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Flour paint: Make your own non-toxic wood paint

Just a short and sweet post to distract myself from the olive harvest 😉

Three months back I finally tried flour paint for an outdoor project (our daughter requested her own tiny flower and veggie garden to be fenced!). Now that it has survived the first heavy rains, I feel comfortable to recommend it!


Flour paint

There is surprisingly little information on flour paint despite (in my view) being such a fantastic and cheap wood-paint alternative! I stumbled on it on Pinterest a while back and then did some research. Pretty much any source I find online references back to this French video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCm2IrSxGVk

Recipe

The article on Ardec linked above, lists the following ingredients for approximately 35 square meters. For the fence project we only ‘cooked’ 1/8 though. The paint is so easy to make that you can always add another batch if needed.

  1. 8 litres of Water

  2. 650g of White Flour

  3. 1 litre of double-boiled Linseed Oil

  4. 100ml of black soap or colourless dishwashing soap


Unspectacular ingredients…

Also, the recipe asks for

  1. 2.5kg of earth pigments or iron oxydes

  2. 250g of Iron Sulfate

I wasn’t able to source iron oxydes so I did my research on why it’s a necessary ingredient in the first place. Turns out it isn’t 😉 When using earth pigments it certainly helps but I decided to go with (non-toxic, water-based) colour pigments. Simply because our daughter asked for very bright yellow, green, red, blue. So I skipped the last two ingredients 🙂

How to cook the base paint

The linked article explains in more depth, but here comes our shortcut version:

Mix the flour with some water (to avoid clumps) and bring remaining water to boil. Then add the flour-water-mix to the boiling water and stir very well! (Ha, essentially just like cooking pudding). Keep stirring to let it cook for 15 minutes.

Add the Linseed Oil, while stirring for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the liquid soap. Yay, done! We added the colour pigments after the mix had cooled down.


Application

Again, we went for the shortcut and applied the paint without any primer and without sanding the wood. The texture was super smooth and our little one loved using it!

We tried both a roller and a paint brush – user whatever you like!

The source article provides more info and words of warning but honestly I could not be bothered because it was not a serious project. Just a fun kids-project and I thought of it as a quick and dirty trial for future (more serious) wood painting.


For the yellow colour we applied two coats, but for the other colours we were happy with only one coat.

Tidying up the mess

Working with a four-year-old you, you can imagine that the process was rather messy. (Even though we are gifted with a very careful and detail-oriented child). But since essentially this paint is non-toxic, we simply cleaned all tools outside with water as if we would be watering our lawn. Make sure to clean right away to avoid scrubbing dried pieces.

How well stained clothes are cleaned in your washing machine will depend on the pigments used. For us it was so so but we were wearing old clothes anyway.

Result

It might not last for ages, but other than that we are super happy with the result!


Super easy and quick to make, fun kids project but still a cheap and surprisingly good wood paint!

It was so successful that our daughter immediately came up with new wood painting projects. Hint: our chicken run might look a lot more colourful and fun in the future 😉

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