Buckets of paint don’t come with severe warnings about the dangers of the near inevitable contact with skin or inhalation of the vapors coming off the paint for no reason. Many people think that there is just no alternative to using these toxic substances in their homes. But what did people use prior to toxic commercially produced modern paints? One old time paint recipe that some still use today, especially in baby rooms, is made from milk and a few other ingredients. So before you coat your baby’s crib or the walls of his room with carcinogenic substances consider this non-toxic alternative.
For approximately 1 gallon of paint you will need 1 gallon of skim milk, 2 cups white vinegar or lemon juice, ¾ cup of hydrated lime, and 8 ounces of dry pigment.
Making the Paint
Pour 1 gallon of milk into a container that holds 1 gallon and allows for more room. Let the milk sit out until it reaches room temperature.
Pour in the vinegar or lemon juice and stir. Curdling should begin immediately, stop stirring and allow this mixture to sit over night at room temperature.
Now get all your other ingredients ready so that you can mix them with the milk and use the paint quickly since milk paint will spoil.
Mix your pigment with equal an equal amount of water until it becomes a homogeneous paste.
Mix the lime with 1 ½ cups of water until it is evenly moist.
Pour the milk that has now separated into a colander that is lined with cheese cloth so that can collect the solids, this is the portion that you will be using in the paint.
Transfer the curd solids into your paint bucket, then add in the wet lime paste and stir until it becomes the consistency of paint. You may need to break down some of the larger pieces. Then add in your wet pigment and thoroughly mix.
You will need to continue to stir regularly while you applying the paint.
Unused paint can be stored in your refrigerator for a few days, but it works best when fresh and should be thrown away when separation occurs.
Even paints that are marketed for being “green” have warnings on the containers about toxic fumes and other dangers. Instead of paying more for a slightly different mixture of toxins, why not make your own food based paint so you don’t have to worry about it?
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