen and it's held up amazingly well. I usually finish it with Tung Oil and then a hard wax - buffed. For the inside of my coop, I plan to use milk paint with a Safecoat Acriglaze finish - for the sake of time. I need to get these chicks outside soon and the process for tung oil and wax takes a while.

    Tricia - how did your milk paint experiment go?

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