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Old-Fashioned Milk Paint
Milk Paint is back in style, and a family company in Massachusetts is making it easy to use. While lots of old recipes for milk paint can be found, modern day substitutes for ingredients can be hard to locate. When antique furniture restorer Charles Thibeau couldn't find a reliable source for the old paint, he decided to develop his own.
"My dad researched milk paint and conducted probably 200 experiments to find modern ingredients that worked," says daughter Ann Thibeau, company president. "Yankee Magazine was doing books on forgotten arts and interviewed him for it. When the book was published, the phone started ringing off the hook. It turned into a business."
Milk Paint products come in 6, 12 and 48-oz. packages of dry powder priced at $8.95, $15.50 and $43.95, respectively. Mixed with water, it is enough to make pint, quart and gallon amounts of ready-to-apply paint. It is available in 16 colors and a pigment-free base (add your own pigment), but blending different colors is easy. It is biodegradable, nontoxic and odor-free when dry, ideal for children's toys.
"People are using it for the look it provides, but it is also popular with those who are chemically sensitive and can't use petroleum based paint," says Thibeau. "It is very durable and continues to cure over time, getting harder and harder."
Milk Paint is being used on everything from woodwork to furniture of all types and is especially popular on kitchen cabinets. Milk paint dries quickly so Thibeau warns that it can be hard to keep a wet edge on large surfaces. However, that hasn't stopped people from using it for everything from walls to floors (with a sealer).
"We've been working on an exterior formula, but at this point, it needs a sealer on top of it to keep it from water spotting white," says Thibeau.
Old Fashioned Milk Paint products are available from more than 400 dealers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. It can also be ordered direct from the company by phone or over the internet.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., Inc., 436 Main Street, P.O. Box 222, Groton, Mass. 01450 (ph 978 448-6336 or toll free 866 350-6455; fax 978 448-2754; sales@milkpaint.com; www.milkpaint.com).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4