Milk paint

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Chest with milk paint finish
MFA# 1988.332


Prior to 1900, milk paint was synonymous with Casein paint. However, when casein became commercially available at the beginning of the 20th century, then the term milk paint was only used to refer to homemade paints which tended to be less pure than the commercial casein paints.

Synonyms and Related Terms

casein paint; peinture à base de lait (Fr.);

Physical and Chemical Properties

Typically unaffected by modern paint strippers. May soften with strong ammonia.

Resources and Citations

  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Paint in America, Robert Moss (ed.), John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1994 Comment: M.Phillips, "A Survey of Paint Technolology"
  • Tom Rowland, Noel Riley, A-Z Guide to Cleaning, Conserving and Repairing Antiques, Constable and Co., Ltd., London, 1981

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