Flour Paint: A DIY Solution

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There are tons of eco-friendly paint options out there now, but some DIYers are taking it one step further by making their own paint. The easiest type of paint to make is by using something everyone has in their kitchen – flour!
Wheat flour is the most popular kind to use though you can use other grains as the binder as well. Clay is typically used as the filler, but any combination of finely ground inert materials, such as chalk, mica, marble, limestone or silica will work. Use more coarsely screened products if you want a textured surface.
You’ll want to use natural bristles to apply, since the paint is too thick for rollers. The brush marks will be evident at first. To remove the marks, wait until the paint has begun to dry and smooth over with a damp sponge or clean, damp brush.


Here’s a recipe for flour paint from Mother Earth News:
(Yields 1 1/2 quarts)

Ingredients

1 cup flour
5 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup screened clay filler (clay can be purchased in a wide variety of colors)
1/2 cup additional powder filler, such as mica

Directions

1. Mix flour with 2 cups cold water, whisking to remove lumps.
2. Bring 11/2 cups water to boil, then add the flour water from Step 1.
3. Turn heat to low, stirring until thick paste develops. Remove from heat.
4. Dilute the paste with 2 cups water, a little at a time.
5. In a separate work bowl, combine clay with powder filler.
6. Add filler mixture to diluted flour paste until desired consistency is achieved.
Photo: onehappysnapper

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Timothy Dahl

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.