- Arts and Design
How to Make Natural Paint
Up until the discovery of petrolatum and the introduction of toxic chemicals, paints were created using natural ingredients such as: linseed oil, lime, casein from milk, turpentine, citrus oils, chalk and hemp oil.
Natural pigments were also used to color the paint. However, this is not the case anymore.
Although major paint manufacturers are now producing more environmentally friendly paints, a good majority of them can still contain more than 450 hazardous substances, mainly voc's.
Voc's (Volatile Organic Compounds) belong to a family of chemicals that evaporate quickly and leave an undesirable odor such as toluene, xylene and formaldehyde.
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Toluene, also known as methyl-benzene or phenylmethane is a clear, water-insoluble liquid and is derived from the tropical Columbian tree Myroxylon Balsamum. Low levels also occur naturally in crude oil.
Toluene is typically found in paints, paint thinners, chemical reactants, rubber, printing ink, adhesives, lacquers, leather tanners and disinfectants. The toxic fumes enter the human body through vapor evaporation and soil contamination.
Long term effects of deliberately inhaling toluene can cause an array of damage, mostly to the brain. Low exposure can also have side effects, especially to women who are pregnant.
Xylene is a highly flammable solvent that is used in the printing, rubber and leather industries. It is a colorless sweet smelling liquid that is often inhaled deliberately because of it's intoxicating properties. It can be found, among others, in paint, paint thinners and varnishes.
Xylene is very toxic to the brain causing a variety of symptoms depending on the levels of exposure. It can cause headaches, confusion, skin and eye irritation, difficulty in breathing and at very high levels can cause death.
Formaldehyde is a toxic gas used predominantly in the embalming industry to preserve human remains and fix the tissues. Textile industries use it on fabric to maintain crease resistance. It is also used by paint manufactured.
Formaldehyde can trigger allergies, asthma, irritate the eyes and cause headaches. It is a known toxin, allergen and carcinogen.
Oil paints are the worst offenders, containing up to 60% of voc's while water-based latex can carry up to 10%. Wood stains can also be just as toxic. Fumes can trigger allergies, asthma and disorders of the nervous system. They are also responsible, in part, to ground levels of smog.
Reducing any ill symptoms due to voc's can be as simple as choosing eco-friendly varieties or making your own.
Create you own!
So, if you'd rather not use chemically laden paints, then whip up your own batch using the recipes below. Have fun!
Milk Paint Recipe #1
1 Quart skim milk (room temperature)
1 Once of hydrated lime by weight ( Do not use quick lime)
1 to 2 1/2 pounds of chalk may also be added as a filler.
Stir together milk and lime to form a smooth paste. Add color pigment of your choice and apply with a natural bristle brush. Allow first coat to dry sufficiently before applying another. Finish off with an oil finish if desitred.
Milk Paint Recipe #2
One Gallon Skim Milk
Two Cups Builders Lime (Do NOT use Quick Lime)
One Quart Linseed Oil (the boiled type)
1/2 Cup of Salt
Dye (Color) add in as needed
Mix all ingredients together and strain through a cheesecloth. Use within a day or two.
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Environmentally Friendly Paint Companies
This company was founded by chemists John Farrow and Richard Ball in the 1930s in a little town called Dorset, England. They built their reputation by manufacturing paints using the finest raw materials and maintaining traditional formulations.
Milk Paint Recipe #3
Powdered Skim Milk
Mix just enough pwoder and water to create the consistency of paint. Add food coloring of your choice or make a tincture with various herbs and vegetables. Strain through a cheesecloth.
Flour Finger Paint
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- Wire whisk or eggbeater
- 1 1/4 cups hot water
- Food coloring or powdered tempera paint
Mix the flour and salt in the saucepan. Beat in the cold water until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the hot water and boil the mixture until it's thick, then beat it again until it's smooth. Tint the paint however you like with food coloring or powdered tempera paint. Cover the paint and refrigerate it for storage.
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Milk Paint is now gaining an even wider usage because it contains only ingredients that are all-natural and will not harm the environment. Our authentic real milk paint is truly a "green paint".
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Gallagher's Milk Paint distributes sample kits of Genuine Old Fashioned Home Made Milk Paint. Our 1 oz. sample sizes are perfect for new users who wish to try Milk Paint for the first time
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AFM has become the only company in the world to offer a complete line of chemically responsible, non-polluting paint and building products that not only meet the highest performance standards.
Hempola Valley Farms store offers a wide variety of hemp products from soaps to salad dressings, paper to clothing and yes, even wood finishes.