Here's a look at the conversation, which covers the company's history, the milk paint creation process and more:
Coatings World: Where did the idea come from to begin experimenting with/using milk paint and starting The Real Milk Paint Co.?
Dwayne Siever: "Before the inception of Real Milk Paint Co, I repaired antique furniture in Pennslyvania.
"Much of the furniture was polychrome painted by Germanic influence in that area. Trying to match handmade paints with modern paint drove me to frustration. I started to research through old formula books on how paint was made.
"Milk paint provided the matte flat rich paint I needed to match the antique furniture.
"I then launched a company called D.O. Siever Products that sold pigment powders. On the back of the brochures was a formula for making milk paint from scratch. Customer feedback indicated that they had no time to make the paint. So after a year of experimenting with dry powder formulas, I developed the formula we use today. [After] we sold $1,000 worth of paint at our first outdoor show, I knew I was on to something.
CW: What sets milk paint apart from other paint types?
Siever: "It is natural, has little to no odor, [and] no off gassing when painting or after drying. It can be 100 percent disposed in the garden or yard and will benefit the soil."
CW: What is the process for creating milk paint?
Siever: Liquid milk paint – from scratch – is made by adding acid (vinegar) as rennet to milk to get the curd out. This is hung to dry in cheesecloth. Then lime is added to make the curd dissolve. When that process is complete pigment color is added. Then you are ready to paint."
CW: How long does the process take?
Siever: About 2 to 3 hours to make from scratch.
CW: What are the benefits of milk paint?
Siever: "Milk paint is safe for you, your pets, and the planet. It has a unique bold, bright look that is unmatched by modern paint. Modern paints sit on top of a surface and can look plastic and heavy. Real Milk Paint is thin yet full of color, allowing surface details to show."
CW: What are the best applications for milk paint?
Siever: "Any porous surface: Wood, stone, concrete, stucco, plaster."
CW: How do you get the different hues?
Siever: "Real Milk Paint is colored by iron oxides. You can see iron oxide on the roadside in rock face, yellows and reds."
CW: Where can one purchase Real Milk Paint?
Siever: "Real Milk Paint can be found at over 350 U.S. retailers and also in Spain and [across] Europe."
CW: How did the business grow and how much has changed since 1995 (when RMP was founded)?
Siever: Real Milk Paint Co. grew up in the internet age. I traded my first website for a refinished mahogany end table.
"The internet was way simpler then. Search engines would actually beg for URL listings so they could be the biggest.
"We have transitioned through four packaging designs. We started with only 10 colors and we now have 55. The world has become much smaller since 1995, however our formula and commitment to making the best and safest products has not."
Real Milk Paint Co. is based in Hohenwald, Tenn. The company is on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
Photo and video courtesy Real Milk Paint Co.