Saturday, February 8, 2014

Show and Tell Saturday: Milk Paint

Do you have a pin which has intrigued you from the moment you saw it? I have quite a few of those, and this week I finally decided to test one out. Behold...the milk paint pin:

The Original Pin:
(That's as big as blogger will let me make it)
Artist Kir Rostovsky created this piece of art entitled "Milky Way", using milk as his paint. Cool, no?! As you see in the photo, he then applies heat to the page and his painting comes to life. I thought that was so cool! I've wanted to see how it works, if it works, and if it stays or fades. So this week I finally tested it, and the results...were mixed. Here's how my attempt went:

In October I showed you the portrait I did of Cameron and I using this tutorial:

I decided that I wanted to do a portrait of Darrow in the same style to go in our entryway with our portrait and figured this milk paining would be perfect for this!

I picked the photo I wanted, tweaked it according to the tutorial directions (only I do a few more layers than she does) and printed my photo out. 

I got it all traced onto the paper and ran into the kitchen for my cup of milk. 

It was a little hard to see where I had already painted, but I finally found an angle where I could see the light reflecting off the wet areas. 

And then for the test...the iron. It worked! The milk turned the awesome golden brown. But, the iron also smeared the graphite from the pencil around and it wouldn't erase off. Hmmm, not the look I wanted. 

So I decided to try again with a more simple photo:

This time I traced the picture onto the back of the paper and went over the lines really well with a pen. It was going fine until I titled the paper up too far on my 2nd layer of milk paint (1st layer: I paint just the black areas, 2nd layer I paint the black and gray areas), and the milk ran down the page. In frustration I just splattered the page with milk and tossed it aside. 

I gave it one more go, but when I went to iron it I discovered the iron had burned milk residue on it, which transferred to the page (the page on the far left in the photo below).  

And that's where I gave up because it was time to go pack for my weekend out of state. So, this seems like a Pinstrosity, and it really halfway is. But, I do now know that this does work and I have some fun plans for this for next week. Here are some things I will try (or wish I could try) to up my success:
  1. Clean the iron really well before doing this project. 
  2. I'm wishing I was in possession of a light box. That would make this so much easier. No transferring the design from one page to another, just painting. I tried using the screen to our dinosaur laptop as a light box, but it didn't work. 
  3. Be more patient with the ironing. It worked better when I would leave it stationary, picking it up and putting it down to move it around rather than gliding it over the page. 
Hopefully by my next Show and Tell Saturday I'll have a complete Milk Paint success to show you. 


  1. You could try something like this?

    1. I was going to suggest something like this, but I ended up doing something a little different. I just used a clear plastic container with a night light, plugged into an extension cord, underneath it. With paper over the top it diffuses pretty well.

  2. did you let the milk dry before ironing it? It's a really cool idea, I have to give it a try!

  3. If you aren't supposed to let the milk dry before ironing, you may want to put another piece of paper over it before Ironing. That way it won't get in the iron, and won't smear the graphite.

  4. This is invisible ink. Like what kids use to pretend to be spies. I've done this just waving the paper over a toaster. I let it dry though?


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