Mother Earth Living


Homemade Paint: Make Your Own Paint

Making your own paint—in a wide range of colors and effects—can be fun, satisfying and less expensive than buying an off-the-shelf product.



The rich earth tones in the Steens’ “mandala shed”—so called, because of the carved mandala on the front—are achieved with a casein wash over an earth plaster using burnt umber.
Near a window seat in their guest cottage, Bill and Athena brushed casein paint over lime plaster yielding this rich variety of earthen tones.
Photo by Christiaan Blok
Casein paint creates dazzling colors for interiors and exteriors.
Photo by Christaan Blok
Use a blender to thoroughly combine lime putty with the curds, to form a glue-like mixture.
The first step in making clay paint is to mix the flour and cold water together using a whisk or other tool to help prevent lumps in the mixture.
When making casein paint, first let milk sour to make curds, then drain off the excess whey (liquid) by using a strainer or hanging the curds in a cheesecloth.
Step two: Pour the cold flour-water mixture into boiling water smoothly and mix with a whisk.
After adding pigments, pour the mixed casein and lime putty into water to make your paint.
Mixing starch paint with an all-natural pigment.
Arjuna, Bill and Athena’s twelve-year-old son, artfully brushes swirls of rust-colored starch paint.
Grinding pigment from natural mineral and plant sources into casein paint creates rich colors.
Blue-green casein paint achieves a soft and light hue, perfect for the bedroom.











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