Painting the Playroom with The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company’s SafePaint

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[The original post, along with all comments and page views was deleted during a server transfer on my website. As such, I’ve attempted to the best of my ability to rewrite this post – which is a bit disheartening, all things considered. Regardless, I’ve done my best to reproduce my original post.]
So I posted a couple of days ago about remodeling my daughter’s playroom (click here to read it). I wanted to blog a little bit more about the main project that really transformed the room – painting the walls and toy chests!
When I set out on this project, I knew that I would HAVE to find a non-toxic, no-VOC paint. Not just because I’m on a crunchy, clean indoor air kick (and I am.. oh how I am!) but mainly because this room is for my daughter. This means lots of play time, lots of sleep time and lots of sticky fingers on the wall – which will inevitably end up in the mouth. And not to mention, I am pregnant and don’t really need to be breathing in toxic fumes during my nesting projects!

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Why No-VOC Paints Are Worth the Splurge

Volatile organic compounds – or VOCs, as they’re commonly called – are chemicals inside paint that are released into the air as you paint a wall. (These are the components that cause you to develop a headache after painting.)
VOCs are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate from their liquid form in the paint and enter the surrounding air.
Although the majority of VOCs leave the paint as the wall dries, not all of them do. In fact, paint can release VOCs into the air for years following the initial painting, putting your family at risk long after the remodel.
VOCs in paint are known carcinogens. A typical bucket of paint contains chemicals such as benzene, methylene chloride and many others that have been linked to cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency VOCs can also cause:
– Eye, nose and throat irritation
– Frequent headaches
– Nausea
– Asthma and allergies
– Can potentially damage the liver, kidney and central nervous system
So, yeaaah.. not anything you want floating around your child’s room. No-VOC paint is certainly worth the investment for short and long-term health for you and your family!
So when I started my search for safe paints, I stumbled upon SafePaint by The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company! These folks were awesome enough to send me some samples of their no-VOC, all-natural, eco-friendly paints to test out on Tessa’s playroom and share with you all!

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More About The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company

From their website (click here to visit):
For over 35 years, The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company has been faithfully producing a genuine Milk Paint as close as possible to the old primitive, home-made paint made on the back porch with skim milk or buttermilk, crushed limestone and pigments found around clay pits, or chimney soot and mineral colors crushed and powdered. This original paint goes back about 6000 and more years as evidence by early cave paintings.
In 1974, after much experimentation, we recreated an old Milk Paint formula to provide an authentic finish for our primary business of building reproduction furniture. Since then we have sold our paint to professionals who are either restoring original Colonial or Shaker furniture, making reproductions, or striving for an interior design look that is both authentic and beautiful. Milk Paint is now gaining an even wider usage because it contains only ingredients that are all-natural and will not harm the environment. Our authentic real milk paint is truly a “green paint” that comes in 20 colors.
We have made every effort to produce a paint that not only gives the look of Colonial America, with many historic-based colors, but is also completely biodegradable, with no VOCS, HAPs or EPA-exempt solvents added. We’ve found a safe way to reproduce the old look and make a milk paint the old-fashioned way. Yes, it will spoil, just like whole milk, but its also as safe as drinking whole milk. (Not that you’d want to, of course.)

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Our Experience With SafePaint

The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company sent us their new “SafePaint” – a newly formulated milk paint designed for use on walls. Their original formula was created for porous surfaces like wood and masonry, but SafePaint was formulated for use on non-porous surfaces such as previously painted walls and for new sheetrock.
SafePaint is available in all twenty colors of their existing palette of Milk Paint (click here to check out their colors). And just like their original formula, SafePaint colors may be blended together to create other colors.
Jonathan and I were looking for the perfect “princess pink” for Tessa’s playroom, so we had fun playing mad kitchen scientist with the “Snow White” and “Salem Red” colors of SafePaint. We ended up going with a 90% white to 10% red ratio.

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The paints come in a powder form that you can mix and match, making color creations ridiculously simple. When it’s time for painting, simply add water and mix up your small batch with a hand mixer. We worked in small batches (enough to fit in my baking mixing bowl) so we wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with leftovers.
I was amazed at the lack of scent in this paint. While it has a faint smell, it is not unpleasant in any way, and only perceptible if you are pushing your nose in the paint bowl trying to detect a scent, haha. The lack of smell is so remarkable that we actually forgot to open the windows for ventilation till half way through the project! (While there is nothing harmful in SafePaint to warrant opening up the house, I figure fresh air can’t hurt, especially while painting when pregnant!)

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When measuring out the exact water requirements for the amount of powder, the paint seemed a little thicker to me than you average Home Depot run of the mill VOC-laden paint. At one point after working for a few hours we added a little water to thicken the mixture, and it had much more of a paint-like consistency, and still coated the walls with even and smooth coverage.
While I was gearing up for some extra work for this project (I mean, mixing your own paint in small batches and stirring it frequently during painting sounds so daunting) I was thrilled to find that it was simple to mix, easier to work with, and that mixing small batches cut down on waste. There is also a bit more pride with the “DIY project” knowing we mixed the color to our liking ourselves. Oh! I also did not miss the traditional “painting headache” that comes with VOC paints, haha!

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We had some pink left over, so we got ambitious and decided to paint Tessa’s Ikea toy chests. I was a little curious to see how the paint color and texture would vary on the wall vs. the raw wood of the toy chests. I was happy to find that the colors were identical when applied to the preexisting painted walls AND to the unfinished raw wood.
Once we were done painting, we had a couple of cups of the Salem Red paint powder left over. We popped it in a ziploc, stuck it in the bag it came with, and it’s now happily sitting on our garage shelf, waiting for a new project. No banging on a huge misshappen paint bucket lid or finding room for clunky half used cans of pre-mixed paint!

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I am beyond happy to have discovered this safe, back-to-basics alternative to VOC paints. If you are planning a home remodel project I would highly recommend this wise investment.

Have you ever tried a milk based paint? Interested in trying one? Share below!

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Gingi Freeman
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Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

8 thoughts on “Painting the Playroom with The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company’s SafePaint

  • 20 December, 2014 at 7:15 am
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    This paint looks awesome! I do believe I’ll look into it for my next paint job!!! Awesome blog and review Gingi!

    • 20 December, 2014 at 2:59 pm
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      <3 Thank you for commenting again.. I'm so bummed that I lost so much of my blog during that pesky server transfer. Being pregnant and sad is no fun! lol..

  • 20 December, 2014 at 4:52 pm
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    Milk paint?? I have never heard of such a thing!! Very, very cool!

    • 21 December, 2014 at 2:26 am
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      Yeah, it’s waaay cool! I am completely converted to painting with milk paint from now on. It’s crazy old school.. kind of the classic, “so old school that it’s new school now”, haha..

  • 22 December, 2014 at 4:49 pm
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    This paint is fascinating! I had no idea there was a healthy alternative to paint! Very cool!
    Now to convince the hubby to paint the rooms in our house!! I’m soooo tired of having white walls!!

    • 22 December, 2014 at 5:19 pm
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      Yeah, Jonathan and I are kind of addicted now.. we actually spent an entire car ride trying to figure out what we could paint.. haha…

  • 31 December, 2014 at 12:14 pm
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    Ah, I wish I had read this post the other day as I *just* painted my daughter’s room on Sunday. Thankfully the hardware store near us sells plenty of non-VOC paints, but this paint sounds amazing! The color looks great, by the way.

    • 31 December, 2014 at 3:20 pm
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      You’re lucky! Our hardware store is woefully bereft of NO-VOC paints.. We’re doing another paint project this weekend with milk paints, I’ll have to update with that project.. I am loving this paint!

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