Using Natural Paints

Passing on what we learn – Using Natural Paints

Today houses can have any type of color from soft hues to bright vivid ones. But how was it before? People always had an eye for beauty, and having a house with colors was important even centuries ago, for the poor and for the rich alike.

Living an ecological life and one closer to nature requires a lot of sacrifices, but beauty is not one of them. Beauty and simplicity is what you gain, together with freedom. Ecological earth houses are some of the most beautiful ones that you have ever seen. As you can see on the photo we experimented with various natural paints. It is possible to make a tiled house this way, using various colors.

Nature hold all the colors that you need. It is a wonder how much treasure you can find just by looking around. During our ecological workshop led by Sebastian Herdlicka, we experimented with various ecological paints. You can make ecological paints out of herbs, stones, earth, plants, berries and many other things as well.

Ecological paints can be prepared relatively easily. First you have to collect natural stones, herbs, earth and prepare them to be mixed. We used blueberries for a soft blue color, kurkuma for a yellow color, clay for a beautiful orange-brown color, charcoal for black. You can use calendula for yellow and lady’s bed-straw for a deeper yellow. Feel free to experiment with other herbs, ashes, spices and natural stones as well that you can find around you. In Morocco for example I will never forget the mesmerizing sky colored stones, the indigo stones. St Johns Wort, or as I like to call them the bloodflowers are also worth to try.

The ecological paint is made of three parts: the coloring (herb, stone etc.), aged lime and whey. Use glass jars and create a separate mixture for each herb, berry or stone. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the herbs and stones.Aged lime is the best (over three years old) because it will make the paint clear. Whey is the clear water like liquid that you get when you make cheese or yoghurt. Use 1 part lime and 8 parts whey. Mix well for a few minutes then add the pigments, and let it sit for a while. You can use this then on the finished walls. Always test your paint first before you start painting. Also keep in mind that some paints fade in time.

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Experimenting with natural paints

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