What is Milk Paint?
Most importantly – it is NOT a commercial pva or latex based paint such as Chalk Paint.
Milk Paint Powder IS a naturally safe historic paint that is handmade in powder form in South Africa.
Mankind has been decorating and covering everything from cave walls to cabins, furniture to farmhouses for literally thousands of years. Artefacts found in Egyptian pyramids were found to have been painted with Milk Paint. Because milk paint was so simple to make and use, it was for thousands of years the major form of decoration throughout the world.
The basic reason why milk paint lasts so long is that the Casein in milk reacts with the lime. Pigments made from natural earth elements are added to give colours and South Africa is blessed with an abundance of beautiful natural pigments. The issue of durability was addressed over the centuries where variations of natural additives such as olive oil, linseed oil, eggs, animal glue or waxes resulted in paint recipes that can last indefinitely.
Then in 1935 paint was developed using synthetic rubber and styrene – the first latex paint which ended up as the PVA that revolutionized how people painted from then on. It was a product that could be produced in great mass.
BUT this the opposite of what Milk Paint Powder is. We produce a paint powder that not only gives the look of historic paints but is completely biodegradable, with no VOC’s, HAP’s or EPA-exempt solvents added. You can make your own paint the old-fashioned way. Follow the mixing instructions and you will have a paint that is as safe as drinking milk. (But this is not recommended).
The Milk Paint Powder that Chalk & Cheese manufacture is made to recipes developed by Cape Town furniture designer Diether Etzel. He spent several years researching and testing milk paint at home and in laboratories and then eventually started a very successful business that sold Milk Paint Powder both locally and abroad. In 2010 he decided to stop manufacturing in order to concentrate on his furniture manufacturing business. Chalk & Cheese approached Diether with a view of starting up the business again and after some negotiations he decided that we were the right people to carry on with the work that he had started. Chalk & Cheese now has a fully equipped production facility where all the Milk Paint Powder is hand mixed, packed and sold in our shop at 22 Mills Street Strand or on-line.