After three stores, I finally found the key ingredient (aside from milk) in milk paint, hydrated lime. Now this is not to be confused with regular, everyday lime evidently. Oh no, it is specially mixed with just the right proportion of water so that it is “hydrated” but still feels dry. Supposedly, you can’t use regular lime because it will heat up the mixture and ruin it. Unfortunately, hydrated lime was supposed to be in every hardware store, but no longer.
I was informed at Lowes that it can be used in explosives and that they don’t carry it anymore. I have no idea if this is true, but it does seem like I keep being thwarted in many of my experiments by items being taken off the market because of evildoers. I was going to make soap initially this week, but found out that lye is no longer commonly being stocked at stores because it is used in making meth. I will probably try to make soap the really old-fashioned way with ash, but that will be a project for another week, when I have enough ash stored up.
So, back to the milk paint. I modified a recipe that I found online, but I think that it used too much lime. The results were very pretty, but not what I expected. The color was nice and vibrant, but turned out a bit marbleized.
Just in case you still want the recipe: take 1 cup milk, slightly less than 1/4 cup hydrated lime, and pigment to color. I used RID’s green coloring and added turmeric and cinnamon, to get the color just right. I couldn’t find a natural way to make green, so I went with the dye that was the easiest to find. First mix the lime with a little bit of milk to make a paste, then add the rest of the milk, and finally add the color. Milk paint can be stored in the fridge for a couple days to keep the milk fresh. Oddly enough, the items painted don’t smell like milk; and more importantly, do not smell like soiled milk. I don’t know why this is, but it sure was a nice surprise.