WTF right? Chocolate milk paint? It sounds so strange that it just might be crazy enough to work. I saw a recipe for milk paint a long time ago and the thought of it always intrigued me. So here's my attempt at homemade paint that requires only four ingredients . . . and if you left one of them out you could probably eat it.
This is a shorter method for making milk paint that I found in a book that shows alternate uses for many common household products. I can't testify to the durability of this paint, this is more of a trial run and I'll add updates after a month or two of letting whatever I paint sit outside.
Other methods of making milk paint call for curdling milk, either naturally or by adding an acid. They also have a few more steps and additives like hydrated lime.
Keeping these things in mind, let's go.
Step 1: The Must Haves
* 1.5 cups Dry milk powder
* 1 tablespoon Borax (20 Mule Team of course . . . I'm sure they make other brands, but I've never seen them)
* Cocoa powder (for tinting, the amount varies based on your desired end color)
* 1/2 cup Water
* A food processor or blender
* A fine mesh strainer
* Something to paint
* And something to paint with, i.e., a paint brush
Step 2: The How
* Add the tablespoon of borax . . . (why borax? you ask. Borax has antimicrobial properties as well as antipest properties (pests being mice and bugs and who knows what else).
Give these things a spin in the processor. It'll distribute the borax as well as break down the larger dried milk particles.
* Add the 1/2 cup water.
Let the processor run for several minutes. I did about five. This will assure a good mix.
The thickness needs to be similar to what you would expect from a latex paint you would buy at a store. If your mix to too thin, add more milk powder. Too thick, more water.
I actually had to add about another 1/2 cup of milk powder to get it to the thickness I wanted. If I make anymore of this I will make sure to weigh out the milk powder instead of measuring it and post it here.
Step 3: Tinting
* Add the cocoa powder and take the processor for a spin.
How much? I can't tell ya that. It'll all depend on how tinted you want the paint. I think I ended up using around a 1/4 cup.
Step 4: Adjustments and Straining
Though it's not necessary to strain the mix I did it anyway. I did catch a few bits of milk powder, but not enough to really worry about.
Step 5: Do It to It
I have to say that I was really surprised how well this coated and how fast it dried. This second picture is of the first coat going on. A number of websites I visited mentioned letting the first coat dry for 24 hours, but after about 45 minutes this thing was dry as a bone and tough as nails. Tougher actually, as I used my thumbnail to scrape against it and it didn't come off. That probably has to do with it being terra cotta, so you might want to use your best judgment on how long to let it dry. Today was sunny and about 70 degrees with a very faint breeze blowing.
Step 6: That's It, That's All
I like the texture it gave the flower pot. With the addition of some chemicals--perhaps Floetrol--this paint might form a smoother surface. Kind of defeats the purpose of making a completely compostable and nontoxic paint though.
I'll be sure to add an update in a month or two to let you know how this thing has held up.