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Make your own Paint

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October 10, 2006

Make Natural, Homemade Flour Paint
by Bill Steen
and single jars


Young Living
Ancient Biblical Oils
Lemon Grass
Sea Salt


If you'd like to create a warm and inviting living space, consider
using homemade, eco-friendly paints. Creating your own paint is
considerably less expensive and can be an extremely satisfying
endeavor for anyone whose goal is self-reliance. It's also a safer
choice -- most commercially manufactured paints contain toxic
materials or petroleum-based ingredients that are energy-intensive to
produce. Plus, mixing your own paint is sometimes the only way to
achieve a specific color or effect. In fact, natural paints offer
unique finishes very different from those of manufactured products.

Flour paint is among the simplest and most versatile of all homemade
paints. It can be applied to most interior surfaces, including bare
wood and drywall, stone, wallpaper, earthen and gypsum plasters,
masonry and previously painted surfaces. (Avoid using flour paint over
joint compound.)

In the recipe below, flour acts as a binder that keeps the paint glued
to a surface. The clay acts as a filler and pigment, but you can
substitute any combination of finely ground inert materials, such as
chalk, mica, marble, limestone or silica for the clay. If you want a
textured surface, use more coarsely screened materials.

Flour paint is too thick for use with a roller, and it tends to be
hard on brushes. Choose inexpensive brushes with natural bristles --
nothing fancy -- and stock up. When first applying flour paint, the
brush marks will be evident. To remove the marks, wait until the paint
has begun to dry and smooth over with a damp sponge or clean, damp
brush. Going over the surface again when the paint has become leathery
will also help reveal the mica or other filler.


Yields 1 quarts

1 cup flour

5 1/2 cups cold water

1 cup screened clay (clay can be purchased from artists' supply stores
in a wide variety of colors)

1/2 cup additional powder filler, such as mica

1. Mix flour with 2 cups cold water, whisking to remove lumps.

2. Bring 1 cups water to boil, then add the flour water from Step 1.

3. Turn heat to low, stirring until thick paste develops. Remove from

4. Dilute the paste with 2 cups water, a little at a time.

5. In a separate work bowl, combine clay with powder filler.

6. Add filler mixture to diluted flour paste until desired consistency
is achieved.

Expert Tips for Using Homemade Flour Paint

* When making your own paint, it is important to experiment, test,
experiment, and test some more. Keep it fun! If you play for a while
first, you're sure to end up with a beautiful combination of rich
colors and interesting textures.
* For best results, clean all surfaces thoroughly before painting.
* Homemade flour paints contain food ingredients and should be used
soon after mixing. You can refrigerate them, but the binding ability
may diminish.
* It may be difficult to create exactly the same color over and over
again. Try to mix as much paint as you can reasonably use in one work

To learn more about mixing your own paint, read Make Safe,
Natural Paint
by Bill Steen in the Oct./Nov. 2006 issue of Mother Earth News.

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