Green Building/Remodeling

Published on February 17th, 2012 | by Lynn Fang


Make Your Own Natural Flour Paint

paint can

If you’re thinking about giving your home a new paint job, consider using natural, homemade paint. Most regular paint contains toxic materials that off-gas, often known as VOC’s. VOC’s cause respiratory disorders and disrupt your endocrine system. They also contain petroleum-based ingredients that are energy-intensive to produce.

There are eco-friendly and VOC-free paints available, but these are often expensive. Natural paints give you greater creative freedom to mix colors, and their finish is often different from manufactured paints.

There are different ways to make natural paint. They can use materials like flour, starch, milk, or linseed oil. Flour paint is best for interior surfaces, while oil based paints are great for outdoor use.

Flour paint is one of the most simple and versatile of all homemade paints. You can apply it to most interior surfaces. You can use any type of grain flour you like, but the most common is wheat flour.

A filler is used to add texture and bulk to paint. Clay is often used with flour because it reinforces the binding ability of starch. If you have clay soil, then you have a free and plentiful source of clay.

Working with flour paint tends to be hard on brushes, so be sure to have plenty of inexpensive brushes with natural bristles, nothing fancy. When the flour paint dries, it will leave behind brush marks. Wait until the paint has dried, then smooth over the brush marks with a damp sponge or clean, damp brush.

Flour Paint:

Makes 1 1/2 quarts

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup screened clay filler
  • 1/2 cup additional powder filler, such as mica
  1. Mix flour with 2 cups cold water, whisking to remove lumps.
  2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil, then add the flour water mix.
  3. Turn heat to low, stirring until thick paste develops. Remove from heat.
  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 you reach your desired consistency

Now you can paint your walls, furniture, or whatever else you like. Be sure to paint on a surface that is dry and won’t receive moisture, or else the paint may begin to run.

Have fun!

[Image from Shutterstock]

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About the Author

is a compost consultant and educator, eco-conscious writer, and intuitive artist. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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