of brightly colored snap-line chalk from the hardware store. The chalk colors are intense and varied, and they work just like the powdered earth colors. To mix all the ingredients, I recommend a small mixer that fits in your electric drill. For almost endless color variations, you can add artists' acrylic colors (available at art supply stores).
To mix a batch of milk paint, start with 1 Vl2 cups of skim milk. Mix in 1 ounce of lime while stirring briskly. After two to three minutes, when the lime is thoroughly dispersed, add 8 ounces of plaster of Paris. While mixing, add pigment until you like the color. Blue chalk yields a lovely Wedgwood color, while a combination of red and white acrylics and yellow chalk yields a light tcrra-cotta. You can vary the amount of plaster of Paris for a thinner or thicker mixture, and add more pigment for a deeper color. Allow the mix to sit for an hour or so until it stops foaming. When applying the paint, it helps to re-stir the mixture every five or 10 minutes to prevent settling.
You can apply milk paint with a China bristle, polyester bristle or foam-on-a-stick brush, but I prefer a cheap, 2-in. China bristle. The "store-bought" mixes will cover with one wet coat, but two coats cover even better. Keep in mind that milk paint dries very dull and much lighter than its wet color. You can add extra pigment after your first coat if the color is too light.
After the paint dries, you can try some more experiments. Both pigment and dye stains produce interesting effects, as do waxes and oil finishes. Oiling darkens the color more than wax, but both coatings added a luster to the surfacc. (Sec bottom photos, page 66.)
If I had to choose between a ready-mixed powder and the homemade version, I'd choose the ready-mixed. Making your own is cheap and fun, but the commercial version gives you richer results with less work. ▲
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