This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The past two years I have been experimenting in cheap materials for painting both outside and inside; and find the following gives the most satisfaction where one does not wish to go to the expense of lead and oil paints.
Take a half bushel of lime, put it in a barrel and pour enough boiled water upon it to allow the lime to slack without its burning; cover in the steam, and, when dry, run it through a medium sized sieve.
Take a bucket half full of this powder and pour as much sweet milk upon it, as will fill the bucket three-fourths full; the milk must be sweet milk, either new or skimmed will do, but buttermilk must not be used. To every bucket of this mixture add one pound of silicate of soda and stir the whole thoroughly; if too thick, add more milk; if too thin, add the slacked lime until you have it to suit you. This can be applied outside or inside on smooth or rough surfaces, with almost any kind of brush, and does not require very skilled labor in its application.
This produces a dull white color; but if a gray, or black, is wanted, add lamp black. Venetian red will produce a reddish brown, or pink color, according to the quantity used. Spanish brown will give another shade. Ultramarine blue will give any shade of blue that is desired.
With these materials, all of which are very cheap, almost any desired tint may be produced, which can be applied to wood, brick, stone, or plaster any where. If oil paint has been used before, the slacked lime should be used with half whiting.