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Environmentally Friendly Casein and Milk Paints

July 27, 2008
“Vision Quest”- Acrylic (not Casein) on Paper
Image size 5 x 7
Available in my Etsy shop

Is anyone old enough to remember when casein paints were the latest thing? I am. I used them for a while when I was a young artist exploring different paint media, and just before acrylics replaced them as the next big thing. I remember that I enjoyed working with casein paints, but soon became enamored of the fun and quicker-drying acrylics, and I was off and running.

Lately I’ve been thinking about investigating them again, so have begun some research on them. They are environmentally safe and biodegradable. The biodegradable part would be OK, because I don’t plan to bury my paintings in the dirt. I might try some experiments with caseins in my current textural paintings. I’ve already learned that one wouldn’t want to use them to build up texture, but they can be used over texture that’s already created. They are a little bit vulnerable to water damage, so it’s advised that they are sealed with an acrylic varnish.

The whole idea started percolating again when I saw a reference to milk paint in a new Etsy blog Design Style Guide. From there I started wondering if the milk paints used in home design and and casein tube paints were essentially the same. Common sense tells me that they are. I would want to be able to paint in large scale, and the casein tube paints just wouldn’t quite do it. But in combination, they would work well.

So if you’re interested in knowing more about these paints, here are some links. Also, If you’ve used casein and/or milk paints in your artwork, I’d like to hear about that too.

Painting at About.com’s article on casein paints and milk paints

Bio-Shield Zero-VOC Interior Casein Milk Paint – a mixable interior paint from greenerbuilding.org

Here is a link for kits to make your own casein paints using natural pigments.

Real Milk Paint Site with a ton of information plus a milk paint recipe that you can make from scratch.

This could get you going on a morning’s worth of surfing. Have fun!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. redchair permalink
    July 28, 2008 6:59 pm

    We’re the same age and some how or another don’t remember Casein. I launched from oils right into acrylics. I even have my degree in fine arts and somehow managed to bypass any painting class that dealt with this. Are they waterbased? I’ll look at your links. This is really interesting, Martha.

    Vikki

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