Readers Digest’s Milk Paint Recipe

Old Blue Paint 19C Pine – New York Milk Cupboard Found on

A staple of the 19th century, milk paint produces a soft, flat finish that can add a patina of age even to new furniture. Lime, whiting (finely powdered calcium carbonate), and paint pigment are sold at paint stores and some home centers; litmus paper can be found at pharmacies. Make milk paint for immediate use. If you must store it for a day or two, refrigerate it. If you need to strip off milk paint, use household ammonia. On most furniture, put a coat of shellac on top to increase the milk paint’s longevity.

You Will Need 3 tablespoons white vinegar 4 cups milk 1 ounce slaked lime 2 to 2-1/2 lbs. dried pigment Litmus paper Whiting as desired

What to Do 1. Combine the vinegar and milk in an old pan and heat gently until the mixture curdles. Stir in the lime until well mixed.

2. Test the mixture with litmus paper: If the paper turns red, it is too acid — add more lime; if it turns dark blue, it is too alkaline — add more sour milk. Keep testing until the pH is balanced.

3. Stir in the whiting until you reach a paint-like consistency. Then slowly sprinkle in the pigment, stirring constantly, until the color is as desired. Makes 1 quart.

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Milk Paint

Milk Paints have been the star of the furniture market. When used with Glaze Effects, you can create all the old world decorative finishes such as distressing, antiquing, marble effects, rag rolling, or color washing.

Milk Paints can be used alone or mixed with any other product to produce your desired finishes, because they are all organic in nature. With the increasingly dangerous chemicals that are added to paints, many people are turning to organic paints. Many of us remain unsure of the causes of paint toxicity and the ongoing effects that the fumes can cause to our health. While many people are turning to organic paint for health reasons, others enjoy the wonderful appearance of the matte paint, which has a primitive look to it.

General Finishes produces a line of milk paint available in pre-stocked colors. They can be used for interior and exterior projects and are suitable for indoor or outdoor furniture. They can adapt well to conventional sprayers, and can be manipulated very easily to produce all sorts of decorative finishes.

Interesting Articles:

–How To Mix Milk Paint By DIY Network

-Check out this painted Dresser using Red Milk Paint from Design Sponge

– Check out Cassies Federal Side Table in Lamp Black

–Nora Johnson’s Distressed Green Cabinets and Painted French Chair

–Dans Milk Paint Samples

–Chris Harter’s Reproduction Windsor Chairs With Milk Paint

General Finishes also produce glaze finishes. Glaze effects are translucent water based colors used to create beautiful decorative finishes such as antique top finishes replicating dirt and wear over the years such as you see with antique furniture. Glazing also is used in creating faux marble, color washing, rag rolling and wood graining. Glaze finishes can be used over water based wood stains, and milk paints.

Glazed paints also can be layered over one another to create deeper, richer looks such as black over red paint. The results are stunning and well worth the effort.

General-Finishes-Paint-LineGeneral Finishes Paint Line


Milk Paint. General Finishes Water Based Enduro-Var Flat Quart $52 On Amazon

Enduro-Var is a self crosslinking polyurethane that looks more like an oil varnish than a water coating. It ambers slightly with durability suitable for residential projects, and is both sprayable and brushable. Enduro-Var ADHERES WELL only over WATER STAINS, DYE STAINS, and RAW WOOD.

July 2011 Michael Pekovich, writer for Fine Wood Working writes:

I‘ve never been a fan of water-based finishes, but a new wiping varnish from General Finishes has me excited to give them another try. Wood Turners Finish, available soon from Woodcraft and Rockler, combines the best of oil and water based finishes.
In order to create a finish that is compliant with VOC regulations, they’ve taken the same alkyd urethane varnish typically found in oil-based finishes and wrapped it in a water-based delivery system. The result is a finish with the warm tone and feel of an oil-based finish, but with the fast dry time of a water-based finish. It’s fast dry time and it’s ability to be rubbed out to a high gloss is the reason it’s being marketed as a finish for turning, but there’s no reason to think that it wouldn’t be great for other furniture projects as well. A maple sample board rubbed to a satin sheen had a great, warm look that would compliment any project. The finish should be available within the next month and will retail for about $28/quart.

Ian Taylor writes about a Country Style Table from the The Woodworker August 2007:“General Finishes has released a modern version of Milk Paint…a water based acrylic paint stocked in a range of 20 bold colors.

The Natural Paint Book bridges the information gap, offering an in-depth explanation of the differences between conventional and eco-friendly paints. Illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, the book provides complete instructions on how to make all-natural paints and finishes at home, using readily available ingredients such as clay, gelatin, linseed oil, and artist pigments.This comprehensive guide also shows how to create beautiful paint effects with simple tools such as sponges, paint rollers, newspaper, or foam. Guided by the authors’ expert design advice, you can choose from techniques such as colorwashing, marbling, and stippling to decorate in keeping with the style, age, and character of your home. Packed with information, The Natural Paint Book also contains an invaluable resource directory at the end.