Farmhouse Finishes Safe Paint Product Bulletin

OUR MILK PAINT FOR WALLS is a re-creation of the ancient MILK PAINT formula used for centuries before the sale of commercially made paints. It comes in rich colors that are durable and do not fade. Also, since our Safe Paint is made from elements that pre-date the use of petrochemicals and other toxic bases and solvents, it is biodegradable, non-toxic, and odor-free when dry. Safe Paint is preferred by those who are chemically sensitive and those sensitive to the need to protect the environment.


Our Farmhouse Finishes Safe Paint can be painted on most clean, dry surfaces. Where our traditional Old Fashioned Milk Paint prefers a porous surface, Safe Paint prefers a nonporous surface. Once cured it develops good water resistance, however for surfaces expected to receive heavier wear, we recommend sealing with our Top Coat Final Finish.   An oil or solvent-based sealer is recommended for kitchen applications to protect against kitchen oils such as grease splatters.

Where traditional milk paint is known for its flat, uneven, somewhat streaky appearance, Safe Paint, while still a true milk paint, has a more uniform appearance, while still very flat. It is fine for all interior wall applications both residential and commercial, including hospitals, retirement homes, schools, nurseries, offices, stores and public areas used by people allergic or otherwise sensitive to chemically based paints.


Environmentally safe Non-toxic and biodegradable
Zero VOC’s- entirely solvent free Non-flammable
Faint milky odor when wet, odorless when dry Clean up with soap and water
Dry to the touch in 30 minutes. To re-coat, wait two hours. Cures, hardens, and builds water resistance over time
The dry powder form mixes best with room temperature water. Fast drying
Powder in sealed bags should last indefinitely. After opening, save powder in a glass jar or covered tin or airtight plastic storage bin. Permanent colors
Available in a variety of colors which can be blended, by the user, to produce many tints and shades Flat finish


one pint 8 oz. powder, plus water covers approximately 35 square feet
one quart 16 oz. powder, plus water covers approximately 75 square feet
one gallon 64 oz. powder, plus water covers approximately 300 square feet

Bulk sizes are available for volume use and for re-packagers.


Very Important: Please read this entire Direction Sheet before using this product.


Very glossy surfaces must be roughed up with sandpaper and cleaned before painting.

*If you can rub the palm of your hand across the wall and see dust, you will need to vacuum and wash the wall.*


Milk Paint works on some surfaces better than others. Unless you know the condition of the surfaces beneath previous coats of finish, we do caution you about the use of Safe Paint milk paint over layers of paint that may have been applied without proper cleaning beforehand.

Milk paint dries very rapidly and shrinks in all directions while drying. This can pull and tug on the previous layers quite strongly, enough in some cases to cause any weakly bonded existing underlayers to peel off, thereby creating serious problems. We also do not recommend using Safe Paint over primer-sealers with stain blockers such as Kilz or Zinsser Bin, or any flexible caulks including silicone or latex.


Calcimine Paint: Calcimine was widely used for ceilings into the early 20th century, and contained minimal binders. It is essentially chalk. It is almost impossible to paint anything over calcimine paint- especially milk paint. Sometimes the calcimine extends onto the upper part of a wall. If you choose to paint on such a surface, the calcimine paint needs to be removed.
Note: Use extra caution and test surface when painting over modern ceiling paint as well, as it often contains minimal binders.

Horsehair Plaster: Plaster, especially old horsehair plaster, can be somewhat crumbly, and would not be considered a sound surface. If the walls appear to be in good shape, they must be cleaned thoroughly and should not be primed.

Old Wallpaper Paste: Wallpaper paste residues may create a problem with adhesion and or lead to the new paint cracking or peeling. It should be removed and the surface cleaned before painting.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of testing if you want to paint with milk paint on a questionable surface, we have samples available for purchase on our website. If you have any questions about surface preparation or testing, please do not hesitate to call us, toll free at 435-255-4556.  We are available Mon-Thurs from 8am-5pm MST.


For previously painted multiple coated surfaces, it is very important to also test the layers of paint for adhesion to each other. This is to be sure that the old paint won’t peel off and take the new paint with it. First, cut a one inch long “X” in the old paint film with a razor blade or sharp knife. This is not foolproof, however, so it’s best to do this in a few different areas. Then apply a strip of masking tape over the “X,” and rub the tape on firmly. Then pull it off quickly. If the old paint comes off with the tape, you have poor adhesion, usually created from re-painting over an unclean surface.


Professional finishing practice states that any surface to be painted or repainted must be cleaned and dulled, not shiny. All grime should be removed with a washing soda such as T.S.P., according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and shiny surfaces should be scuffed up with sandpaper. Surface must be clean, sound and free of oil, grease, dust and dirt. By ignoring this practice, the new paint may not adhere well and future coats could peel off when repainted.

On sheetrock or masonry that has joint compound over joints and nails, “joint banding” or “photographing” may produce problems caused by the differences in porosities and surface texture of the face paper of the sheetrock or the roughness of masonry and the smoothness of the joint compound. When viewed in direct lighting, the joints may be visible. To avoid this phenomenon, an initial coat of “Sheetrock First Coat” or equivalent flat latex wall primer (available at most paint stores) is advisable. We have also had good luck with AFM Safecoat New Wallboard Primer. Note: We do NOT recommend using primer-sealers with stain blockers such as Kilz or Zinsser Bin. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding cure time of plasters and primers before moving on to using the milk paint. Also, additives in some modern plasters may inhibit proper adhesion of the milk paint in some cases, which is another reason that we suggest the use of primers for plaster as well as sheetrock surfaces.


If the old paint films do have poor adhesion, we do NOT recommend painting over with any water paint, including Safe Paint. The old paint should be removed by stripping or sanding and scraping. If you don’t remove it, the new paint may lift off the old paint, at least in some areas.**

**WARNING! If you scrape, sand or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-880-424-LEAD or log on to


On any surfaces that have been chemically stripped of finish, be sure to neutralize any residual chemicals by wiping the surface with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution prior to repainting.


Safe Paint is self priming over drywall, joint compound and new plaster. If surface has been primed or previously painted apply two coats of Safe Paint in a small area and test for adhesion, as described above, after 24 hours.


We’ve gotten lots of good feedback about our new Safe Paint for walls over the past few years.

One thing we’ve learned, though, is that in many cases it may be a good idea to add our Extra-Bond into the first coat, especially if painting on an unknown surface, over repairs, or if you plan to paint more than two coats. (If mixed up properly, the paint should cover well in two coats.)

This is not so much for adhesion as to add some flexibility to this first coat. We do not add plasticizers to our natural milk paints, and as a result they form a brittle, hard coating when dry. And as it dries it shrinks and pulls on previous layers. This can result in pulling away a layer of old paint that is not well adhered to the original surface, or it can result in some very fine cracking or checking that you may notice if you look closely at the surface.

Adding Extra-Bond to the first coat can help alleviate these issues if they were to occur. Therefore, while it is not required, it is our recommendation that you might add Extra-Bond to increase the flexibility of the paint. It will extend the coverage of your first coat. And, while it is not a natural product like the paint itself, Extra-Bond also has zero voc’s, and just a faint smell, like kindergarten paste.



To make one pint of paint- start with 9 oz. (1-1/8 cup) water & a 1-pint package of Safe Paint powder.

To make one quart of paint- start with 18 oz. (2-1/4 cups) water & a 1-quart package of Safe Paint powder.

To make one gallon of paint- start with 72 oz. (9 cups) water & a 1-gallon package of Safe Paint powder.

Note: these amounts are approximate, and may vary with paint color. But they are a good place to start.

After following mixing instructions adjust paint mixture by stirring in a little more water if it seems to be too thick. Consistency should be that of conventional wall paint.


For larger quantities use a paint paddle on an electric drill and a container larger than the amount of paint you are mixing (for example use a 2 1/2 gallon bucket when mixing a gallon of paint). Safe Paint mixes best with a mixer, rather than by hand. We’ve had good results using the “Exomixer” brand paint mixer, the “Original Ribbon Mixer,” which blends vertically and horizontally, and which should be readily available (we found one at Home Depot).

For small amounts use a kitchen mixer and a small round container.

It’s best to use room temperature water.

It is always recommended to add water to your container 1st and then the powder.  This greatly reduces the clumping of powder and makes it easier to mix.  

Start off with about 1/3 of the water in the bucket and gradually add paint powder, mixing until dissolved. Start mixing at low speed until the powder is wet, then increase to a higher speed.

The paint may start off looking foamy and frothy, which is normal.

Keep alternating powder and water in small amounts, thoroughly mixing at each step and not allowing the mixture to get too thick or dry, until you get the desired volume and consistency. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bucket or container while mixing. The paint should now be very smooth and not foamy.

Before pouring the mixed paint into a roller tray, check the bottom of the bucket for lumps — continue mixing until they are gone.

Stir paint every ten minutes or so while using, and add more water to achieve the proper consistency if the paint thickens. Be careful not to thin it too much as you will not achieve good coverage if paint is too thin. If lumps should appear as the paint sits, remix with your mixer.

Note: Safe Paint thickens the most in the first hour after mixing. Therefore it’s important not to leave it unattended after mixing for long periods of time (i.e. lunch breaks, etc.) without being able to stir or thin it if necessary.

If you have paint left over, you may be able to save it, especially if mixed on the thinner side, like light cream. Store in a sealed container or with saran wrap and a rubber band stretched over your mixing vessel. After sitting the paint may need to be remixed.


You will want to use a good quality brush for cutting in, and short nap rollers. Cut in as little as possible around windows, doors, etc. to avoid differences in appearance between brushing and rolling.

Two coats will provide best coverage. Your first coat may not look perfect — that’s normal. Do not keep pushing the paint around. Allow this first coat to dry and form a primer coat. You should have even coverage with your second coat. Too many coats or excessively thick coats can cause cracking and chipping. Paint that is too thin will result in poor coverage. Wait at least two hours between coats. Clean up tools immediately with soap and water.

Any unused powder can be stored indefinitely in an airtight container such as a glass jar.


A natural paint like Safe Paint does have its limitations and quirks, but it has inherently beautiful qualities that you will not see in a chemically based paint. Not only does it give a room character and a certain presence, and changes color in different light throughout the day, but you may also paint your bedroom in the afternoon and sleep in it that night without having to breathe noxious fumes.

Why it’s best to mix up only what you plan to use that day if possible:

Since we choose not to use unnatural extenders or preservatives in our paint, it can thicken and gel up over time. This was true with pre-industrial era milk paint. But we think the inconvenience is worth it to keep our paint truly natural and safe.

You may also notice a slight ammonia odor when opening a stored container of liquid milk paint. This is a natural occurrence and dissipates quickly.

Keep in mind that although Safe Paint may look like conventional flat paint on the wall, it is not like using typical latex or oil-based paint that you might be used to.


We do not recommend Safe Paint for exterior use at this time until further outside exposure testing has been done.

8/2023 – We painted a plain pine board in 2020 and have left it outside exposed to elements as a test.  No Extra Bond or sealer was used.  Our shop is based in Utah, so we get the hot desert heat as well as lots of snow during the winter.  3 years later, the board still looks great.  It has faded some and where the knots in the wood were, the paint has chipped off.  But overall, it still looks great, just a little weathered.


The colors will vary slightly from batch to batch due to minor variations in the natural earth materials. If you wish to change the hues, or make tints of the colors (some are shown on our Old Fashioned Milk Paint color chart), start with Snow White and add colors to suit your taste. Any of our colors may be mixed together to create new colors.

The best way to develop your “ideal color” is to start with a paper cup and some measuring spoons. Mix your powders together first. Try a tablespoon of a major color and add teaspoons or even fractions of teaspoons of another color. Add a little water and mix well. The color will look darker when wet, so paint the sample on a piece of cardboard. The first quick test will show you which direction to go from there. Then simply multiply your measurements and make up the needed quantity. If you are going to use a sealer over the paint, try it first on your test piece to check the final color and sheen.


Decorative finishing, such as graining, marbleizing, sponging, crackling, etc. is an art and not a science. Therefore we cannot stress too strongly the importance of testing every step of your finishing project on scrap or at least on a test area before applying your first coat on your project. Practice and testing cannot be overemphasized. The many books and courses available will help to guide you, but nothing takes the place of practice with small test samples mixed in paper cups.


Just as in Colonial times, and earlier, our Safe Paint milk paint does contain lime, milk protein, clays and earth pigments. We use no lead, no chemical preservatives and no hydrocarbons or other petroleum derivatives. The other ingredients are inert materials.


Safe Paint is non-toxic as it contains no petrochemicals or VOC’S. When wet, our paint has a slight earthy milk odor which will disappear in a few hours. The hydrated lime is highly alkaline, naturally anti-bacterial and lowers its alkalinity as it catalyzes with the acidic milk protein.


Keep the paint powder sealed until ready to use. If it is kept dry and air-tight, it should last indefinitely. If exposed to air or dampness for any period, the active lime becomes inert and turns to chalk. When this happens, the paint won’t mix up properly and if applied can powder off. We recommend storing unused powder in a glass or metal container with a tight lid.


For technical assistance, telephone (435) 255-4556 during normal business hours, 8 – 4 MST, Monday through Wednesday, except on holidays.


Since the use of our products is not under our direct supervision, we cannot guarantee any results of use beyond our control, even though the directions were followed.

Neither seller nor manufacturer shall be liable for any injury, loss or damage, direct or consequential, arising out of the use of, or the inability to use, the product.

Before using, user shall determine the suitability of the product for his intended use and user assumes all risk and liability whatsoever in connection therewith.

Safepaint FAQs

SafePaint is a newly formulated milk paint designed for use on walls. Our original formula was created for porous surfaces like wood and masonry. SafePaint was formulated for use on non-porous surfaces such as previously painted walls and for new sheetrock.

It will also adhere to other surfaces such as metal, or previously finished wood, cabinetry, furniture, etc. And you can certainly use it on porous surfaces like bare wood as well.

Yes, but more easily, especially at higher speeds with a drill paint paddle or a portable kitchen beater. Basically, you still just add water and mix.

SafePaint is available in all twenty colors of our existing palette of Milk Paint, as well as a “Base” with no pigment for those wishing to add their own pigments. And just like our original formula, SafePaint colors may be blended together to create other colors.

The same as our traditional Old Fashioned Milk Paint.

Yes. All colors are now available.

Yes, it doesn’t have the “old world”, uneven, mottled look of our original formula. It’s flat, but much more uniform and consistent over a large area.

It is more water resistant than our original paint, but on surfaces expected to take a lot of abuse you may want to put a clear sealer over the paint. SafePaint is washable once cured.

Yes, it’s as real and true as it gets. A true Milk Paint contains milk protein, lime and pigment.

Our Old-Fashioned Milk Paint and our SafePaint are both organic and bio-degradeable as well as permanent, durable and nonpolluting. They are both the safest paints available.

Walls and Spaces

SAFEPAINT, our newest product, has been developed for one reason, to bring you an environmentally safe paint designed especially for your interior walls. It will give you the same rich velvety finish you expect from our traditional milk paint, but with a consistency of color you expect from more traditional wall paints.Compare SAFEPAINT with our traditional OLD FASHIONED MILK PAINT


SAFEPAINT and OLD FASHIONED MILK PAINT are both genuine milk paint, Using casein ( milk protein) as a binder. They are both organic and bio-degradable, with zero VOCs.


SAFEPAINT adheres better on non-porous surfaces, such as previously painted walls or new sheetrock. However, it will also work on porous surfaces such as raw wood, as well as most previously finished furniture, woodwork, etc., as long as the surface is clean and sound.

OLD FASHIONED MILK PAINT works best on porous surfaces, such as raw wood or masonry. For use on non-porous or sealed surfaces, it is necessary to mix our EXTRA-BOND into the first coat, which acts as a primer.


Walls painted with our OLD FASHIONED MILK PAINT will have a soft, charming old-world streaky or mottled appearance.

Walls painted with SAFEPAINT will have a similar soft matte appearance that will be more consistent and not as uneven as the original formula.


SAFEPAINT and OLD FASHIONED MILK PAINT are equally easy to mix and apply, and are both durable and color-permanent. And the clean-up is easy—just soap and water.


Preparation of walls prior to painting should be the same for both SAFEPAINT and for OLD FASHIONED MILK PAINT. They should be thoroughly cleaned, with any grease or old, chipping paint removed, and then roughed with sand paper. For more information see the SafePaint Product Bulletin.


It is not recommended to use either SAFEPAINT or OLD FASHIONED MILK PAINT on exterior walls.


All-natural paints like SAFEPAINT and OLD FASHIONED MILK PAINT have their little idiosyncrasies and quirks, but do have inherently beautiful qualities you will not find in chemically based paints.

You can paint your bedroom in the afternoon and sleep in the room that night without having to breathe noxious fumes.

Since no unnatural extenders or preservatives are used in the paint formula, it is best to mix only the amount to be used that day. It will thicken and gel with time, so it is best to use it right away.

When opening a stored container of already-mixed milk paint, you may notice a slight odor of ammonia. This is a natural occurrence and dissipates quickly.

Fine, hairline cracks may sometimes be visible in a painted surface, depending on the thickness of the mixture, or on how many layers have been applied. This is a natural occurrence of milk paint. Non-organic paints avoid this effect by adding plastic ingredients.

Our SafePaint was featured on New England Cable News- New England Dream House (Green Dream). You may view the segment here.