Jane Muffet ate the same thing for breakfast every day. There was only one problem: she didn’t like the curds and whey she was served. She’d often go outside to eat, looking back at the house to make sure mother wasn’t watching as she poured the whey out at the base of the big tree in the field just west of the house. Jane’s dog Butter would always follower her out to the trunk of the tree. The smell of the whey brought him great joy and after the puddle of whey had absorbed into the ground, Butter would slowly put his nose toward the whey and sniff 4 times in quick succession. Then he’d bark, jump and roll around in it a few times before dashing off into the woods. Jane never did understand the attraction Butter had to the whey, but the routine was entertaining and always made her smile. The whey tasted terrible and smelled even worse. The curds were only just bareable. When the apples were in season, Jane would sit by the fence and rub the curds into the wood with her fingers until it was all gone, then make her way up the orchard and fill her tummy with delicious apples off the tree. After the first slat that Jane painted was completely covered in a pale white, she worked her way to the next slat. By the end of apple season the year she was seven, Jane had covered half of the fence and her mother took notice. “I wonder who’s been painting the fence? It looks lovely!” she exclaimed.
And that’s how milk paint was born. At least in my imagination. 🙂
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1 quart skim milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 oz acrylic paint
Mix the lemon juice with the skim milk in a clear container. Let it sit out in room temperature for one week with a tight cover to contain the smell (I used press ‘n seal which worked just fine). When the milk has seperated, pour off the whey and squeeze out the curds with cheesecloth to drain off the remaining whey. Mix the curds with acrylic paint until desired color is reached. Final color will be slightly more pale. Paint onto wood using a paintbrush. Wait 24 hours between coats and polish with Beeswax Polish (recipe here).