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Friday, June 25, 2010

Coughing and wheezing be gone!

Have you ever had the experience of going to the paint store, picking out your favorite color of paint JUST for this one room and (knowing it will match perfectly and all the people in the paint store are envious of your dream room with its dream color) getting home and popping off the lid only to be greeted with a fit of nausea from the toxic smell?

Maybe not, but think hard about the contents of paint...why do you have to dispose of oil paints in a special way? Why does it smell so terrible?? You think there must be something not natural in the mixture, you say? Hey, we must be twins because you just thought the same thought that I did only days ago! Instead of choosing to suck it up and stomach the fumes, I experimented with natural paint recipes with ingredients I could count on one hand and pronounce! The first (and only) that I tried is casein paint. Basically all you do is leave milk in the sun to curdle, combine it with some clay, water and lime (not the fruit) and voila! Oh, and add some pigment if you don't want the whole house to be a brown color. Maura and I were really afraid of the results, thinking it would smell of spoiled milk and stay the odd puke-yellow that it started out as...but no need to worry, there is NO smell and the puke yellow turned to a beautiful/bright earthy yellow! I experimented with my own ratios, but I generally followed the recipe at Mother Earth News.

Casein Paint with Lime (Yields about 1 quart)

1 gallon nonfat milk
2 1/2 ounces “Type S” lime (dry powder available at hardware stores)
2 1/2 cups water
Natural earth pigment (more or less depending on desired color)
6 cups filler (usually whiting, I used clay because it's free)