Selecting Your Paint

Natural paint, clay paint, milk paint, lime paint A Guide to Selecting Natural Paint

Are you new to natural paint?  Unlike conventional petrochemical paints, which generally come in a one-type-fits-all can, natural paints should be selected with your application in mind.  Take a few minutes to learn about the differences between our natural paints and plasters, and you will find that our Zero-VOC, green natural paints and plasters can be used to achieve terrific results in a wide variety of applications.

 

Step 1: Choose Your Paint or Plaster
When choosing your natural paint or plaster, ask yourself the following questions:

Are you looking for interior or exterior paint?  

  • We offer 4 different kinds of natural interior paints.  
  • We do not currently offer a paint that we recommend for the exterior.  We are in the fifth year of testing a natural paint for the exterior and hope to release it soon- so check back.  

 

Is the room you are painting going to be regularly humid?

  • Unlike conventional paints, Unearthed natural paints do not contain any chemical biocides.  Our paints are breathable, so occasional moisture or water splashes will dry out without a problem (exception: Plant Glue Paint is not water resistant).  
  • If you are applying paint to a room that is consistently humid (such as bathrooms, small, enclosed kitchens or rooms in humid climates) our Lime Paint or Lime Plaster are excellent choices.  Unearthed Lime Paint and Lime Plaster have a  natural pH value of approximately 13.  Because of this high alkalinity, they are extremely resistant to fungus and mold growth. 

Are the walls going to get dirty regularly or are they in a low-traffic area that will stay clean?

  • Although paint performance descriptions often focus on scrubbability, the reality is that most people never scrub their walls.  Ask yourself: how likely is it that these walls will need scrubbing?
  • If you are using the paint in a low traffic area that will not get wet or require scrubbing, Unearthed Plant Glue Paint is a very economical choice.  However, it is not water-resistant.  Plant Glue Paint is also a great natural paint to use on your ceilings. 
  • Vega Paint, Clay Paint, Clay Roll-On Plaster, Lime Paints, and Lime Plaster and resistant to water splashes and wiping.  
  • If you require a very durable, dirt and water resistant surface, we recommend that you use Lime Paint or Lime Plasters.  After applying the lime plaster or paint you can add our Marseille soap.  This creates a soaped lime coating that is very resistant to dirt and water.  

 

Are you painting over a nonporous surface, such as very glossy conventional paint or glazed tile?

  • All of our natural paints can be successfully applied to most surfaces, including conventional paints.  Because thousands of chemical paint formulas have been on the market,  it is impossible for us to guarantee adhesion on all surfaces.  We recommend that you do a test surface on an inconspicuous location before painting the whole room.  Keep in mind that unlike conventional paints, Unearthed natural paints continue to harden over time, so a newly painted surface will become much more durable over the months following application.  

Do you want the most unique, eye-catching finish available, or would you rather use something that is easiest to apply and most economical?  

  • Lime plasters create stunning finishes that can be customized by mixing in ingredients like walnut shells and glass pearls.  However, plastering is significantly more work than painting and the per square foot price is higher.  Lime plasters must be troweled.  With some practice (try a sample board first!), most people can learn to apply plaster themselves.  
  • Unearthed paints are easy to apply.  Clay, Vega, and Plant Glue Paints can be applied with a brush, roller, or airless sprayer.  Clay Roll-On Plaster can be applied with a brush or a roller.  Lime Paint should be applied with a brush, unless it is untinted, in which case it can also be rolled on.  
  • Try our Clay Roll-On Plaster for a textured finish that is easy to apply.  

lime plaster, zero-voc, with glass pearls, muscovite, and vermiculite
 

Step Two: Choose Your Color


Clay Paint and Clay Roll-On Plaster


Click here for the Clay Paint/Clay Roll-On Plaster Color Chart. 

  • Vibrant shades (A) are created by using full-strength colors.  To achieve these shades, simply buy a gallon of your desired color.  
  • Medium shades (B) are created by mixing full-strength colors and white in a ratio of 3:10.  To make a B shade, buy three 1/10th gallon packets of color and one gallon of white.  This will make 1.3 gallons of paint.   
  • Subtle shades (C) are achieved by mixing full-strength colors and white in a ratio of 1:10.  To make a gallon of a C shade, buy one 1/10th gallon packet of color and one gallon of white.  This will make 1.1 gallons of paint.

Vega Paint, Lime Paint, Plant Glue Paint, Lime Plasters

Click here for the Color Chart. 

All of these paints are sold as a white base.  We will send you the appropriate size pigment packet based on the color you select.  You simple mix the pigment packet into the gallon of paint.     

You can also create your own unique colors by mixing the pigments.  Pigments can be bought individually from our pigment page. 

 

Still have questions?  Send us your questions by clicking the "contact" button on the left of this page.