How to Make Your Own Natural Paint

Daniel Barrows

Making your own natural paint is a fun and creative way to add a little ecofriendly color to your walls or furniture, or to entertain children on a rainy afternoon.

It can also be a more economical alternative to purchasing paint from a store, with the added benefits that your natural paint will have no unpleasant odor or hazardous chemical ingredients. Making your own paint is a simple procedure, easily accomplished in less than an hour; odds are, you already have many of the necessary ingredients in your kitchen cupboard.

  1. Pour 1 cup of flour into a mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of water and mix the ingredients together. Continue mixing until all the lumps disappear.

  2. Pour 1½ cups of water into a large pot; bring the water to a boil. Add the flour and water mixture to the pot; stir the contents of the pot continuously, to ensure an even consistency.

  3. Turn down the heat under the pot. Continue to stir the ingredients until they congeal into a paste. Keep stirring, but pour in additional water to bring the paint to the desired thickness.

  4. Remove the paint from the heat and continue stirring. Ensure that there are no lumps in the mixture before proceeding.

  5. Divide the paint mixture into as many portions as you want different colors. Add food coloring or filler materials such as clay or chalk to give your paint a pigment. Stir the pigment into the paint in order to ensure an even distribution. Your natural paint is now ready for use.

  6. Tip

    If your paint is thick, you may notice visible brushstrokes after application. Rub a moistened sponge over the paint to smooth out the surface. Experiment with your filler materials. For example, you may be able to get an attractive natural pigment without the use of food coloring by using different shades of clay. For best results, use your natural paint as quickly as possible. When storing excess paint, keep it in an airtight container. Depending on the surface area you plan to paint, you may need to modify the recipe. The simplest way is by doubling or tripling the ingredients; store the excess paint for future use.


    Allow your paints to cool completely prior to use. Natural flour-based paints often have a thick consistency; use an old, disposable paintbrush.