Natural Paint

Home made paint with honey-berries with (left) and without (right) vinegar.

 Ingredients (modify the quantities if needed to minimize waste) :

  • 40gr sugar
  • 8gr salt
  • 60gr corn starch (maizena)
  • 250ml water (finger paint); or 400ml for liquid paint.
  • Preservatives:
    • few drops of tea tree essential oil
    • or few milliliters vinegar; but vinegar is acid and might change the color. So you can play with it!
  • Colors:
    • Hard: crush it before mixing it
    • Fruits/vegetable: make a paste before mixing it
    • Plants/onion skin: cook it in water to extract the color
    • Powder (spices): mix it

Preparation (5 min for unstained paint; hours of pleasure and experimentation to test plenty of different dyes 😉):

Mix all ingredients together and stir very well.

For the dyes, just try what you have at home; it is even better if you use green waste after cooking. (You can start a collection of possible dye product in your freezer; so you can take them out when you decide to make some paint!).

I’ve collected those dye tip from a website called recyclenation:

  • Brown: earth, coffee and black tea.
  • Purple/Red/Pink: Berries (strawberries, cherries, huckleberries, blackberries, elderberries, black currants, red currants and raspberries), beets, roses, pomegranates, hibiscus, day lilies and basil leaves.
  • Blue: Blueberries with some distilled vinegar, purple grapes, red cabbage and elderberries.
  • Grey: Wood ash.
  • Yellow: Onion skins, Turmeric, sunflower petals, bay leaves, dandelion flowers, marigolds and celery leaves.
  • Green: Artichokes, spinach, peppermint leaves, lilacs or just plain grass.
  • Orange: Chili powder, paprika and carrots.

CAVE!!! colors might change after drying!!

“Art” with the natural the paint (from picture at the top of the page). Both pink paint turned blue after drying (left eye: paint with vinegar).