"Milk Paint"

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Posted by: from Newmarket
6/2/2012 at 11:57:32 PM

I am putting together a quote to paint the interior of a local historic buliding (circa 1820s). The last time it was painted was 1970! The painter (who is still alive) used "milk paint."

Does anyone know what "milk paint" is and if there are any special things that need to be done to it before using modern latex paint?



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Face Lift Floors in Port Colborne
Date/Time6/3/2012 at 12:43:23 AM

It's my understanding that 'milk paint' is actually paint with a base of milk protein or casein.

I tried stripping a door with multiple panels which was painted and some of this stuff simply could not be removed even with chemical strippers. Apparently ammonia is the only way to remove it but then you risk turning the wood black, which isn't a good look

If you want to strip and finish natural colour, I think I would prep as normal, use a good primer and go from there. Do a test spot. Or speak with the painter who used it.

Craig A. Mouldey

Face Lift Floors

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Date/Time6/3/2012 at 8:37:47 AM

I beleave in the 1820's walls used to be done in rock and plaster or brick.

I feel the best way to prep the walls is remove any flaking build up of paint.,wash the milk painted walls with a clr so that it can provide a key for a kilz primer. Then apply your top coat.

Walls need to be dry, or pealing will occur.

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Gaby from Amg Renovation in Hearst
Date/Time6/3/2012 at 9:17:55 AM


My name is Gabriel

Certified Contractor and Inspector.

What you will read is a copy paste for you,

Early settlers brought this method of paint making to North America more then 250 years ago. Basic ingredients included milk, limestone, clay and natural pigments like coal, berries, roots, seeds and minerals all found close at hand. This resulted in a durable paint evident today by antiques showing the original milk painted finish.

Absorbed into the surface, Milk Paint will never chip or peel. Milk Paint provides a completely breathable coating and is ideal for painting plaster walls and ceilings, straw bale houses etc. Being slightly alkaline, it also naturally inhibits the growth of mould and mildew. It can be used for interior or exterior applications. To properly protect our Milk Paint, it should be sealed with our hemp oil, beeswax, or varnish. Simply mix with water to create a creamy consistency it's that easy! (Still for sale in Toronto if you want to keep it original)

Thank and good luck.

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Date/Time6/3/2012 at 9:27:43 AM

Thanks All. these replies are very helpful. The original paint was milk paint and I am unsure how many times it was painted prior to the last paint job in 1970.

The copy and paste that Gabe provided notes that mik paint won't peel but there are areas where the paint is clearly peeling. Thus, I suspect that at some point in time a non-milk paint was used.

As I have never used milk paint (nor even heard of it till this week!), I am not inclined to try using it on such a large (and historically significant) project.

I will try to find a place in Toronto that still has milk paint supplies and consult with them (Gabe, do you remember which website you got the copy and paste from?).

Thanks again.


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Gaby from Amg Renovation in Hearst
Date/Time6/3/2012 at 9:32:32 AM

Here it is bud.

Yes, there is a way. milk paint remover in powder form, just add water. This is probably the easiest way to remove milk paint, because it is a protein base, conventional removers won't touch it.

The price of the powder milk paint remover is $11.95 and will make a half gallon.

If you decide you need the remover give them a call at 1-800-339-9748. (AGAIN copy & paste for you).

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Gaby from Amg Renovation in Hearst
Date/Time6/3/2012 at 9:37:55 AM

The number I gave you it sais Toronto.

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Date/Time6/4/2012 at 4:18:50 PM

Check out Homestead House.....Toronto based company that sells Milk Paint.....they know everything about Milk Paint..

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Date/Time6/4/2012 at 4:41:05 PM

Rona sells a multi purpose oil base primer called Go Prime (Sico) this is good for most jobs. Don

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