Frequently Asked Questions

Milk paint has been used for several centuries and has proved to be a very durable type of paint. Many antiques have survived to this day with their original milk paint intact and as vibrant as ever.

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

How much will a quart of milk paint cover?

70 square feet per quart, 280 square feet per gallon.

How long will milk paint last after it is mixed?

Milk paint will achieve the strongest bond when applied fresh, but it will keep in a sealed container two weeks to a month.

Is milk paint dangerous?

Milk paint is very environmentally friendly, so you can throw old paint in your garden without harm. Caution should be used while painting to prevent paint from getting in the eyes. If this non-toxic child-safe paint gets into your eyes burning may occur because of its lime content. Also, wear gloves if you have sensitive skin. Always flush and wash eyes and hands thoroughly with water if the paint comes into contact with it. Once dried, it is a very safe paint perfect for kid’s toys, wooden toys and anything else that your children might end up getting in their mouths. We all know how infants and toddlers will chew on anything!

What will milk paint stick to?

Real Milk Paint ® is best applied to raw wood, unsealed walls, wallboard, and drywall. When refinishing antiques, be sure the surface is very clean, a light sanding would be necessary. Tri-Sodium Phosphate is a good cleaner after a piece of furniture is stripped to remove any impurities left on the surface. Milk paint does not stick well to new metal surfaces, plastics, or oil-base paints unless Ultra Bond is added. Milk Paint can be used on top of old wood finishes.

Can milk paint be painted over other paints?

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?

Real Milk Paint ® is very durable to the weather. For furniture, we recommend painting to your liking and allowing the furniture to sit under a covered porch for about two weeks before full exposure. The paint will continue to get tougher as the moisture passes through the paint. For exterior use, a few weeks without heavy precipitation is recommended. Adding Pure Tung Oil to Real Milk Paint or top coating with tung oil will create a durable, longlasting exterior paint.

Top coating milk paint.

Any finish can be used to top coat Real Milk Paint ®. Oil-based finishes such as polyurethane, tung oil, hemp oil, linseed oil, and others will darken the color. We recommend testing first to see the end result.

Can milk paint be used for artwork?

Can you use Real Milk Paint® for canvas art? Yes! On canvas, it may crackle if applied too thickly. The other consideration is that milk paint is a brittle paint so it will not flex well. Adding Ultra Bond will increase the flexibility of milk paint making it more suitable for flexible materials such as canvas and cloth.

Environmentally Safe FAQ

Does “green paint” refer only to milk paint products?

The term “green paint” refers to paints that are earth friendly products, which are good or better for the environment than paints made with petrochemicals. Real Milk Paint® is made with only natural, organic ingredients and waste paint is both biodegradable and compostable. Excess paint can be disposed of in your compost pile or according to local rules and regulations.

What about milk paint makes it a non-toxic paint?

Real Milk Paint is made from natural materials that are earth safe. This means our non-toxic paint can be safely disposed of right in your own backyard. That makes it great wooden toys, especially for kids and children.

What are the specific dangers of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) found in paint that is not considered “green paint”?

VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds in some paints are airborne toxins that off-gas, either during the application or while the paint is curing. These compounds, once inhaled, into the body can slowly cause damage to the immune system, organs and or brain function. Some modern paints can off-gas for 4 years or more. This is why green paint is the safe option.

As a “green paint,” does milk paint contain any mildewcides?

Real Milk Paint does not contain mildewcides. The pharmaceutical grade lime that it contains does have antiseptic properties. Lime can help reduce the possibility of mildew.

Since milk paint is a non-toxic paint, is it safe for children’s toys and furniture?

Yes, because it is a non-toxic paint, Real Milk Paint is safe for children’s items and applies particularly well to wooden toys. When applying paint on toys we do recommend top coating with one of our Finishing Oils to help stop any pigment release and to create a waterproof, food contact safe finish.

Are there precautions that need to be taken to dispose of earth friendly products like milk paint?

Real Milk Paint can be disposed of into the garden, aside your home, or into the compost pile. Of course, it can also be put out with your regular trash.

Can I achieve any finish or color using earth-friendly products for my painting projects?

Yes, you can use earth-friendly products without sacrificing options! All of our 56 Real Milk Paint colors can be intermixed to create the color you envision.

Is milk paint durable?

Yes! Milk Paint is an extremely durable paint that actually gets more durable over time! It’s also very versatile with options that give it an antique look, smooth finish or anything else you might think of.

Can I achieve any finish or color using Real Milk Paint Co. products for my painting projects?

Yes, you can use earth friendly products without sacrificing options! All of our colors can be intermixed to create any color under the sun. The Real Milk Paint tradition paint line contains primary colors. Primary colors are the base colors for making any shade.

Are “green paint” products like milk paint suitable for outdoor use?

Yes, Real Milk Paint can be used outdoors. Milk Paint is a porous paint so it has characteristics of raw wood. This means most exterior finishes would readily be accepted by milk paint (so long as the material beneath is also porous, such as raw wood.) The best way to seal milk paint is with our Pure Tung Oil products. The tung oil absorbs into the and through the milk paint, effectively creating a weatherproof finish that will not bleed, blister, or crack over time.

Is Real Milk Paint safe to use around pets since it is a non-toxic paint?

Yes, Real Milk Paint is completely safe to use around pets. That also makes it a great paint for babies and every age on up.

If I use milk paint for painting will the finish last long?

Real Milk Paint is vapor permeable, so moisture can pass through the film if left unsealed This means is that the paint will not blister and peel. It will be a sacrificial coating that will gradually wear away. All you need to do is clean the surface then re-paint.

Green Paint FAQ

Why are VOC’s in paint dangerous?

Traditional house paint products include a lot of chemicals in their formulations. These VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) include carbon-based chemicals, which exist as a gas. The levels and types of chemicals vary, depending on the brand and type of paint, but generally include hazardous compounds such as formaldehyde. Many of these chemicals have been linked to health issues ranging from headaches and nausea, to life-threatening diseases like cancer. The danger of VOC’s in traditional paint is due to the fact that the gases are emitted into the air as the paint is applied and as it dries. Since paint is typically applied in large areas where people live and congregate, the exposure is particularly dangerous.

Are Low VOC Paints a green option?

Water-based or latex paints are among the selections of traditional household paint, which have lower VOC’s compared to oil-based paint formulas. Flat finish paint formulas as well as plain or white paint colors also typically contain lower VOC content than glossy finish paint products.

Though low VOC paint products may be preferable to higher VOC content paints, they still cannot actually be considered green because they still release potentially harmful gases into the environment, and produce irritating paint fumes. Though some paint products may be marketed as low-VOC or green paint, they may not be as safe or green as they are touted to be.

Natural ingredients alone do not assure the best green paint selection.

Green paints that are completely free of synthetic chemicals and elements are the least harmful to people, and least threatening to the environment, making them a better green option. Though some “green” paints made of natural ingredients do still contain significant levels of VOC’s from ingredients such as turpentine. These ingredients can still cause eye and lung irritation.

Choose a green paint that doesn’t sacrifice performance.

Milk-base green paint emits no man-made or natural VOC’s, making it the optimal green paint choice. The problem with milk-based paints has been that they do not wear well over time, or are limited in their application options. Many consumers want to use green paint, but are reluctant due to this problem. Real Milk Paint has been developing its milk-based products to address these issues, and over time, our experience has lead to green paint products that perform, and safe for the environment. With over 27 colors of paint pigments, style is does not have to be sacrificed to go green. Real Milk Paint colors are not stains, which can dissolve, but pigments that lay on the surface. With Real Milk Paint your green paint can be any color you choose!