The frequently asked questions are collected by the artist herself and she answers from experience.
We regularly get questions why Natural Earth Paint products are so much more expensive in the Netherlands than in the USA. We would like to explain this briefly: If you order products from countries outside Europe, VAT and import duties are due upon arrival in the Netherlands. In the case of the product paint/paint related, this is 6-9% depending on the specific product. In addition, 21% VAT and declaration costs / customs duties.
|4. Carbon Footprint / Environmental Impact|
|5. Pigment Specific / Color Questions|
|7. House Paint & Plaster (Interior & Exterior)|
|12. Product Questions|
|- Complete Eco Oil Paint Kit|
|- Egg Dye Kit|
|- Face Paint|
|- Glass Palette / Muller|
|- Impasto Medium|
|- Methyl Cellulose|
|- Natural Earth Paint|
|- Walnut Oil|
|- Wooden Egg Craft Kit|
|13. Shelf Life|
|15. Body Paint / Painting with hands/ Cosmetic Grade|
|16. Textiles / Fabric/ Leather|
|17. Biodegradable / Compostable|
|18. Affiliate Program|
|19. Staining / Washable|
|4. CARBON FOOTPRINT / ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT / PIGMENT MINING|
|Q: I'm looking for Low Carbon Footprint Paints, would your paints fit that description?|
|A: Yes, our paints definitely would! All of our pigments are from the Earth, tested for safety, not made of chemicals like other "non-toxic" paints. You avoid using plastics and plastic packaging, since our packaging is bio-plastic and compostable. You can mix and store the paint in reusable glass jars instead of buying in plastic. Our pigments are so safe they can be disposed of in the compost, so you avoid putting them in the landfill or using hazardous waste disposal systems, which are wasteful and take a long time to degrade, further reducing your carbon footprint. They are manufactured in a women-owned business in a Solar-powered work space! Our packaging is locally made, compostable and made in a Wind Powered Facility. We donate to environmental non-profits monthly and plant trees in the Amazon for every order that's shipped out.|
|Q: Do your pigments contain any VOCs (Volitile Organic Compounds)?|
|A: No, there are zero VOCs in our pigments.|
|Q: I am looking to buy some pigments and had read that there is a concern over child labour in mining natural mica. Could you speak for the mining habits used to obtain the products that you sell?|
|A: Yes, we are very careful in selecting the sources of our pigments and mica. They are all sustainably harvested and definitely would never use a source that used child labor.|
|Q: Are you pigments mined sustainably?|
|A: Yes, all of our pigments are mined sustainably from small, family-owned quarries and also in a way where no pollution is created from the process.|
|Q: How much do you focus on decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases? I'd also like to know the difference between the greenhouse gases born with the process of making your paints and average paints you see everywhere.|
|A: We don't create any greenhouse gases in the making of our paints. Our warehouse is solar powered. Our packaging is made in a 100% wind powered facility.|
|5. PIGMENTS / SPECIFIC COLOR QUESTIONS|
|Q: I was wondering if your pigments were the same as those sold by the Earth Pigment Co..|
|A: Some of them are but not all.|
|Q: What are the particle sizes of your pigments and other powders?|
|A: The pure pigments (from France) have a particle size of 30-50 microns. The limestone powder has an average size of 3.2 microns.|
|Q: Do you have any documentation that lists the actual minerals the pigments are made from? I looked at the label info but it’s so squished and gives a formula. Are all the pigments a type of iron oxide or a mixture of minerals?|
|A: The ultramarine blue and purple are different than our other colors in that they have been processed. They are composed of 90% earthen clay and 10% man-made, non-toxic minerals, and it is heated in an oven to a high temperature. Most of the other colors, are yes, clays that form naturally in the earth with different types of iron oxides which determine their color. The terre verte comes from oceanic deposits and behaves very differently than the other colors. Titanium dioxide is a natural mineral that has been processed. The Mayan Red, French Turquoise and Brilliant Yellow are also manufactured with a base of clay or calcium carbonite (chalk) with a non-toxic mineral affixed to it. All other info is on the product page for the natural pigments.|
|Ultramarine Blue/Titanium White/Mayan Red/Ultramarine Purple|
|Q: What is the Ultramarine Blue and Purple made of?|
|A: Blue Pigment comes from two sources, either crushed lapis lazuli or manmade sources. Ground Lapis Lazuli is extremely expensive and un-sustainably harvested in Afghanistan, so manmade blues have been around since the time of the Egyptians to supplement this sought after primary color. Our ultramarine blue is manmade, commonly used and completely nontoxic.
Its chemical makeup is Sodium and Calcium and is an exact copy of the lapis lazuli molecular structure. This pigment is fixed on a natural clay base which makes up the largest part of its composition. It is then heated at high temperatures to get the blue color. Here's the chemical composition of the man-made mineral - Si4O10(OH)2Mg3
The entire process of making this pigment is sustainable and earth-friendly - manufactured in France. The Ultramarine Purple is made in the same company in France and is the same process.
Mayan Red is manufactured at a different company in France and is the same process, except the base in Calcium Carbonate instead of clay.
|Titanium Dioxide Pigment|
|Q: How transparent/translucent is your titanium white when mixed with the walnut oil? I’ve read walnut oil can make paint a little less opaque. I’m basically looking for a natural earth pigment that behaves more like zinc white.|
|A: Titanium white pigment mixed with walnut oil makes a very opaque white paint. You can thin it further with more walnut oil if you want it more transparent. Zinc oxide is by nature a much more transparent white when mixed with oil . We don't carry zinc oxide because we find people prefer the opaque titanium white.|
|Q: What is titanium dioxide made of?|
|A: Our Titanium Dioxide (Ti02) is from a common mineral found in nature called Rutile. It is found in metamorphic and igneous rocks, and is the second most abundant mineral sand. Our product is not to be confused with Titanium metal (Ti) which is a silver metal that can also be derived from the same deposits but is a different, separate component. Titanium metal is not a part of our Titanium White pigment. Titanium Dioxide White is a byproduct of oxidizing the rutile mineral and does not contain any metal. The only other natural white would be chalk whiting; however, this does not have the opacity or refractive index of Titanium White so it is not really a substitute. Please note, Titanium dioxide is toxic to breathe in large amounts because it contains silica (ground quartz) which is abrasive to the lungs. We have warnings on our product boxes but I also wanted to mention that it must be mixed with care so as not to inhale large amounts.|
|Q: Is the Titanium White rutile the same as Titanium dioxide, and is yours food grade?|
|A: Yes, rutile is the same as Titanium Dioxide. Our pure pigment is not specifically certified food grade though. It may be fine but we can't claim it's food grade without that certification.|
|Q: Where does the Emerald Green come from and is it natural?|
|A: Our emerald green is a manmade oxide pigment. Oxides are man-made pigments from natural elements. It has a very high tinting strength and opacity and have excellent UV stability. For a 100% earth based green, try our Terre Verte.|
|Q: Do your pigments contain red dye, Carmine or cochineal?|
|A: We do not sell red dye, only red pigments, which are very different. And no we don't use carmine or cochineal in any of our products.|
|Q" Our paint kit came with “red” but it looks more like terra cotta and we couldn’t mix purple (it just made a mucky brown). I think that we may have gotten a mixed up pack? Perhaps someone packed brown into the red envelope? Are your brighter paint colors also safe for children?|
|A: Yes, our colors are made from pure earth pigments so they are not primary "Color spectrum" colors. The red is more of an earthy brick red. So yes, they don't mix like normal synthetic primary colors do. You might just want to get our purple children's paint which is sold separately and is a bright beautiful purple. We do have a few brighter pure pigments that are more primary (brilliant yellow and mayan red). These are made by affixing a man-made pigment onto a natural clay base and heating at high temps. So those are not 100% natural like the others. And those don't have the other ingredients that are in your paint set (gum arabic and corn starch). So you would need to add a binder to those pure pigments before you add water so that it would adhere to a surface.|
|Q: I purchased the Natural Face and Body Paint Kit and upon opening the Red it is more brown then red. Can I get a replacement?|
|A: Thanks, our paints are made with natural earth pigments - which is literally earth from the ground (natural iron oxides in clay). There are no synthetic dyes in them. A bright, primary red can only be made with a synthetic petroleum based dye or a heavy metal dye, which is why we use earth pigments instead. They are more earth-toned than primary red. I'm afraid if we send you a replacement it will be exactly the same as the one you have. If it's defective or spoiled then yes we can definitely replace it. But I have a feeling it's just the color tone that we offer that you're not liking. So sorry for your disappointment.|
|Q: I own a natural cosmetics line and I am looking for a "true red" pigment for our lipsticks without using FD&C colors. I stumbled upon your Mayan red. Is this suitable for use on lips? Do you have any other natural pigments that are red?|
|A: None of our pigments are certified cosmetic grade but our suppliers say they are safe for cosmetics. So you would need to use your own judgement if using them in lipstick.|
|Q: Which of your colors is most similar to Iron Oxide Red|
|A: The Venetian Red is our Iron Oxide Red|
|Q: Do you sell natural vermilion pigment?
|A: At Natural Earth Paint, we recognize that some natural pigments are unsafe for human use. We value safety and health, we do not sell vermilion, because of the great care that must be used when preparing, painting, and storing this pigment. Unfortunately, this bright red color contains a heavy metal and is toxic. Cinnabar is a beautiful (yet toxic) red mineral made of mercury (ll) sulfide. It’s used as a source of mercury, and to make the artist's pigment called vermilion that you refer to. To avoid mercury poisoning our customers, we do not source or supply this pigment. All of our pigments are beautiful, safe, third party tested, heavy-metal free mineral and clay powders. We value the safety of our customers highly and do not want to sell anything that could pollute or cause danger to waterways, humans, and the Earth. There are not safe levels of mercury for humans to be exposed to, and unfortunately many new as well as historical sources of pigment contain mercury or other heavy metals.|
|Q: if red is "earthy" can it be brightened by mixing white or yellow or another method?|
|A: If white is added to the venetian red, it will create a pinker tone. By adding yellow it will make it more of an orange-y earthy red. The Mayan Red is the brightest red we have and is very close to a primary red.|
|Q: What is your brightest red?|
|A: Mayan Red|
|Violet vs. True Purple|
|Q: What is the difference between violet and ultramarine purple?|
|A: The ultramarine purple is a bright, color-spectrum purple (similar to dixazine purple) and the Violet is a more earth-toned, reddish, brownish violet. The ultramarine purple is a manmade pigment from natural elements and the Violet Ocher is 100% Earth Ocher Pigment|
|Q: Are your yellows transparent or opaque?|
|A: The Brilliant Yellow is more transparent. The yellow ocher is more opaque.|
|Q: What the conventional equivalant to Brilliant Yellow?|
|A: Our Brilliant Yellow is similar to Cadmium Yellow Lemon or Lemon Yellow|
|Q: I can't see the difference between yellow ochre and raw sienna.|
|A: The powder form of these two pigments are very similar in appearance, however the difference is noticeable once the oil is added. The raw sienna has a more brownish or cool hue.|
|Q: I was just wondering where your Natural Mica Gold pigment comes from?|
|A: Yes, the mica is sustainably mined in Washington State.|
|Q: Are there any Instructors working with pigments that teach?|
|A: Scott Sutton teaches classes in Portland and has a great website. He also teaches at Wildcraft in Portland. www.scottsuttonart.com We have many tutorial videos on our website, have you seen those?|
|7. HOUSE PAINT & PLASTER (INTERIOR & EXTERIOR)|
|Q: Do you have a recipe for Interior House Paint?|
|A: I painted my house with the clay house paint recipe on our blog post - https://naturalearthpaint.com/blog/make-your-own-natural-clay-house-paint-natural-earth-paint/ I painted it on top of latex paint on drywall and worked great. The only downside of natural house paint that is that it's not completely waterproof and tough like acrylic/ latex (100% plastic) - if you scrub it with a wet rag, it will come off. But then you can just paint ove it to touch it up.|
|Q: For my living room I just want to go white or a broken white beige like colour. Do you think I need to add any white oxide for that or just leave the natural flour paint colour for that? Will the paint do ok without the clay?|
|A: The pure flour paste will dry clear so yes, it does need some sort of pigment or clay.|
|Q: Do you have an exterior paint recipe that withstands the elements?|
|A: Exterior natural paint is a tough one and not my expertise. I googled 'How to make natural exterior paint" and saw quite a few recipes that incorporate natural pigments. Mixing pigments with our natural acrylic medium would hold up well but would be pretty pricey for large areas.|
|Q: Can I use a no voc paint base from the hardware store and add your pigments to it for color?|
|A: Just fyi, those no VOC paints still have a ton of chemicals and toxins but atleast they're a little better. Those places add liquid pigments, not powdered pigments, which is what we have, so you may have a bit of an issue getting the paint smooth but you can use a paint mixer attachment to a drill to mix it. Or you may want to add a little water to the pigment first so you're adding liquid color to the base. If the base is white then it will create a pastel color, just fyi.|
|Q: I want to paint a 10x10 room. How much should I order?. Also can the wall paint recipe on your blog be used overtop of a very bright pink wall or will I have to prime it first in order for the previous color not to show through?|
|A: Great question and I wish I had a definite answer. If you follow the recipe on our website, you can see how much paint it makes in the photos - maybe around a gallon. But it handles differently than regular latex paint so it's not the same coverage calculations as latex. Also, each natural pigment has hugely different properties and can make make more volume paint or less. Maybe just start with this recipe and see if it's enough and make another batch if needed. Make sure you keep careful track of exactly how much pigment you add to the first batch so you can do the same with the second, if needed. The paints are very opaque (although they do differ depending on the pigment - some much more opaque than others) and would probably cover the hot pink just fine without a primer. I painted a terra cotta color over a black wall and it came out great.|
|Q: I'm planning to paint my walls and am wondering if I would be able to utilize your pigments to mix into zero-VOC acrylic paints, or if my best bet is to use the flour-mixture recipe you have on your website. Would the pigments work within an acrylic base?|
|A: Yes, you can mix our pigments with clear acrylic house paint. I have never done it myself but that's exactly what they do at conventional house paint stores - mix the pigment into the base. The pigment is usually in liquid form though and not powder form but I don't think that would be an issue. For the amount of pigment it's completely different for every color unfortunately. Each natural pigment has drastically different chemical structure, volume, density, liquid absorption rates, etc. I have always just added a cup of pigment to the base (from the recipe you referred too), blended it in and see how it looks, maybe do a test patch on the wall and let it dry and decide if I want to add more pigment.
If you want to make quart of red paint, maybe get 1 lb. of pigment and try that - adding a little at a time until you get the color you want.
Hope that helps, Thanks!
|Q: Do you have any tints/dyes/stains/pigments to colour natural earthen plaster? Do you have any test sample starter kits to try them out? I m looking for bulk buying, eventually - to decorate a house (it is not for fine art).|
|A: Hi and yes, all of our natural pigments are made for coloring earthen plaster, they work great! We don't have a sample kit but if you know a few colors you like you can order a small 3 oz. packets of each to try out, which is an affordable option. We sell each in 1 lb. bags also. But you can get as many pounds as you like.|
|Q: I am wondering if your bulk pigments can be used for clay plaster?|
|A: Yes, absolutely, they are all perfect for clay plasters and natural house paints|
|Q: I would like to buy some of your pigments to paint our walls. We were going to do a thin layer of plaster, mixing the pigment with kaolin clay. I am trying to figure out how much pigment I will need per sq. ft. Can you help me with this? I saw the recipe in the FAQ section which was helpful, but slightly confusing because it says 1 part flour: 1 part clay OR natural pigment. From what I understand we will be mixing the pigment into the clay. We have to do a layer of clay anyways for the way we are choosing to build.|
|A: By "Clay" I meant any naturally colored clay harvested from the ground - which is basically earth pigment. When I built a cob house we dug up orange clay from the ground and used that as our "pigment" in the natural house paints that we made. But in your case yes, you would combine your kaolin clay with our pigment. I would follow your own plaster recipe and use the pigment as directed. It's impossible to give ratios because every single pigment has completely different properties - tinting strength, amount of liquid they absorb, color vibrancy, texture, etc. It's just a trial process - mix in some pigment and if it's not enough add more. Remember that they usually dry drastically lighter than what it looks like wet / mixed in a bucket. So do test swatches.|
|Staining Decks and Effects on Grass
Q: Will this product kill my new grass. Will it work to paint deck boards.
|A: No it won't kill your grass. Are you staining a raw wood deck? Yes, it would work. I stained all of my wood lawn furniture with the pigment mixed with walnut oil.|
|Heavy Metals - Natural Earth Paint|
|Q: Are your kids' paints tested for heavy metals, like in the mineral pigment. Can you share test results?|
|A: Our paints are tested for heavy metals every 5 years by a toxicologist for US Safety Standards Non-toxic Certification (ASTM D4236) and I've attached the report below. It's also tested by a third party lab. You can see that for lead it says "LT (Less Than) 0.5 ppm (parts per million)". That's a very trace amount as there are trace amounts in everything these days - our hair, our skin, tap water, new born babies blood, etc.|
|Q: I had a question about the ventilation needs and the wearing of masks ...if needed.|
|A: Our pigments are completely non-toxic but no matter what kind-of dust you're using, you don't want to inhale large amounts of any kind. Our employees who deal with big clouds of dust defintiely wear a Niosh certified mask or ventilators. For myself in my studio, when I scoop one spoonful of pigment on my palette and mix with walnut oil, it doesn't create any dust, so I don't wear anything. But if you have extra sensitive lungs I would follow your intuition. Also, one more warning, the titanium dioxide rutile contains silica (ground quartz) which is very abrasive to the lungs if inhaled so be very careful with that one.|
|Toxic Natural Pigments|
|Q: I know some natural mineral pigments are actually naturally toxic, kindly advise if the natural earth pigments you sell here is different from those natural mineral pigments which maybe toxic?|
|A: Our pigments are third-party lab tested for safety, and contain no heavy metals, animal products, or chemicals.
There is a wealth of information online now if you search, "how to identify toxic paint pigments" or similar. Calling direct to the company and asking if the product contains heavy metals (or listing specifics like lead or cadmium) is another good way.
Our whole line of fine art products are safety-tested and kind to your body and the environment: https://www.naturalearthpaint.com/collections/fine-art-supplies
|Q: Can I use the children's paints with infants (6-24months) and toddlers/preschool (2-4years)?|
|A: Yes, the paints are completely non-toxic and can be used by babies and up, however they were not designed for consumption and do not taste good. I would highly supervise toddlers and babies to make sure they don't put a large amount in their mouths. There are other companies that make vegetable-based paints designed for consumption.|
|Q: Do any of our products contain nuts and are they processed in a facility that has nuts?|
|A: Only our walnut oil and you can tell people they can use linseed oil (which is actually flax oil) to replace walnut oil. None of our other products contain nuts or are processed in a facility that contains nuts, except our Shea butter in the face paint, which is typically hypoallergenic. I would of course with any new product if allergies are severe or life threatening, do a test first.|
|The pigments are described on this page with the MSDS underneath each pigment name. The oil painting kit includes these pigments so you can see that info there as well.
The Natural Earth Paint is tested every 5 years by a toxicologist for U.S. Safety Standards Non-toxic certification (ASTM D4236). I'll attach that below. They are also independently tested for heavy metals by Bureau Veritas. I've attached those results as well. You can see our results in the column with the letter "A" at the top. And those numbers are parts per million (PPM) and LT means "less than".
|Unused Paint Disposal|
|Q: How do you suggest disposing of unused paint (i.e., more than is on a brush)?|
|A: We recommend to scrap it off your glass palette with a paint scraper (the kind from the hardware store with a razor blade in it.) And then dispose of that in the trash.|
|Q: Are your products 100% gluten free?|
|A: Yes, all of our products are gluten free?|
|Q: Do your paints contain any type of soy ?|
|A: The only product that contains soy is the Eco-solve, which is a non-toxic, natural solvent made with processed soy oil.|
|Animal Tested Products|
|Q: Are your products tested on animals?|
|A: Rest assured we use no animal tested products at Natural Earth Paint.|
|Q: Do you have a recipe for making soft pastel sticks with your pigments?|
|"A: Yes, we have a recipe on our website .. https://naturalearthpaint.com/blog/recipe-natural-earth-pastels/|
|Q: Do you have a recipe for making oil pastels?|
|Yes, we have a recipe here https://naturalearthpaint.com/blog/recipe-natural-earth-oil-pastels/|
|Q: I mixed up my gouache paints but there is quite alot of grains in the paint - tiny bits of the pigment didn't dissolve it seems. Any ideas or thoughts on how to solve that problem?|
|A: That's strange, is it specific colors or all of them? You can try mixing the pigment with a little water before mixing it into the rest of the ingredients. Did you use a glass muller or a palette knife to mix on a hard surface?|
|Q: What should I store the gouache paint in and how long will it keep?|
|A: Store your mixed gouache in an air tight jar or metal tube and it should keep for up to 6 months. Although every pigment has its own properties, so drying time may vary.|
|Q: I am vegan and would love to make my own gouache without honey. What would you recommend?|
|A:You can use glycerin instead of honey|
|Q: Can I use your pigments in children's / kid's modeling clay?|
|A: Yes, our natural pigments are safe to use in children's modeling clay. The children's paint powder has cornstarch and gum arabic added to make it water soluble, so this may affect the texture of the clay differently than simple pigments. You can experiment and see what works for you. We also have a recipe for making natural modeling clay on our website using the natural pure pigments.... https://www.naturalearthpaint.com/blogs/naturalearthpaint-com/17559960-make-your-own-natural-modeling-clay|
|Q: I am interested in making concentrated inks--preferably isopropyl or denatured alcohol based. Do you think the earth, mineral and gold mica will work for this method?|
|A: I have never personally made alcohol based inks before so I can't say for sure. But if you have a recipe that calls for any type of pigment then yes, it will work. Our natural pigments behave exactly the same as conventional or synthetic pigments. You might want to buy a few small 3 oz. packets of pigment and test it out first. Also, if you happen to figure out a great recipe, we would love to post that on our blog to share with other artists and I can give you free product in exchange (and link to your site if you have one). We do have a natural ink recipe that is not alcohol based here ... https://naturalearthpaint.com/blogrecipe-natural-earth-drawing-ink/|
|Q: I was wondering if your pigments could be used to make screen printing ink?|
|A: Here's a blog post on making non-toxic printmaking ink. This is not meant for screenprinting though. So, you might have to look into using some sort of screenprinting medium and mix earth pigments in to make it permanent. Hope that helps! https://www.naturalearthpaint.com/blogs/naturalearthpaint-com/17551816-how-to-make-natural-non-toxic-printmaking-ink|
|Q: DO you have a recipe for Drawing Ink?|
|Q: I am looking for eco-friendly block printing ink.|
|A: We have a DIY recipe for making block printing ink here http://www.naturalearthpaint.com/blogs/naturalearthpaint-com/17551816-how-to-make-natural-non-toxic-printmaking-ink|
|Q: Can I use your pigments to make watercolor?|
|A: You can make professional quality, natural watercolor paints using our pigments and this recipe here. Have fun!
|Q: Can I use Methyl Cellulose instead of Gum Arabic? Can I use Oregano essential oil instead of the ones you have listed?|
|A: Gum arabic has always been the traditional binder for watercolor since it was invented. I haven't personally tried methyl cellulose instead but feel free to try and experiment, I'd be curious of how it works. Another good question and something I haven't tried. Oregano is very strong like clove oil - I just haven't personally tried it so I can't say for sure. So sorry, wish I could be more help|
|Q: How long does your watercolor recipe last once dried into cakes?|
|A: Atleast two years if not indefinitely.|
|Q: How do I know what the ideal consistency is when mixing in pigments ?
I put each color in a separate small jar, but each is only about half full. They have lids that seal tightly, but there is still a lot of air in the jar. Is this a problem?
Should I add more clove oil per jar and/or store them in the fridge to make them last longer?
How do I know if they are not fresh or good to use any more? Would they grow mold?
The recipe recommended a few drops of glycerine to prevent cakes from cracking. Is this a few drops per batch of the 9 tsp. pigment/9 tsp. base?
Does the glycerine need to be added while the base mixture is still warm? Or can it be added later, just as long as it is still able to be stirred?
|A: How do I know what the ideal consistency is?
I like to mix it into a creamy but thick paste. It's up to you, start with the 1 to 1 ratio and if it's too dry or too liquidy you can adjust by adding more pigment or more liquid. The test is, mix a touch of the paint with water and brush it onto your watercolor paper. If it's too transparent for you, add more pigment, if it's too opaque for you, add more base.
I put each color in a separate small jar, but each is only about half full. They have lids that seal tightly, but there is still a lot of air in the jar. Is this a problem?
They will eventually dry yes. The only way to keep it liquid is to put it into an airtight aluminum tube or fill the whole jar.
Should I add more clove oil per jar and/or store them in the fridge to make them last longer?
Yes, the fridge will help extend the life a bit more but both the clove oil and the fridge are more meant to prevent mold while they are wet. The dried cakes will not mold.
How do I know if they are not fresh or good to use any more? Would they grow mold?
If they have mold, don't use them. If they don't, they are perfect to use.
The recipe recommended a few drops of glycerine to prevent cakes from cracking. Is this a few drops per batch of the 9 tsp. pigment/9 tsp. base? Yes, but again, what is needed is different for each color. I wish I had an set answer but every pigment has completely different qualities and requires different things.
Does the glycerine need to be added while the base mixture is still warm? No
Or can it be added later, just as long as it is still able to be stirred?Yes
|Q: How much sodium benzoate do I use in the watercolor recipe as the perservative (per batch)?|
|A: Just a small amount - 1 tsp. or less.|
| Q: How long will the watercolor paints last for once they are mixed up?
|A: Watercolors keep longer when you add a natural preservative such as sodium benzoate or a pure essential oil of clove. If kept in jars in liquid form they will stay good for 1-3 months. If you put them in tiny aluminum tubes they will last much longer.
Or if you put a few drops of glycerine in, you can dry it in cakes. And then they should stay good for at least 2 years, if not indefinitely.
|Q: How do I store watercolors after following the recipe?|
|A: There are several options available:
- Store in a small air tight jars (will last for 2-3 weeks or longer if refrigerated)
- Store in small, empty aluminum tubes (will last a little longer than small jars). Tubes are available for purchase on our website
- Let them dry into cakes in half or full pans or any small, shallow container (may take a few days to fully dry). Will stay good indefinitely.
- The "watercolor base" mixture will stay good in a small glass jar for about one month. Be sure to mix it into specific paint colors before this mixture goes bad.
|VEGAN EGG TEMPERA|
|Q: Do you have a Vegan Egg Tempera Recipe?|
We were given this recipe by a fellow artist and have not tested it ourselves.
VEGAN EGG TEMPERA
Flax seeds, whole or ground
Nut milk bag or old nylons
Two clean jars or bowls
Pigment, such as Natural Earth Paint
Gum Arabic powder
-Place 1 part (I used 2 tablespoons) of flax seeds into a clean jar.
-Mix with 2 parts (I used 4 tablespoons) filtered water.
-Cover so nothing gets in and let mixture sit for an hour or so. You can put the jar in the fridge if you're not going to use the mixture until the next day.
-When all the water is absorbed, each seed will be surrounded by clear goo. Scoop the seeds into a nut milk bag or the toe of some old nylons. Tie a knot in the bag above the seeds so they don't move around too much, then take a pair of tongs or your hands and begin pressing/squeezing the bag, holding it over a clean bowl or jar. The clear goo will come out the sides of the bag and drop into the bowl. This is what you will mix with pigment and paint with.
-When you are satisfied with the amount of gel, or you get tired of squeezing, you can compost the seeds, or maybe use them in another recipe.
-Add a drop or two of essential oil to the gel, such as clove or cinnamon (Avoid citrus oils as they react to sunlight.) to help preserve, and stir to combine.
Now, you are ready to paint. Because the gel is clear, pigments can go a long way. I have used up to a 1:1 ratio of gel to Natural Earth Paint with no problems, depending on how strong I wanted the color. Experiment with each color and mix well to ensure that your paint isn't too gritty.
Add a touch of gum arabic powder for a more opaque look and as a binder. I add gum arabic to each color as I need. I find that the paint tends to act a little more like acrylics when gum arabic is added.
This paint dries very fast, so keep your original stash of gel clean and mix up colors as you need.
When I want a thinner paint, I dip my brush in water, but be cautious how much water you use, as it can turn into a runny mess quite quickly.
This paint tends to behave halfway between acrylic, watercolor and tempera egg paint. I love the vibrant colors, and it washes out with soap and water. It's vegan, and if you find you don't like using flax seed gel as a paint, you can always style your hair with it. :)
|Painting on Glass|
|Q: Which paint works on glass and is there recommended process for sealing it?|
|A: Our Natural Earth Paint works on glass and you can seal it with our non-toxic and all-natural varnish. Or mix natural acrylic paint - our natural acrylic medium mixed with earth pigments - for a more durable paint that doesn't need a varnish.|
|Q: GLAZING - How do I glaze?|
|A: For glazing you would use the same techniques that you would do with traditional oil paint glazing. There are many books, articles and blog posts written about oil paint glazing so I won't go into that here but the simplest technique is to mix up your oil paints and then thin them further with the oil of your choice and brush on. Let dry and then mix up another transparent paint and apply. Some people like to thin the paint with a medium made of our eco-solve mixed with our walnut oil. But googling will get you more in depth techniques on traditional glazing.|
|Q: Can I paint ceramic beads with your oil paint?|
|A: Good question. I'm not a ceramics expert so you may need to do some googling like "Can I paint ceramics with oil paint?". Our oil paint behaves exactly the same as conventional oil paint so that question would cover our products. Oil paint in general is very durable and archival but not completely water proof. It may need to be further sealed with our natural varnish. You also might want to just use our Natural Acrylic Medium mixed with pigment for a durable, water-based, water-resistant paint. Or check out this tutorial on different ways to color ceramics ... https://naturalearthpaint.com/blognatural-pottery-with-earth-mineral-pigments/|
|FAT OVER LEAN|
|Q: I was taught to paint lean to fat, by using a medium that's progressively more fat in each layer. Otherwise the oxygen deprived earlier layers don't dry fast enough and paint can crack. I don't know how to do this if I use Walnut or linseed oil and no shop bought medium.
Can eco solve be added to Walnut oil to make paint dry faster? Could I add a bit of eco solve to Walnut oil for the first layer to create a faster drying medium, a little less for the second layer and even less for the third layer,? The idea is that it would work like a no. 1 and no.2 and no. 3 medium.
|A: I was also taught to paint fat over lean. For my oil paintings, I mix up my paint (pigment and walnut oil), then I mix a little of that paint with Eco-solve and brush on a wash. I then might add drips or an underpainting with the same thinned paint. Then after that's dry I start painting with the paint thinned with walnut oil or walnut alkyd medium (which makes it dry fast). I do the thick over then as I paint making sure the thickest paint is at the end. And yes, you can mix the eco-solve with walnut oil to make a medium if you prefer that method.|
|Q: Can i use the paint for stamping on paper? And if possible, would i need to make a oilpaint or water based paint? The stamps are pretty small and thinlined. Normally, i would use a regular stamp pad, but i guess these aren't environmentally friendly.|
|A: Many customers have used our paints for stamping and block printing, and here is a blog post with a safe and healthy recipe using our Natural Earth Pigments: https://www.naturalearthpaint.com/blogs/naturalearthpaint-com/17551816-how-to-make-natural-non-toxic-printmaking-ink . You can try the children's Natural Earth Paint as well. Or you can make professional quality "Natural Drawing Ink" found on our recipes page and use that.|
|Painting on Wood|
|Q: I want to paint a wood ceiling white with some gold mica sparkle, will your paints do this?|
|A: Yes, I would use our Natural Acrylic Medium mixed with gold mica pigment.|
|Q: Do you have a vegan paint for wood?|
|A: We have three types of paint that work great on wood. Our Natural Earth Paint is water-based, you mix it with water to make a creamy, tempera like paint. It's not waterproof and would need to be sealed with "Natural Varnish" if it will be outside. The other is a natural oil paint made of pigment mixed with walnut oil. It is very professional quality, super archival and durable but can take up to a week to dry and has a more involved clean up process. There's also Natural Acrylic Paint (our Natural Acrylic Medium + Pigment) that dries fast and is very durable.|
|Q: Can you paint with the oil paints on raw wood or do you have to prime it with gesso first? Or methyl cellulose first?|
|A: You can paint on raw wood, methyl cellulose primed wood or gesso primed wood. They all work. The Mona Lisa was painted on raw wood.
(LEAH created a test panel to show how the three different options look so you can email this to people in your answer... PHOTO IS IN "Docs For Office Manager" folder)
|Painting Wood Toys|
|Q: What paint do I use to paint wood toys?|
|A: Yes, you can use our "Natural Earth Paint" on wood toys but they would need to be sealed with our natural varnish to make them more durable. They are more of a children's craft paint with a very easy clean up. You can also use our earth oil paints (walnut oil + pigment) which are more archival and professional quality but take up to a week to dry and have more of a clean up process. The last option is our Natural Acrylic Medium mixed with earth pigments which makes a very durable, fast drying, water-based paint.|
|Q:Is it safe to paint jewelry with your paint in case it's against skin and how should it be sealed?|
|A: Yes, our paints are safe to be worn against the skin but yes, you would need to seal them (to keep the paint from wearing off when gotten wet). Yes, you can use our Natural Varnish or our Natural Acrylic Medium to seal it.|
|Painting on Marble|
|Q: I'm looking to use your paints on an engraved natural marble bead to be used in a bracelet. Which do you recommend and is there a nontoxic sealer I would need?|
|A: we aren't experts on painting marble so I'm not positive how well oil paint will adhere and dry. You may want to just try it first (we sell small packets of each type of paint so you can try affordably). Our varnish recipe has only been used and tested on wood so I'm not sure how it will work on marble. You might also try just pure beeswax as a varnsih. And the oil paint alone is very durable but not completely waterproof - so will wear off over time. I would do a little googling like, "Can you use oil paint on marble?" and "How to varnish marble", etc. Unfortunately I don't know of a non-toxic varnish for stones off hand but I've never researched this topic. You can also use our Natural Acrylic Paint (Natural Acrylic Medium + pigment) for a very quick drying, durable paint.|
|Wax Melt Point|
|Q: Could you please tell me if your pigments can be used in melted wax, and if so, do they have a temperature point at which they clump or maybe not work as well.|
|A: Yes, these pigments are commonly used in crayons and encaustics. I know that they are color stable to heats from 330 degrees to 1100 degrees depending on the color.|
|Q: I’m interested in using cold wax with oil paints. I’ve heard of mixing gamsol with cold wax. Can Eco-solve be used with cold wax?|
|A: Yes, our eco-solve works great in making your own cold wax. Another professional artist that uses our products emailed us her process of making it, if you're interested ....
"I melt beeswax using a double boiler... about 1/3 cup beeswax beads or a chunk unbleached. I turn off the heat and move the melted beeswax still on the double boiler (so it keeps hot while I add the eco-solve). I measure out 1 cup eco-solve, so the ratio is 1 part beeswax to 3 parts eco-solve. It mixes easily into the wax. To speed up the drying time I added powdered Frankincense resin from our local organic herb shop. To the mixture above I added 1 Tablespoon of the resin, sprinkled into the melted mixture over the double boiler, stirring until dissolved."
|Q: Can I mix beeswax with the Natural Earth paints? Is there a specific recipe?|
|A: People use our pigments to make candles, encaustics, etc. Anything that you would use regular pigments with, you can use our natural pigments as well.|
|Q: I was interested in colouring our beeswax candles naturally and thought whether you've done this with your earth pigments before?|
|A: I'm not an expert on coloring candles but we have had many customers in the past buy our pigments for coloring beeswax crayons, wax encaustic paints and candles. Our pigments behave like all other types of pigments.But the pure pigments that we also sell would work and I'm sure there are lots of tutorials on Google. (On the otherhand, our Children's Earth Paints have other ingredients in them besides pure pigment and I'm not sure how the corn starch and gum arabic will react with beeswax.)|
|Q: Which paint is good for "pouring techniques"?|
|A: Natural Acrylic Paint would probably be the best (Natural acrylic medium + earth pigments) thinned with water. We also have oil paints (super archival and professional quality) and water-based craft paint (student grade). We also have recipes on making your own Natural Gouache or Watercolor paint or Egg Tempera (Archival & professional Quality) using our natural pigments and binders. These all pour well.|
|Q: I was wondering if you have any suggestions for the best way to use them for glazing?|
|A: Great question. For glazing you would use the same techniques that you would do with traditional oil paint glazing. There are many books, articles and blog posts written about oil paint glazing so I won't go into that here but the simplest technique is to mix up your oil paints and then thin them further with the oil of your choice and brush on. Let dry and then mix up another transparent paint and apply. Some people like to thin the paint with a medium made of our eco-solve mixed with our walnut oil. But googling will get you more in depth techniques on traditional glazing.|
|Painting On - ALUMINUM|
|Q: I need something to paint permanently on Aluminum or Metal. Can I use any of your products for this?|
|A: Good question, our oil paints behave exactly the same as conventional oil paints. So if you google: Can you paint with oil paints on aluminum? You will get a variety of answers. My understanding is that you would need a primer coat on the aluminum but I know there's more info out there. Or try our Natural Acrylic Paint (natural acrylic medium + Pigment).|
|A: I don't have personal experience painting on metal but I believe if it's primed, you can paint oil paint on it. You can google "How to paint oil paint on metal". You can also mix the pure pigments with clear natural acrylic medium to make natural acrylic paint, that would definitely work.|
|Painting Outdoors / Tree Trunks|
|Q: I am wanting to use natural temporary water based paint to paint tree trunks for an outdoor installation. I want the trees to remain healthy and for rain to wash off the paint in time. Which paint shoud I use?|
|A: Yes, our "Natural Earth Paint" would be perfect. It's beautiful, highly pigmented paint that works great on wood and bark and will wash off with the rain. All ingredients are earth and plant-based. You just mix the powder paint with water 1:1 and apply.|
|Painting On - PLASTIC|
|Q: Can you use on plastic or if I 3D print things, can I paint the plastic? Also if I have to add primer to the paint, is there a non toxic primer?
I want the objects to be safe if a child puts them in his/her mouth it won't harm him/her or not to cause allergy if I make bracelets etc.
And can endure high weather exterior temperatures above 50c or 60c.
|A: You can try the Natural Acrylic Medium + Pigments to make a natural acrylic paint which is durable and adheres to plastic. YOu would need to do tests though to see how it works with your application and the durability you need. We do have a non-toxic primer though - Eco Gesso. They are fine with extreme temperatures and they don't cause any allergy.|
|Painting On - CARDBOARD|
|Q: Does your paint work well on cardboard?|
|A: Yes, our children's earth paint works great on cardboard and is used by adults as well as children. Or the Natural Acrylic Paint.|
|SPRAY PAINT / AIRBRUSH|
|Q: I am trying to create a natural paint that I can spray from a spray bottle. I have tried mixing many combinations of your pigments, gum arabic honey and clove and I can't get the mix to stay mixed. Do you have any suggestions? I have been using liquid gum arabic would using your powdered-form work differently?|
|A: I have never personally tried this so I can't say for sure. Have you tried our "Children's Earth Paint"? I bet if you mix that with water and spray, it would work. We sell individual packets if you want to get just one to try out. And yes, you can try using our gum arabic powder as well, we also sell that in small packets to try out.|
|Q: Any tips for making a spray paint. It can be water soluble. Not sure what binder to use. Methyl cellulose, gum Arabic or just water. It will be used for a background layer, Painting oils on top.|
|A: I've never experimented with formulating paint to go through a spray paint can. That would take a little experimentation. You definitely need a binder of some sort, if you use just water it will powder off when it dries. The surface would need to be sealed if you're using an oil paint on top. Wish I could help more but yes, you can experiment yourself with gum arabic or methyl cellulose or eco-solve as a binder.|
|Q: Do you have a paint that it's good for airbrushing?|
|A: We're not experts on airbrushing paints but our paints may work. My concern would be that the pigment particles would be too big to fit through the spray nozzle holes on airbrush guns. You can try the mixed acrylic paint or watercolor paint or gouache recipes but we can't guarantee anything because we've never personally tried it.|
|Q: Can you add the powdered kids paints to home-made playdough? Would the colors stain hands?|
|A: Yes, absolutely you can add the powdered earth paints to your playdough, that works great. It won't stain hands, it washes right off. By the way, here is another recipe for play dough...
|Q: When you mix the pigments with the walnut oil, the oil is a sufficient binder itself (so you don't need corn starch or gum Arabic)?|
|A: Yes, correct, the oil is a sufficient binder on it's own and the oil paint does not need a varnish or any other ingredient. It's very durable and archival.|
|Q: Can you use sunflower oil (raw, virgin pressed) as a binder instead of walnut oil?|
|A: Yes, sunflower oil can be used but it dries a good bit slower than walnut oil (which already dries pretty slow) and some sources say that it may discolor your painting or yellow over time. We don't have direct experience with it though so we cannot confirm from first-hand knowledge. It is a very cheap oil though and readily available, so that's a plus.|
|Mixing Pigments with Other Ingredients Q: Can I mix your pigments in a commercial milk paint base that contains lime, calcium, and milk protein ( among other things)?|
|A: Yes, absolutely, our pigments are perfect for that|
|12. PRODUCT QUESTIONS|
|Q: How do you mix acrylic paint?|
|YOUTUBE LINK: (mixing acrylic medium) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia9jeWDy0lg&t=44s|
|Q: If this is acrylic, isn't this still just plastic?|
|A: Conventional acrylic is made with petrochemicals and host of other toxic additives and preservatives. Our medium is made with a completely plant-based resin and non-toxic ingredients. It does, however, create a final finish exactly like acrylic in that it is water-resistant, super durable and will not biodegrade. If you are interested in a fully biodegradable paint, please try any of the other paints we offer (oil paint, Natural Earth Paint, etc.) or paint recipes in our resources page.|
|Q: What is the natural acrylic medium made of specifically? The website just says it is plant-based.|
|A: The acrylic is a unique formulation that we have spent years working on creating, so the specific ingredients are a proprietary recipe. I hope you understand that we cannot share specific ingredients however we can say that all ingredients are plant-based and non toxic. Please let us know if you have any other questions.|
|Q: How does NEP acrylic compare to conventional acrylic paint? Is it archival?|
|A: This medium behaves exactly like conventional acrylic medium and will create a very durable, archival, solid paint film. The only difference between this product and conventional acrylic medium is that this one is made with plants and non-toxic ingredients whereas conventional is made with petroleum and toxic additives. But both end up with a solid, archival acrylic film.|
|Q: How long does your acrylic medium take to dry?|
|A: 15-45 minutes depending on humidity levels|
|Q: Does the acrylic dry stiff or is it flexible?|
|A: The acrylic dries with a durable yet flexible finish that allows paper or fabric to curve and bend.|
|Q: How high can I heat the acrylics? (maybe in reference to screenprinting or heat treating)|
|A: 100 °C boiling point or 212 °F flash point|
|Q: Can the Natural Acrylic Medium be used as a size to seal the canvas? I was hoping I could use it in lieu of the polymer-based sizing. What would be the possible strikethrough and stiffness of using your medium?|
|A: Good question! Yes our Natural Acrylic Medium behaves just like conventional fluid acrylic mediums and can be used in the same way. When sizing a canvas with it, the strikethrough should be none and the stiffness moderate, but I encourage you to do a small test first as we don’t make this product specifically for a size or gesso. Thanks, and have fun!|
|Q: How long does it last in the container?|
|A: It has a 2 year shelf life in new condition. Once opened there are many variables that can affect the amount of time it stays good so we can't give a firm timeline on how long it will last. To get the most longevity, avoid leaving it open for long periods of time, avoid using/storing it in a sunny location, and ensure it is not contaminated with other products.|
|Q: What do you use as a preservative?|
|A: The name of the preservative in the medium is proprietary, but it is non-toxic. The medium itself has a minimum 2 year shelf life in the jar.|
|Q: Once the acrylic is mixed with pigment, how long will the paint be useable?|
|A: It depends on the pigment. If you mix them and immediately store them in an air tight container or tube, they will last 6 months - 1 year, depending on the pigment since each pigment dries at different speeds.|
|Q: How much coverage can one expect to get out of each j|