The Ancient Roots of Real Milk Paint
When human beings first began experimenting with cave art and adding color to their artifacts thousands of years ago, they did so with a type of milk paint, which was one of the first paints humans ever created. Today, paint products like those made by The Real Milk Paint Company use a combination of casein (a protein found in milk), limestone, and natural plant fillers with pigments.
The Modern Creation of Chalk Paint
Chalk Paint is a relatively new product that was developed by a woman named Annie Sloan in the late twentieth century. It has a matte finish that’s designed to replicate the look of chalk, and this comes from the calcium carbonate content in the paint. Although the name Chalk Paint refers to a specific and proprietary blend created by Ms. Sloan, there are also other mixtures out there that call themselves chalk paint because they’re created by adding chalk or plaster of Paris to existing paints.
Safety and Environmental Factors
Milk paint and Chalk Paint are both safe to use in interior and exterior settings, because they are both:
- More environmentally friendly than other paints
- Odorless or have only a faint aroma
Chalk Paint does contain low amounts of volatile organic compounds, but milk paint is free of VOC’s making Real Milk Paint a completely green choice.
Comparing Application and Look
Both milk paint and Chalk Paint can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces, including wood, drywall, and metal. They’re both ideal for creating aged and distressed finishes on furniture, walls, and other projects. Milk paint, unlike Chalk Paint, comes in a powder form and must be mixed prior to use. And because it’s made with milk protein, unused milk paint may spoil after a few days, though the exclusive formula used in Real Milk Paint allows it to remain stable for up to two weeks.
Milk paint can be used to create a brush stroke effect when desired, but Chalk Paint dries to a uniform heavy smooth finish. When you’re using Chalk Paint, you don’t have to sand your surface before painting. With milk paint, sanding isn’t strictly required, but will give a surface more tooth for the paint to stick better. Neither Chalk Paint nor milk paint requires a primer before application.
Milk Paint, Chalk Paint, and the Test of Time
Milk Paint’s are incredibly durable, but Chalk Paint requires several coats of wax—sometimes as many as four—in order to achieve any resilience. Milk paint, on the other hand, can be made even more durable with a finishing coat of something like Real Milk Paint Tung oil, but even without this finish it will still withstand the test of time, and won’t fade. In fact, milk paint is known for its ability to last for hundreds of years.
In the end, Milk Paint and Chalk Paint are both safe to use, environmentally responsible, and will provide freedom in terms of the unique and antique effects you can create. While Milk Paint would be the strongest environmental choice due the fact any left over paint can be used to fertilize your garden or plants. They also both have an incredible richness of color, but milk paint lends itself to greater definition that Chalk Paint can lack because of heavy finish film.