Paint : any more toxic, and you die !

Synthetic oil paints : most of the materials that compose them come from petrochemistry. When they become volatile, their solvents, which are constituted by hydrocarbons (white spirit, toluene, xylene…) cause intoxication (neurological, digestive and respiratory troubles), which can be quite severe. These paints are also the cause of dermatosis and allergies. Sometimes pesticides are added as additives. They are often useless and some are toxic, like PCP (Pentachlorophenol) and lindane.

  • Water, acrylic or latex based paints : they present less of a toxic risk for man and his environment because the principle solvent is water. But the harmful solvents have only been partially eliminated and one can also find metallic pigments and additives in these paints, as in the preceding.

Do it yourself

  • Casein and borax paint

Matte paint for the interior ceiling and walls on support paper, ingrain paint, a rough coat of lime, or plaster. Do not use it on colorwashes or in humid rooms (bathroom, kitchen).

  • Resistant properties, washable with water, good covering power.
  • Composition (from 860 to 1075 square feet): 300 grams of casein; 19 cups of water (1.18 gallons), 80 grams of borax, 6 kilograms of chalk, 500 grams of diatom powder.

Making it

  • Pour 8 ½ cups of water into a bucket; add the casein and beating it (to break up any possible lumps), then add the borax. Let the mixture sit for two hours.
  • Into another bucket, pour 10 ½ cups of water and add the chalk. The mixture will become thick, but do not add water.
  • After the two hours, pour the first mixture into the second, and add the diatom powder. Let it sit for half an hour.
  • Apply one or two coats using a brush or a roller.
  • To make color paint, mix in natural pigments. The pigment should be moistened with water to make a dough-like consistency before it is added to the mix.
  • Drying: five hours at room temperature + twelve hours between each coat. The casein hardens after three weeks.
  • Storing: keep it in a tightly sealed bucket; use within two days.