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Our beaded fringe trims are 1st quality and exceptional in craftsmanship and detail.

by Dwayne Siever
Article courtesy Real Milk Paint

Milk paint has been used for several centuries and has proved to be a very durable paint. Many antiques have survived to this day with their original milk paint intact. The rich colors are just as vibrant today. 

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? 35 to 45 square feet per quart, 140 to 180 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, you can throw old paint on your garden without harm. Caution should be used while painting to prevent paint from getting in the eyes. Burning may occur because of the lime content. Also, wear gloves if you have sensitive skin. Always flush and wash eyes and hands thoroughly with water.  

What will milk paint stick to? Real milk paint is best applied to raw wood or unsealed walls or wall board. 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 surface, plastics, or oil base paints or finishes.    

Can milk paint be painted over other paints? Milk paint can be painted over fully cured (30 days) latex paint. The surface must be clean without any wax or silicone. Clean with Tri Sodium Phosphate then scuff with sand paper. Always test for compatibility.  

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.   Top coating milk paint Any finish can be used to top coat real milk paint. Oil based finishes such as polyurethane will darken the color. Test to see result.    

Paint Techniques/ How to Crackle   Crackling is as easy as painting once you know the process, but first what is crackling? Crackling is the process of laying a faster drying finish over a slower drying more flexible finish. In this case we will be using hide glue. Hide is made mainly from the hides of horses and live stock, but can also be made from the skins of rabbits and fish renderings   Now the process. First paint the color of Real Milk Paint you want to show through the cracks. You may want two coats of this color to be sure it is totally opaque . Allow paint to dry (1 to 4 hours). Next, pour some liquid hide glue (available at most hardware stores) into a container, add water to the glue until you reach a consistency that can be brushed. Tip: the thicker the glue, the larger the cracks, the thinner, the smaller the cracks. Brush the hide glue over the dry milk paint. Allow glue to dry (1 to 2 hours). Next paint the contrasting color of Real Milk Paint over the glue. Allow to dry. As the milkpaint dries it will shrink and crack to expose the layer underneath. We do recommend after crackling to top coat the milk paint with a finish. Tung oil, shellac, varnish, or spray acrylic, almost any clear finish will work. The reason for doing this is to prevent moisture from attacking the exposed glue in the cracks and ruining your work.   Now here is where we use a sneaky sales tactic and ask you to buy some Real Milk Paint. Click here to order now or visit one of the Real Milk Paint distributers in your area.  


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