We’ve had a few common questions over the years about our products. This page is to help get those questions out of the way so you can get onto the important things in life, like checking off that project to-do list!
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 pigments for color. Now, Real Milk Paint® is made with a very similar formula of casein (milk protein), lime, plant-based filler, and pigments.
Why is milk paint sold as a powder?dsiever2021-09-10T15:13:47-05:00
Real Milk Paint® is manufactured and sold as a powder for multiple reasons. Because this is natural paint, keeping the ingredients dry prevents us from having to use preservatives. True milk paints are always manufactured as a powder. If it is liquid, it probably isn’t a true milk paint. Also, a dry powder has increased shelf life and less weight in shipping, reducing the potential waste and carbon footprint.
What Will Milk Paint Stick To?Cody Vance2021-09-10T16:04:42-05:00
Real Milk Paint ® is best applied to porous surfaces like raw wood, unprimed drywall, concrete, brick, terra cotta, unglazed tile, cinder blocks, and more. If you’re working over surfaces that already have a finish, are metal, plastic, or painted with an oil-based paint then we typically recommend our Ultra Bond to add to the milk paint. As always, prepping the surface is the most important step to painting and proper preparation will produce the best results with any paint.
What about milk paint makes it a non-toxic paint?Cody Vance2021-09-10T15:56:50-05:00
Real Milk Paint® is made from natural materials that are 100% natural. These include casein (a protein found in milk), lime, a plant-based filler, and earth pigments. Oh, and this non-toxic ingredient list also is VOC-free.
Does Milk Paint Contain Any Mildewcides?Cody Vance2021-09-10T16:06:29-05:00
Yes, most definitely! Because it is a non-toxic paint, Real Milk Paint® is safe for children’s items and applies particularly well to wooden toys. We do recommend sealing painted items with a topcoat to make a washable surface.
Is Real Milk Paint Safe to Use Around Pets?Cody Vance2021-09-10T16:10:59-05:00
Milk paint will achieve the strongest bond when applied fresh, but it will keep in a sealed container for two weeks up to a month. In its dry powder form, it has an extensive shelf life of 3 years or more.
Can Milk Paint Be Painted Over Other Paints?Cody Vance2021-09-10T15:19:23-05:00
Milk paint with the addition of Ultra Bond can be painted over latex paint, plastics, metal, glass, and other hard non-porous surfaces. Each surface must be clean without any wax or silicone. Clean with Tri-Sodium Phosphate then scuff with sandpaper. Always test for compatibility before full application.
Can Real Milk Paint® Be Used Outdoors?Cody Vance2021-09-10T16:17:53-05:00
Real Milk Paint® can be used outdoors and offers some excellent properties, including being fade resistant and color fast. Typcially for exterior applications, we recommend applying milk paint only over porous surfaces such as raw wood, concrete, brick, etc. Since Real Milk Paint® is a porous paint, we also recommend sealing it for the best resistance to the elements. Our Outdoor Defense Oil is a great option to provide water protection. If you’re working on wood that is particularly knotty, you may also want to include Outdoor Additive to keep knots from showing through the paint. When paired with a topcoat, Real Milk Paint® creates a durable, longlasting exterior paint.
Do I need to topcoat/seal over the milk paint?Cody Vance2021-09-10T16:22:48-05:00
Milk paint is by nature a porous paint, this means it can absorb liquids and stain if left unsealed. So, while not necessary to seal or topcoat, it is typically recommended. Fortunately, there are some great options available! Milk paint readily accepts almost any finish. From our product lineup, Finishing Oils, Finishing Creams, and Waxes are great options for sealing the milk paint. Each has unique characteristics, best applications, and end results.
What can I topcoat/seal milk paint with?Cody Vance2021-09-10T16:39:08-05:00
Real Milk Paint® readily accepts almost any finish due to its porous nature. We offer an extensive line of sealing options for the milk paint, each with its own pros, cons, and best uses.
Finishing Oils such as Pure Tung Oil, Hemp Oil, or Outdoor Defense Oil offer the best protection, especially for exterior applications. For interior applications, we recommend our Finishing Creams or Waxes, namely the Soft Wax, or Clear Carnauba Wax.
How many coats of milk paint do you recommend? Coverages?Cody Vance2021-09-10T16:43:39-05:00
For the best color and coverage, we recommend applying two coats of milk paint to your surface. When calculating how much paint you need, make sure to include in your total square footage multiple coats. For example, a 10′ x 1o’ wall is 100 sq. feet. To cover it with two coats would mean the total area to cover is 200 sq. feet.
Pints cover 35 sq. feet
Quarts cover 70 sq. feet
Gallons cover 280 sq. feet
What’s the best way to dispose of milk paint?Cody Vance2021-09-10T16:45:20-05:00
Real Milk Paint® can be disposed of like any regular paint. However, due to its natural composition, it is also biodegradable! Now you can dispose of leftover paint in your compost bin, garden, or backyard.
What is “tung oil”?dsiever2021-09-13T11:26:17-05:00
There are two ways of classifying oils. Some are considered drying and others are considered non-drying. Essentially, drying oils, like tung oil, go through a polymerization process over time and transform from an oil to a solid. Non-drying oils, like mineral oil, never go through a polymerization process and are always in a liquid or somewhat liquid state. Click here to learn more about this difference.
How is Pure Tung Oil different from a Tung Oil Finish?dsiever2021-09-13T13:46:02-05:00
Pure Tung Oil is just that, 100% pure tung oil cold-pressed from the seed of the tung tree. Tung Oil Finish is typically a finish that contains pure tung oil but also has other ingredients such as thinners, varnishes, and metallic driers. Pure Tung Oil absorbs into the wood whereas tung oil finishes build on the surface of the wood. Pure Tung Oil produces a rich and matte finish on the wood whereas Tung Oil Finishes create a glossy sheen on the surface.
Is Pure Tung Oil Food Contact Safe?dsiever2021-09-13T13:46:07-05:00
Fortunately, no! Pure Tung Oil, being a drying oil, does not go rancid. Rather than decomposing like non-drying oils, pure tung oil goes through a polymerization (hardening) process and permanently transforms from an oil to a solid.
Where does tung oil come from?dsiever2021-09-13T13:56:39-05:00
Tung oil is pressed from the seeds of the tung tree. Tung trees can be found all over the world, but the largest groves that produce enough oil to be sold are mainly located in China and South America. Fun fact, tung tree’s used to be grown here in the United States, Florida to be specific, but were unfortunately wiped out due to hurricanes, blights, and other natural factors. We source our pure tung oil from China (Chinawood Oil) due to the higher quality and better color of tung oil that the Chinese tung tree groves provide.
What woods can be treated with tung oil?dsiever2021-09-13T14:01:42-05:00
Tung Oil can be used on every type of wood species! From pine to pressure treated, cedar to oak, or ipe and black locust. The main factor in the use of tung oil on wood is absorption, that’s why we often recommend thinning the pure tung oil to increase absorption.
Do I need to thin pure tung oil?dsiever2021-09-13T14:09:18-05:00
This is a great question and is often case-specific. Most of the time we do recommend thinning pure tung oil with a solvent. This is to aid its absorption into the wood. New woods and hardwoods almost always need pure tung oil to be thinned. Very dry old woods, end grain, or some softwoods can use pure tung oil at full strength without thinning. We always recommend testing to ensure the proper absorption. Click here to view a useful graphic to help you determine if your wood requires thinning the pure tung oil.
Can I stain or color the tung oil?dsiever2021-09-13T14:19:59-05:00
Pure Tung Oil gives most woods an amber, honey tone. Our Dark Tung Oil gives more warm brown, coffee tones to wood. You can use a water-based stain on the wood before sealing with tung oil. Alternatively, you can mix an oil-based stain into the tung oil then apply to create your own custom color. Another option is to paint a wood surface with Real Milk Paint® and then apply tung oil overtop.
Do I need to topcoat tung oil with wax or a poly?dsiever2021-09-13T14:22:29-05:00
Yes! Pure tung oil is a great exterior finish as it absorbs deep into the wood and provides protection from the inside out. Because tung oil is not on the surface, it won’t crack, blister, or peel over time and exposure to the elements. Also, tung oil is flexible so it expands and contracts with the wood through the seasons. Plus, it’s easy to maintain!
What is the difference between hemp oil and tung oil?dsiever2021-09-13T14:31:51-05:00
No, we do not recommend or encourage using a wood conditioner on the surface while using the Dark Tung Oil or Dark Half. Wood conditioners tend to fill in the pore structure of the wood and would prevent proper absorption of the oil. It’s also important to note that Dark Tung Oil and Dark Half are not stains. They do change the color of the wood but they highlight the natural grain structure rather than mask it like a stain. We recommend flooding the wood surface with a solvent prior to applying either oil to aid an even spreading of the oil for the first coat.