Green paint, or eco-friendly paint, is becoming a popular option for home decorating because it doesn't contain harmful VOCs. Check out the different types of natural paint to help you choose the best one.
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Binder: Lime putty, non-hydraulic bagged lime or hydraulic lime
Solvent: Usually water, but some have a small oil content (typically linseed oil), particularly with external applications.
Filler: Not required in pure lime wash.
A recommended system would be 3 to 4 coats for use indoors and 4 to 5 coats for outside applications. Must be applied to a porous surface (not on top of other finishes). With casein lime wash, casein (derived from milk curd) is also added for greater adhesion.
Binder: Soft animal glue, casein (derived from milk curd) or natural oils
Solvent: Water, linseed oil
Filler: Powdered chalk
A small amount of linseed oil is added, but the product is still water-based. While many milk paints only use the curd, more traditional types would simply mix skimmed milk directly with hydrated lime and pigment. Oil-bound distemper may contain borax—an emulsifier that increases durability. For interior use only.
Binder: Flour (not always used in clay paint)
Clay often provides the color, although further pigments may also be added.
Binder: Natural oils such as raw linseed oil
Solvent: Natural oils such as citrus oil
Filler: Not required
Natural oil paints have good all-around application, both inside and out.
Binder: Egg yolk or white
Filler: None used
Not normally practical for large-scale work, but is extremely hardwearing and can be effective for the detailing in moldings.
Natural pigments (not listed above) come from many different sources. Organic pigments can be derived from flowers and berries (although these tend to fade with light). More stable finishes are provided by natural earth pigments, such as ochre and umber. Most come in powder form, so precautions may be required to avoid inhalation of the powder while mixing.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009