To complete my article on casein paint here is a presentation on Milk paint.
To clarify the differences: it exists 3 big types of paints made from milk products or derivated:
-Casein and Borax
-Quark and oil glaze
They are hard-wearing, inexpensive, easy to make paints that provide a perfect base for pigments. By mixing milk protein or casein with an alkali, a strong binder is produced that adheres itself and pigments to the surface it is painted on. Milk paints are an important addition to any nontoxic, VOC free household for walls, woodwork and more. They produce a flat, matte finish. Like lime coatings their look can be further enhanced by topcoats such as oil or wax. Versatile in effects, milk paint is also used widely in faux finishing techniques such as washes, sponging, ragging, etc. and is highly favored for artist and craft work.
A big part of my informations are coming from a very nice American website: earthpigments.com
- 5L of fat free fresh milk
- 250mL of white vinegar
- 120gr of Aerial Lime
- 200gr of earth pigments
= 1.8L of paint covering around 9sqm
For this recipe we are using fresh milk that will be turned to curds with the addition of vinegar (or lemon juice). By curdling to create Quark, the milk protein is concentrated within the curds making a stronger paint. In addition it will not be prone to mold as milk paints created from fresh milk can be.
Allow the milk to stand and warm to room temperature, (in any case the milk should not be allowed to warm higher than 115 degrees to protect the integrity of the casein). With the milk in a large container, stir in two cups of white vinegar. Curdling will begin immediately. Allow the mixture to sit in a warm place overnight or up to two days. Do not stir again after you have incorporated the vinegar. It is important that the quark not be disturbed so that the curds can form together. You will notice that the milk solids separate from the liquid, creating solid curds and liquid whey.
Assemble all your ingredients when ready to paint, as milk paint should be used when fresh for best results. Place your Ocher or pigment powder in a container and mix with an equal amount of water to soak. Work the pigment into a homogenous paste where all the particles have been wetted.
Place your lime in a plastic or glass (not metal) container large enough to hold two to three cups. Be careful not to inhale dust or allow dust to get on hands or in eyes. SLOWLY pour 1½ cups of water into the lime and stir into a creamy paste making sure all the lime has been wetted.
With all the ingredients prepared, have your paint bucket ready. Line the colander completely with cheesecloth. Place the colander in a sink and pour the curds and whey into it to drain the whey off. You now have small, easy to dissolve quark. Rinse the quark with cool water to remove any residual whey and neutralize the vinegar. Allow it to drain, but keep the curds dripping rather than becoming too dry. This moisture will aid in their dissolving with the addition of the lime paste.
Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and transfer the quark to your paint bucket. Make sure the curds are small and break down any that are larger pieces. Add the lime/water paste to the curds and stir well. You will immediately notice the curds turning from a lumpy mixture into a creamy paint. If some curds do not dissolve readily, the mixture can sit for 15 to 30 minutes to help break them down. Your milk paint is now ready for the addition of your slaked pigment. Stir this into the creamy quark and lime base. You may or may not need to add additional water. All ingredients should coalesce, and the consistency should be that of light cream. Be cautious of adding too much water. Strain your completed paint through more cheesecloth or a nylon stocking. Some undissolved quark may remain. Stir your paint thoroughly and often during application. Extra paint can be stored up to several days in the refrigerator, however it will begin to separate so try to use it fresh.
The first coat of milk paint will appear thin. If your base is too absorbent, the first coat can be diluted 20 to 50% with water as a priming coat.
Here are just a few examples of what can look like lime on a house "Façade" that could give you some ideas.
This recipe is partially inspired of a Swedish recipe from XVIIth century and which still used there to protect the wooden buildings.
It's a hundred percent natural, very resistant and don't need any care. It protects very well outdoor walls in particular different types of wood, because ocher is the most opaque pigment against UV rays.
-You'll need 260gr of wheat floor type55 or rye floor
-Mix it with 20cl of water to get a paste. Add 3L of hot water
-Mix it, let cook slowly for 15minutes
-Pour 1Kg of ocher and 100gr of ferrous sulfate. Heat slowly and stir it for 15minutes
-Then pour 40cl of linseed oil and 4cl of ecological liquid soap.
-Stir for 15minutes
-Here it is you have around 5Kg of paint covering about 16 sqm.
NB: If you have a tips to buy some australian ocher!
Because i still find a bit stupid to use european pigments when i see how much Australian earth is reach in it.
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The casein paint is unexpensive, easy to prepare, stabile in the time and without any toxics. It must be stabilise with an alkaline product, aerial lime or borax. The lime and the bore give anti bacterial proprieties. The chalk play the role of darkner.
White and matt, casein paint is colored with natural pigments, ocher and coloured earth. Deserted by the professionals who were considering it a bit coarse, it come back with the passion of ancient's paint, like clay paint and glue paint. With it matt finish and a little grain, than can show through the brushwork allow a lot of matter 's effects. It suits to bedrooms, lartge rooms -in reason of it's low price- and for ceilings.
It's a permeable and non washable, very stabile with a good covering power. Be aware that, it becomes opaque only after drying. Make colours samples before starting.
Casein paint fits to mineral base (rendering, masonry, concrete), painting wall paper, plaster, plaster sheet and old paint none gloss. The base must be dry, undust et degrease. Don't use in wet place.On gloss paint, sand or use an ecological primer. Treat thevery absorbant render with an impregnation primer. Seal the crack with a filler.
Casein and borax (or lime)
It's not always to find tha tkind of material in Australia but i'll try to compile some adresses next.The quantities are for around 10l of paint covering between 80 sqm and 100 sqm.-In a little bucket or a pot pour 2L of water; mix with a whisk300g of casein-Add 80g of borax powder in strongly mixing. The blend will thickened and become translucent, let it lay down for 2 hours.-In the meantime poor 2.5L of water in abig bucket with 6kg of chalk powder, mix with a mixer, the blend will be very thick.-After 2 hours poor the little bucket in the big one and mix. Add the pigments previously wet and mix. For stronger colour decrease the quantity of chalk. Let lay down for half an hour. -Apply 1 or 2 layers with a spalter or a roller.
Casein is lightly acid it become hard and sticky in addition to an alkalin product: It can be borax but also Aerial Lime or ammonia in th e same proportions.
You can also replace casein by "fromage blanc" 0% fat (5kg for 10L), for an even cheaper paint, But you'll have to add a few drops of essential oil of clove or mint to avoid moisture. The finish in that case is a little bit more coarse. So try it before and you'll know if you like it, int he case where you can find casein.