It’s Like Squeezing Paint From A Goat

In the days before Home Depot paint departments, people splashed colour onto their walls the old fashioned way: using a mixture of pigment, lime and milk. Now, one Northern California farm is reviving this ancient tradition with the help of its resident goat herds.

Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero, California, is primarily in the cheese-making business but has begun siphoning off a portion of its dairy production for making paint. The process, described in the video above, is simply fascinating. First, the milk is processed into soap, then grated into thin shavings, and then combined with flax seed oil, chalk and pigments to create flat, rustic tones. Interestingly, the paint, when applied, doesn’t so much dry as it cures, leaving a nearly permanent pigment coat that will last for years.

However, unlike the canned paint you get at Bunnings, Harley Farm’s paint comes with an expiration date and will actually curdle (as milk is wont to do) if not used immediately. You’d better clear some space in the fridge if you decide to redecorate using this stuff. [Harley Farms via Modern Farmer]