Casein Earth Paint

Casein Earth Paint

History: Derived from milk, Casein Paint dates back to Asian cave paintings, and it was widely used up until the Renaissance. It is durable, fast-drying, and water-soluble, but it smells a little strange (the smell dissipates as it dries). Do not use if you are allergic to dairy products. 

Ingredients: 2 Tbsp. casein powder; 1 Tbsp. borax, 1 oz. earth pigment 

Prep time: 5 min. prep; then let sit overnight. 5 more min., and let sit an hour.


  1. Mix 2 Tbsp. casein powder with 5 oz. warm water, and let sit overnight.
  2. Discard the water that accumulates on the surface.
  3. Mix 1 Tbsp. borax with 4 oz. hot water, and add to casein/water mixture. Let sit for one hour.
  4. Mix a spoonful of the casein mix with pigment in a glass bowl or on your palette.
  5. Paint on wood, paper, or canvas. Add water if you want a watercolor effect. Mixtures last a week if refrigerated.