“This is the perfect paint for furniture and interior walls, especially for those that want to avoid chemical fumes in their home. Though I found this in "The Natural Formula Book for Home and Yard" by Dan Wallace, he credits his source as being the original edition of "Dick's Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes" published in 1895. This reminds me of the mix that my grandfather used to make, though I really don't know how close it is. Note that this is a translucent finish, perfect for letting the wood grain shine through, as is so popular today. Please try a small batch on a test piece of wood for best results. NOTES: It is lime and not the fruit limes (but this format will not let me enter it in singular form). Do not use spoiled milk. The Spanish white is also known as commercial whiting.”
2/3 gallon

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 6 ounces hydrated limes (or agricultural lime)
  • 12 gallon skim milk
  • 4 ounces linseed oil
  • 3 lbs finely powdered Spanish white
  • powdered pigment (optional)


  1. Put the lime into a bucket and add enough milk to make it the consistency of cream.
  2. Add the oil, a small amount at a time, stirring the mixture with a wooden spatula or spoon.
  3. Stir in the rest of the milk.
  4. Strew the whiting gently over the surface of the mixture.
  5. The whiting will gradually sink to the bottom of the bucket; it should then be well stirred into the mixture.
  6. If you are making colored paint, stir in the powdered pigment last, a little at a time, until you get the desired color.
  7. For best results, test this on a small area to determine if color is pleasing. Remember to go easy on the color as you can always darken the paint.
  8. Adding additional lime will make this more opaque, but no directions are given.

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