Home-made Ecological Paint for Interior Walls Part 1 Making Wheat Paste

We want to freshen up our existing wall covering in the Kitchen, just in the areas behind the stove. We originally covered the wall in 2002, fifteen years ago and we cook every day on a wood cooker, so the wall areas around the stove have taken a bit of a beating! We did some research as to what we could cover it with and came up with a few alternatives.

Our options were to:

  • add another layer of hemp and lime over the top of the original using a finer 'finishing' grade of hemp.
  • find a suitable eco-paint that would cover the wall and yet still have the same finished aspect as the existing surface.
  • make our own eco-paint and therefore by experimentation, be sure the surfaces were as similar as possible. 

We considered the first option from both an economic and aesthetic point and found two problems. On the cost front, we had originally used a horticultural grade organic hemp, normally used as mulch and which we had bought in bulk from an agricultural/market-gardening suppliers at a very competitive price. The finishing organic hemp, however came under the auspices of interior decoration/design and was thus both pricey and more importantly very difficult to source! From an aesthetic point we had levelled off the hemp and lime to the surface of all the electrical installations and woodwork, so adding another layer would be troublesome and end up looking like an afterthought. It was also more likely too that we would end up having to redecorate the whole Kitchen if we chose this option.

The second option was conversely a very easy one, as we have an alternative builders merchant just a couple of minutes away from where we live. On the economic front, the paint is quite expensive and after all we are quite capable of making our own! Therefore we chose the third option.

Ecological paint, like a good organic food recipe is made up of just the basic necessary ingredients, it is simple and seemingly, very easy to make. It has substance aka filler, the ability to stick on the wall, i.e. glue, coverage aka water and a colour, natural pigment. As an option you can also add a texture, such as hemp, straw, sand, linen etc.,.

Wall Paint Recipe Step One - Making the Wheat Paste or Glue Element

This is something we have made before when we were creating papier mâché puppets and it is known as wheat or flour paste. It makes terrific glue by the way. It's only drawback being that it is tasty. Our friend's Golden Retriever (here left looking extremely guilty) chewed the ear off one of our puppets at an exhibition!


1 litre or 1 US Quart of boiling water
225 ml or 1 cup of cold water
225 ml or 1 cup of sieved organic flour*
This will make approximately 1¼ litres or 5 cups of paste

*we are using spelt because we were given a whole sack full from our local organic shop as it had weevil activity! However, most people advocate plain white flour.


Mix the cold water and flour together to form a smooth paste.

Slowly add the boiling water to the mix, stirring continuously until the liquids are well incorporated and without lumps. You can always sieve again at this point if you have a problem.

Return pan to heat and bring to boil, stirring continuously.

Keep stirring and count ten seconds after the boil and then remove from heat.

Cover and leave to cool.

Storing wheat paste

In hot weather the paste will keep for a couple of days before going off. It should be covered and kept in a cool place such as a pantry or refrigerator. A skin will form on the top of the paste and this should be removed and discarded (it can be composted) before use.

Next stage and film coming very soon, as we will be painting the walls tomorrow!

All the best and thanks for dropping by. Please feel free to share this article, comment and/or ask for further information.

Until next time!

Cheers, Andy
© Andy Colley 2017


Home-made Ecological Paint Interior Walls Part 2 Claypaint

When the wheat paste was cool we were ready to go ahead with the next part of the process. We decided to add a little of our earth pigments, a red and yellow ochre, to avoid the grey tone that you can get with clay and flour paints...read more

Renovating our House - Sourcing and Using Ecological Materials

You may be eating organic food, exercising, managing your weight and stress levels but you can still, in effect, be being poisoned in your own home...read more

Sourcing and Using Lime/Hemp & Lime/Linen Mortars

Like all organic matter linen and hemp react to their environment so although there are some indications as to the quantities used to make up plaster, there are no actual...read more

Using Natural Earth and Mineral Pigments in the Home and Garden 

The Alchemy of Artists' Materials - whether painting a leaf motif or a window frame, it's  so much more fun than opening a tin of paint...read more

Mixing and Using Lime Mortar

I’ve used lime mortar a lot in our present house firstly because it is obviously appropriate to a 300 year building, as it is sympathetic to the original build of stone laid on a bed of clay mortar...read more



  1. Thank you! Finally an easy and natural recipe for wall paint, I've been searching for a long time. My glue is cooling at the moment, so I am curios how it turns out :)

    1. Thanks for commenting and please do let us know how it goes. We have been very pleased with it and are just about to start on the bedroom walls. We still need to wait until the weather gets warmer to make and apply the exterior paint but should be hopefully ready to write that up in late March - if we don't get snow! By the way if you make too much glue, try freezing it, we have done this and then used it later in paint and it has been fine. All the very best and happy painting, Andy

  2. Can I put an additive Insecticide in this??