How to make milk paint

As one of the oldest forms of paint, milk paint is one of the most versatile and eco-friendly paints that you can use in a home. Used for centuries to paint furniture, this completely natural paint is extremely durable once dry.


You can use milk paint on any wood furniture to create a whitewashed look that is perfect for cottage, country or Shabby Chic decor.


1 litre Skim milk (or milk with no cream fat) - at room temperature

Juice of 1 large lemon (or concentrated lemon juice)

Powerdered acrylic craft paint (in your choice of colour)

Cheese cloth or muslin

This mixture will make enough paint for 1 coat on a small piece of furniture. Adjust the quantities for larger pieces, or where more than one coat is to be applied.


1. Mix the milk and lemon juice together in a saucepan and leave to stand in a warm spot overnight. The lemon juice causes the milk to curdle and separate, creating 'quark'. Do not stir the mixture while it stands, as this will disturb the process.

2. Strain the mixture through the cheese cloth or muslin, letting it drain into a jug. Strain the mixture again, letting it drain until there is no water dripping through the cloth. You now have a nice thick amount of quark, which is the base of our milk paint.

3. If you need to add colour to your milk paint you can use natural powder pigments, powdered craft paint, or food colouring. Mix the powered colourants into water to make a smooth paste and then add to the paint mixture. Add slowly until the desired colour is achieved.

You will also find instructions on WikiHow for making milk paint.

 You can buy pigments at your local Builders Warehouse and powerdered acrylic craft paint at most art supply stores. Avoid using pigments made from toxic compounds, otherwise you’ll defeat the purpose of making your own paint.

Finish off your project by applying Woodoc Antique Wax to protect and preserve the finish.