The city's lawsuit demanded $52 million to pay for removal of lead paint from buildings in poor neighborhoods. Jurors ruled 10-2 that the paint is a nuisance but found by the same margin for the company, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Richard Lewis, the city's lead lawyer, said Milwaukee is considering an appeal.
Don Scott, who represents NL Industries, said the suit involved products the company sold between 1890 and 1960.
"Now it's time for the city to begin the more important task of going after the landlords who are responsible for this problem," Scott said.
The company still faces hundreds of personal injury suits involving lead-based paint.