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home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:03 am
by robin wood
I started playing with eco paints many years ago and tried various limewashes, milk paints etc. The recipe which I use now we learned whilst I was teaching at the National Hancrafts school in Sweden, it is quick and very easy to make, cheap quick drying, smells nice and when fully cured washable. It is a linseed oil emulsion paint.

You will need

1 whole egg
linseed oil, I prefer raw cold pressed.
water
jam jar with tight fitting lid.

I am making this batch to paint some wooden bowls I carved a few weeks ago but it is equally good for walls or windows and doors.

So here are my ingredients

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First crack your egg into the jar put the lid on and shake it really well. Using half the shell as a measure add two egg volumes of oil (4 half shells) swirl the jar as you pour in the oil to help it mix.

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Then put the lid on and shake really well.

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Now add 3 egg volumes (6 half shells) of water, swirling to mix then put lid on and shake. You can use more or less water to make your paint thinner or thicker as ypou wish depending on the absorbency of the substrate. This is now the basic paint without pigment. It can be used to seal woodware for use and I will treat the inside of my bowl with it, this paint mix is also great for sealing dusty lime wash.

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Now I am going to add pigment, this is a ground earth pigment "ultramarinbla" that we bought in Sweden, anyone who has traveled there will have seen houses painted with it. In the UK many art supply places will sell ground pigments also eco paint supply places such as the centre for alternative technology, auro is a brand I have used. You can also gather your own pigment, most fine soft stones can be ground up and used, I collect an orange mineral oxide that oozes out of the shale beds near my home for a nice orange, and also grind the shale for black, they need sieving, drying and grinding before adding the powder to the paint.

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These pigments are very concentrated though and a small amount goes a long way. Lime can be added too if you want more pastel tomes.

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Now slap it on just as if it were commercially bought paint.

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in 20 minutes it is touch dry, less on absorbent substrates.

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So that is the good part. Now the drawbacks. Although it is touch dry quickly it is still very soft and can easily be scraped off with a fingernail. It takes a while for the oil to cure, just like a proper old oil painting. How long depends on the oil, it can be a week or two or up to two months before it becomes really hard. Boiled linseed is faster because it has heavy metal driers added, I prefer to wait.

When dry it is quite hard wearing, I have a breakfast bowl painted with this paint that I have washed every day for six years and the paint is still good. It ages beautifully, where a hard modern paint eventually fails by chipping and peeling these soft old paints simply wear through on the highlights where they are rubbed which looks nice.

The paint will not keep long, maybe a week in the fridge. It will not give you a totally flat even colour, the sort of thing we are used to with canned paints these days, it will be a little more variable, I think this is a benefit but some would think otherwise. It is important to make enough to do a whole wall in one go, you don't want to run out and have to mix a bit to match. The one egg quantity would easily do both sides of a door with some to spare.

One of the nicest jobs I did with this paint was using it as a glaze over a white limewash, I mixed it fairly thin with locally collected ochre pigment and sponged it over the limewash, it gave a lovely textured feel. It dries neither matt nor gloss, if you want gloss after it is dry give it a thin coat of pure linseed over the top though that will take a while to dry.

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:45 pm
by woodness sake
On the sixth day of Christmas, Robin gave to us: An extremely good tutorial for egg tempra paint with godd pictures and a well rounded set of instuctions, examples, and what to expect. Thanks Robin and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:09 pm
by paul atkin
Great info robin ( happy new year ) that paint really sets the ale bowl off nicely.

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:00 am
by Mark Allery
Just stumbled onto this,

great info, well presented and enhanced with good photos. Something I genuinely didn't realise I needed to know. I know from my efforts that it takes time to take the photos and then present it all to us for free - thank you.

I wonder if we should have an area of the forum where tutorial posts could be placed for future reference? It could grow to become a very useful reference in the coming years, with a great array of authors?

cheers

Mark

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:37 pm
by Nicola Wood
The easiest thing I think will be for me to "sticky" it so it stays on the top - I did that with Robin's bowl turning advice too. "Any other business" is not a very inspiring place for it so I might also shift it at the same time!

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:57 pm
by Andy Coates
You could just creat another forum catagory, 2 seconds work, and call it Hints & Tips or similar.

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:35 pm
by Bob_Fleet
It's another great reference thread.
I've followed Nichola's advice and used the search facility a few times now but you don't just come up with the definitive posting you know is there but everything else. The nice thread on Kuksas already brings up 19 references (today).
It should be possible to create an "index page" with links to what we'd consider 'reference' posts? Usually Robin's.
Maybe some kind of way for users to indicate them or vote or something rather than have someone be accused of arbitrarily choosing them, or maybe indexing a load of irrelevant ones just to make sure.
I'm happy to draft a list if a moderator can tell me how to post the subject as the link rather than the whole URL each time.

Start with Ash and end with Zebrano ?

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:29 pm
by Nicola Wood
fleetpeople wrote:I'm happy to draft a list if a moderator can tell me how to post the subject as the link rather than the whole URL each time.

That would be in the 'How do I hyperlink?' thread! :wink:

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:38 pm
by DavidFisher
I really appreciate your paint tutorial, Robin. I am ready to try it out, but would like to grind my own pigment from local rocks, etc. That would be fine for earth tones, but is there a pigment source, other than buying, for colors like bright blues? Thanks.
Dave

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:59 pm
by robin wood
DavidFisher wrote:I really appreciate your paint tutorial, Robin. I am ready to try it out, but would like to grind my own pigment from local rocks, etc. That would be fine for earth tones, but is there a pigment source, other than buying, for colors like bright blues? Thanks.
Dave


Well of course you just need some blue rocks to grind up, they are not common though, the standard blue in medieval paintings is ground lapis lazuli, not cheap. I grind my local rocks and an orange mineral oxide I gather from the stream. I grind in a pestle and mortar add some water, grind some more, sieve then dry and grind some more. How much grinding and how fine a sieve will depend on how much you are bothered by gritty bits in your paint.

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:10 pm
by Bob_Fleet
There's a wonderful book "Colour" by Victoria Finlay.

The best rocks for blue pigment come from a series of mines in a valley called Sar-e sang, the place of the stone.
They were used by all the old masters but were quite expensive.
Unfortunately the valley is in Afghanistan and the rock you want is Lapis Lazuli -Ultramarine - from beyond the seas.
£2,500 a pound.

"Cheaper" blues include Azurite or it's sister Malachite.
Try old copper workings for these.

Silver mines might have Cobalt Blue associated with them but watch out for arsenic salts.

As everyone seems to be making their own tools on their forges everywhere you could try making Chartres blue. Basically a deep blue glass which is then powdered. Silica sand, wood ash and copper filings. Recipe seems to need three heatings the final one for six hours. A nice project for Gavin,Ben or Robin perhaps.

I don't know that Derbyshire Blue John was used as a paint pigment but you might start a fashion.

If you're not insisting on powdered rock you might want to try Indigo-from India.
There is a tablet in the British Museum with a Babylonian recipe from the seventh century BC.
Now there's a challenge.
Home grown variety - try wode just that the yield is less.
Can't be hard to grow as its such a pernicious weed its banned in some American states.

Enjoy

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:45 pm
by simon
Wode is a real thug in the garden, be warned. Once you've got it thats it.

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:49 pm
by Ian S
fleetpeople wrote:Lapis Lazuli -Ultramarine - from beyond the seas. £2,500 a pound.


Yup, very expensive. In Idar-Oberstein (Small place in Germany, pretty well European gem stone capital), it's priced by the gram. I have some somewhere.

"Cheaper" blues include Azurite or it's sister Malachite. Try old copper workings for these.


Note - Azurite is blue and Malachite is green. They're both copper salts, and I understand that copper salts can be very toxic!

I don't know that Derbyshire Blue John was used as a paint pigment but you might start a fashion.


Blue John is a variety of fluorospar, and the blue bands are more purple than blue. It's very crystalline in nature. and you might find that crushing it might give a fairly boring white-ish powder. I have some Blue John somewhere as well, but I ain't gonna try crushing it.

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:08 pm
by DavidFisher
Thanks for all of the information. I guess, that's the trick isn't it -- just find some bright blue rocks to grind up! :lol: Well, that gives me another reason to walk the dog by the river. Maybe I'll find a Pennsylvania version of Lapis Lazuli :D . Growing some indigo would be a good idea. I am familiar with its use as a dye, but I didn't know it could be ground for pigments. I did find the Victoria Finlay book online, and it looks very good. I may pick it up. I found some information and products at www.earthpigments.com that look good if I am unable to grind some of the pigments on my own.

Forgive another question: What is the benefit or resulting difference of the emulsion paint recipe (water and oil) as opposed to a mix without the water?

Dave

Re: home made paint tutorial

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:43 pm
by Ian S
Hi David

Just had a thought (rare occurence....)

Do you have any artist's suppliers near you? A tube of watercolour paint or a pan or half pan of (solid) watercolour paint might be usable, especially is you used a lot of it in the mix. The better suppliers might also have oil paint pigments for the real traditionalists who like mixing their oil paints from scratch.

The only problem is that it might give you more of a transparent or translucent colour wash rather than an opaque paint. Robin's duck bowl has an opaque paint finish.

Cheers