One of the biggest hurdles for would-be DIYers is the mess factor. Paint tends to get everywhere. No matter how well you drape, tape and otherwise prepare your surroundings, you’re often left with splatters and drips that leave a toxic residue that mars your home and, if you’re working outside, can easily destroy your lawn.
Not with milk paint.
Our nontoxic, eco-friendly product is free from the caustic chemicals present in so many other paint brands, and it’s made using ingredients that are so safe and nourishing they double as a natural fertilizer.
What’s in Milk Paint?
The ingredients in real milk paint differ slightly depending on the color and formulation, but it generally contains some combination of the following:
- Casein (a milk protein)
- Hydrated lime
All these substances are found in nature. In fact, milk paint predates modern manufacturing by thousands of years. When you see pictures of cave drawings from our planet’s earliest societies or study painted artifacts from King Tut’s tomb, you’re looking at some of the first examples of milk paint. A simple mixture of milk, lime and pigments sourced from soil and plants served as the vehicle for creativity and artistry long before we ever knew how to create latex in a lab or turn oil into an art supply.
Though milk paint was temporarily overshadowed by factory-made alternatives that lasted longer on the shelf, we now know those options are packed with everything from ammonia to formaldehyde and ethylene glycol, which can cause pulmonary edema and organ damage. Milk paint is the exact opposite. No benzenes, no hydrochloric acid and no toluene — just all-natural, organic ingredients that come from the earth and can easily be reabsorbed.
Milk Paint as Fertilizer
The idea that you could refinish a secondhand desk and toss the excess paint in your garden without panicking seems crazy, but that scenario is truly possible when you’re working with milk paint. Unlike traditional paints that must be mixed with kitty litter and transported to an approved disposal site, milk paint can be chucked onto your lawn or flower bed and you’ll actually love the results.
- Milk contains calcium, a nutrient that helps plants grow and may keep pests such as aphids at bay while minimizing the spread of leaf viruses such as tobacco mosaic virus
- Farmers often use lime to increase the pH of acidic soil for optimal plant health and growth
It’s not often that something from your art kit also has a place in your gardening shed, but Real Milk Paint pulls double duty and does it well. Because milk paint comes in powdered form, you can stir up as little or as much as you need for the project at hand, but it’s nice to know that if you have a bit leftover or if your second coat on the back patio gets a bit sloppy, your lawn will be all the better for it.
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