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Man has painted since time immemorial, however, the paints used by our ancestors in caves have little to do with the synthetic paints and varnishes that are currently used. It is enough to read the labels to verify the amount of toxic agents they contain, derived from the petrochemical industry that can affect our health (skin, respiratory tract and eyes).

This type of paint is just as harmful to the environment due to the amount of heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, etc.) and volatile organic compounds (xylene, toluene, ketones, phenols…) that they contain and that last for weeks. and months after its application. In addition, synthetic paints and varnishes burn easily, giving off toxic gases that can be fatal.

For all these reasons there are more and more people who prefer eco-paints or ecological paints over synthetic paints and varnishes. In order for a paint to be considered ecological, its components must be of natural origin (minerals and vegetables), from renewable and bioderadable sources. For this, minerals such as iron oxide or talc are used, as well as oils, resins and inks that come from the roots, leaves, bark and fibers of various plants. Water is often used as a solven

For little money and a few ingredients we can make our own paints, learn how to make homemade ecological paints.

1. Oil painting

For this type of paint you will need oil as a binder and mineral pigments to give it color. The recommended type of oil is flax or linseed oil and the preparation is very simple since you only have to mix the oil with the color until it is completely dissolved.

This type of paint is usually used on untreated wood and a final finish can be given with waxes to protect the result obtained.

2. Milk paint

Milk paint uses the casein in milk as a binder. To obtain the casein from the milk we will need a liter of milk, it is put on the fire in a saucepan and set aside just before it begins to boil. Outside the heat, add 50 cc of white vinegar, stirring little by little, then use a strainer or filter to separate the whey from the rennet (lumpy part), which is what we will use to make the paint.

As a base pigment we will use about 50 grams of lime, chalk or marble dust, which we will dissolve with a little water before adding it to the milk rennet. Once we have obtained a homogeneous mixture of the rennet and the pigment, we will add the water that is necessary to obtain the appropriate consistency for painting.

Milk paint has an opaque finish and its color fades once dry, so several coats are necessary to obtain the desired color. It is suitable for absorbent surfaces such as plaster, cement or natural wood, however it does not adhere to metal or plastic surfaces, with glossy finish paints or synthetic enamels. We can give it a finish with colorless wax to waterproof and make the paint last longer.

3. Lime paint

Lime paint is cheap, disinfectant and allows the walls to breathe. For its preparation we will need from 2 to 4 kilos of construction lime or hydrated lime, 1 kilo of salt and 250 cc of vinyl glue (it can be replaced by 250 grams of powdered milk and water). All the ingredients are mixed with the pigment and we will have our lime paint ready to use.

The amount of lime we use will depend on the consistency we want to give the paint, the more lime it has, the thicker it will be. Also keep in mind that you have to stir the mixture quite frequently as the lime tends to go to the bottom of the container.

Este tipo de pintura suele utilizarse para pintar exteriores o interiores rústicos y generalmente se colorea con óxidos.


4. Starch paint

Starch can be used as a binder in paint thanks to its binding and thickening power. To prepare the starch paint we will need 150 grams of potatoes or rice, water, plaster and pigment.

First of all we will cook the potatoes or the rice and make a puree, then we will add about 400 ml of boiling water, mix everything and filter it through a fine cloth. On the other hand, we dilute the plaster and the pigment with a little cold water and join it to the previous mixture.

This paint provides a velvety finish and is ideal for interior walls, wood and cardboard. If we want to give it a shinier finish and make it waterproof, we can add a tablespoon of linseed oil.

5. Blackboard paint, chalk or chalk paint

I have already told you about blackboard paint, it is ideal for painting practically all types of surfaces (plaster, metal, wood, glass…). To this day it is the only one of the 5 that I have tried, so I encourage you to make your own homemade blackboard paint with which you will obtain excellent results for very little money.

As you have seen, making an ecological painting is not that difficult. I always recommend trying the paint on a part that is not visible or on a similar material to see the results, so I encourage you to make your compositions since, economically, little can be lost but we can gain a lot in terms of health and well-being.