Paint has been something that mankind has relied upon for eons.
Whether you’re painting a brand new house or trying your hand at art with an easel, there’s a good chance you’ve reached for a tin of paint at some time or another, probably without giving a second thought to the possible consequences.
However, paint might not be as safe as we once thought, and not just for our health but the planet’s as well.
Although we rely on it for so many different applications, the tides are changing, and it seems even popular paint manufacturers are looking at ways they can create their own natural types of paint, and you can too.
How do you make natural paint at home?
If you want to avoid the nasty chemicals found in most paints, there are some DIY methods you can use to create your own, including flour and linseed oil. Finding and creating the pigments to get the colors you want can be a lot of fun, and it’s an activity you can get the kids involved with as well.
Even though we know by now the numerous health issues that paint has caused over the years, it’s been a necessity that many can’t go without, especially when it comes to building a new home or repainting an old one.
Therefore, we’ll show you the eco-friendly and fun way to create your own natural paint, so you can enjoy the beauty of color without the worry of potential health effects.
Why Would You Make Natural Paints?
Paint is a part of so many of our lives and is used for everything from school art projects to creating our dream home.
However, it should come as no surprise that some ingredients in paint are detrimental to our health, and even though the more dangerous older types of paint have been banned, there’s still a lot to worry about.
Creating your own natural paint is a great way to sidestep all of this nasty stuff so you can feel good about what you have in your home and what your kids are using.
You’ll never have to worry about potential side effects or spend a lot of money choosing paint brands that have more natural options but still cost a fortune.
Another reason to create your own paint is to get your children involved in an activity that’s both educational and fun.
By letting them come up with ways to create pigments or mix paint, and then apply it to whatever work of art they’re making, you’re showing them that there’s usually a natural way to do anything, and it’s usually a lot of fun.
What’s in Paint?
To get an idea of why you might want to create a natural paint solution, you only have to look at what your average can of house paint contains.
The most pressing issue is the presence of volatile organic compounds or VOCs which include acetone, toluene, and benzene, commonly found in these types of paints.
Some of these chemicals have the potential to cause serious illness, and they’re not something you want to use around your children regularly. Furthermore, using products like paint thinners and strippers can also be dangerous, so on the whole it’s an area to be concerned about.
These days, some brands are leading the way and creating natural paints and those free from VOCs.
Although it’s a major step in the right direction and something you can feel good about using with your family, the price of them is sometimes double what regular house paint costs, so not always viable in every scenario.
How to Make Natural Paint at Home
While it might not make sense to create gallons of your own natural paint to cover your house in, there’s no harm in getting your hands messy and experimenting with these DIY recipes.
We’ve found a great way to create eco-friendly and human-friendly paint at home that you can try, and some fun ways to use them.
To get an understanding of how we can make natural paint, we need to look at what’s in it exactly.
The main components of paint are the pigments that lend it its color, a binder that allows the paint to stick to whatever we apply it to, and fillers or solvents that either thin it down or thicken it up, making it easier to use.
Most of these components come from a chemical form, but there are ways to switch them out for natural products to make something healthier to use. Natural pigments can be found from things like fruits and plants, and even in some cases insects.
For a binder, you can opt for something like linseed oil or flour, and to fill it up or thin it down, clay and pure citrus juices are ideal. With these simple swaps, you’ll be able to create a messy but healthier version of paint and have a whole lot of fun in the process.
How to Make Color Pigments
The color of your paint is the most crucial part, so choosing a pigment that’s going to be bright and effective is important.
If you’d rather purchase natural pigment from the store and skip this step, you can add it to your paint when it’s done, otherwise, these are some options for creating your own.
- Turmeric or ginger powder can be used to create a yellow or orange hue and is already dried and ready to go.
- For fruits like blueberries and strawberries, strain them through a colander and extract as much juice as you can. Add it to flour to get the right consistency.
- Steep some spinach leaves in hot water to extract a bold green flavor. With the colored water, add it to flour or directly to your paint mixture to see the results.
How to Make Flour Paint
If you’d rather make paint with flour from the pantry, it’s easy enough to do. With this recipe, you can paint things like wood, wallpaper, masonry, and even drywall, provided you get the consistency right.
For surfaces that are regularly cleaned, it should be avoided, but otherwise, you can have fun experimenting.
- Mix one cup of flour with two cups of cold water and whisk vigorously until all combined.
- Pour the mixture into a small sauced and add a cup and half of boiling water, bringing it to a simmer.
- Once it’s achieved a paste-like consistency, take it off the heat and add small amounts of water to thin it down.
- In another clean container, mix one cup of clay filler with a half cup of limestone of mica as your natural powder filler.
- Mix the two separate pastes together so that it resembles paint, and then add your choice of color pigmentation.
- Stir through the natural pigment until it has a smooth texture and even color, and allow it to cool down before using.
- Paint your surface with a cheaper paintbrush, as the flour can dry out quickly and damage more expensive kinds.
Making your own paint with natural ingredients is one effective way you can do a swap and make a difference, without having to feel bad about what you’re bringing into your home.
If you’ve been considering other natural and eco-friendly alternatives you can try for yourself, we’ve got the answers to some commonly asked questions surrounding them.
Can You Make Homemade Bug Spray?
To keep mosquitoes and other flying insects away without relying on chemically-laden products, use a mixture of citrus and eucalyptus oils.
Mix these with a carrier oil that allows it to be rubbed onto the skin, and you’ll have a natural solution to keeping these bugs at bay, although one that might be as effective as the store-bought variety.
What is Green Cleaning?
Green cleaning is a method of cleaning your house that relies on products made with natural ingredients, with less of a reliance on harsh chemicals.
How Can I Make My Kitchen More Eco Friendly?
There are lots of simple ways to reduce your impact on the environment from your kitchen, including reusable grocery bags, starting a compost pile to create your own fertilizer, and not letting any tap water go to waste.
With a few small changes, you can start to see a difference, and likely save yourself a lot of money in the process, as well as the environment.