NATURAL EARTH PAINT - FAQ

FAQ

Do the Children’s Earth Paints wash off of skin, furniture, clothes, etc.

YES! Our paints wash off of skin very easily. It's also easy to clean hardwood floors, even over a month-old spills (you can imagine how we know this). The red color contains iron oxides that leave light pink stains on white clothing. The paints wash off of skin and furniture so well that I let my child paint without clothes and don’t put down anything to protect the floor or table since it wipes up in a few seconds.

Can I paint wooden toys with your paints?

Yes! You can either use the Children's Earth Paint or the Earth Oil Paint. The Children's Earth Paint is a water soluble paint that dries quickly. It is not a professional paint however, so it's not a solid, opaque paint like acrylic but still beautiful. Also, it would need to be sealed with a natural oil/ beeswax varnish since it will rub off if gotten wet. The recipe for the varnish is on our blog. Another option is using the Earth Oil Paint. This will make a very archival, beautiful, professional, non-toxic paint BUT it's oil based so takes 3-4 days to dry to the touch so keep that in mind. Many people use both methods.

Are your products vegan?

Yes, most of our products are vegan except for the Original Children's Earth Paint Kit and the Petite Children's Earth Paint Kit (although we can make the petite kit vegan if you request it). Our Natural Face Paint does contain organic beeswax so it is not completely vegan.

How long do the children's paints last once mixed?

Good question! The Children’s Earth paints are best used fresh. We recommend that you mix only as much as you need for one painting session. The Original Paints are milk based and need to be refrigerated after mixing and stay good 4-7 days. The Vegan paints stay good at room temperature for several weeks if kept in a sealed container (although they will stay good longer if refrigerated).

Why mix your own paint when you can buy pre-made containers of paint?

We believe that the extra step of mixing the powdered paint is well worth the peace of mind of knowing you are using the safest and most sustainable paint on the market. Our children's paint has only 4 ingredients, and the powdered pigments in the oil paint kits contain only one ingredient. Most pre-made paints on the market contain a variety of chemical stabilizers, petrochemicals, fillers, and preservatives. That's the "fast food" approach that the mainstream paint industry believes that consumers demand.

What is the difference between the Children’s Earth Paint Kit and the Earth Oil Paint Kit?

The Children’s Earth Paint Kit is water soluble, meaning you mix the powdered paint with water, and it cleans up with water. It is intended for children of all ages and adults who enjoy craft projects.

The Earth Oil Paint Kit is for oil painters. Visual artists and professional artists mix these pure, powdered earth pigments with oil to create essentially the same oil paint that Rembrandt used before tubes of paint were invented.

Where do you find the ultramarine blue and ultramarine purple pigment?

The blue and purple pigments are the only colors that have been fired and manipulated to get this vibrant color. It is composed of 90% earthen clay and 10% man-made, non-toxic minerals, and it is heated in an oven to a high temperature. Throughout history, blues in nature were very rare and usually made with precious stones like Lapis Lazuli. These stones are now unsustainably harvested in Afghanistan, so we have found this beautiful and non-toxic alternative.

What is the Titanium Dioxide made of?

Titanium dioxide occurs in nature as the well-known mineral, Rutile. Rutile is the second most abundant mineral sand. It has been processed to extract the pure white mineral that we use in our paint kits.

Do you have wholesale rates?

Yes, contact us for wholesale rates.

Have these paints been tested for health safety?

Yes, all of the paints and pigments have been tested by government certified toxicologists and certified completely non-toxic. See our Health & Safety page.

Where are your paints made?

We purchase our pigments from small quarries all over the world (U.S., France and Italy) - depending on where that color pigment is prevalent in the ground. We manufacture our paints in Ashland, Oregon.

Can you eat them?

Our paints are not intended for consumption. Additionally, If your child is allergic to dairy products, then you may want to reduce your child's exposure to handling the Original Children's paints.

Can I use Earth Paints as face paint?

Earth pigments have been used by most indigenous cultures to paint their faces and bodies for thousands of years. Native Americans mixed earth pigments with bear fat or other binders. Our Natural Face Paint kits are made with a cosmetic-grade pigments and organic ingredients. However, the Children's paints contain gum arabic and corns starch and they may be drying or irritating to the skin. Some customers still use the children's paints on skin though. Use at your own discretion.

Can I dye my clothes?

Yes, some colors are strong enough to dye fabric but dyes require a mordant to set the color to the fabric and not wash out, many of which are toxic. Here is one tutorial on making a permanent, natural fabric paint/ dye with natural pigments... http://textileartscenter.com/blog/painting-with-earth-pigments-and-soymilk/

Can I paint my walls with Earth Paints?

Yes, you can paint murals or decorative art on your walls with both the Children's paint and the Earth Oil paint. Remember that the Children's paints are water-soluble, so wet kids' fingers will smear it. Our recommendation is to mix the powdered Earth pigments with wheat paste as the binder. You can see our recipe here.
You can also make your own Clay House paint using natural pigments. The step by step tutorial can be found HERE.

Who would benefit from using Earth Oil Paints?
  • Oil painters who are sensitive to, or simply want to avoid exposure to solvents (white spirit, mineral spirits, turpentine), heavy metal toxins, petroleum-based pigments, and toxic preservatives.
  • Students and teachers in schools and colleges where the practice of oil painting is prohibited because of the terrible-smelling solvents and the heavy metal toxins notorious in readily available paints such as Lead White or any of the cadmium colors.See our Safety page.
  • Artists working in shared studio space where the buildup of solvent fumes could lead to an acutely dangerous concentration of vapors.
  • Artists who work within a small home environment and wish to reduce the odor of oil painting.
  • For travelers, Natural Earth Paints are easy to transport on airplanes since they come in convenient packets of powder that pack easily. Make sure the walnut oil isn't in your carry-on bag, or purchase it separately at a grocery store at your destination.
  • Anyone wanting to paint without harming the earth.
  • Artists who want more vibrancy and luminosity in their paintings without fillers and preservatives to dull the color.
  • How do I store mixed oil paints & how long do they last once mixed?

    For several options, read our blog post on the subject

    Do you have a non-toxic fabric paint that is permanent and won’t wash out?

    We do not at the moment, although many people buy our pure, natural pigments and mix them with clear acrylic medium (although acrylic medium is not natural at all) for a permanent fabric paint. Our children’s paint works great on fabric but will wash out. Another natural and permanent option is using soy milk to make a natural fabric paint; tutorial found here...http://textileartscenter.com/blog/painting-with-earth-pigments-and-soymilk/

    Can you paint on metal, concrete or exterior surfaces?

    For metal, there are several possibilities, you can use an oil based primer on the surface first or prepare the metal in a certain way but there are many opinions on this topic online if you do a quick search. Our oil paints behave exactly like conventional artist oil paints so it’s easy to find info. For concrete, you would also need a proper primer before painting with oils. Once again, a quick google search will give you lots of opinions on this topic. Our paints are not meant for exterior surfaces. They will not hold up to regular rain unless sealed. We do not know of a non-toxic, exterior sealer at this time.

    Is it toxic to breathe the pigment dust before mixing it into oil paint?

    It is not healthy to breathe any type of dust into your lungs, even if it is non-toxic and natural, like our pigments or even dust from a dusty, dirt road. Avoid creating clouds of dust when mixing your paint. If you simply scoop out pigment onto a palette and mix with oil, no dust will be created. Some people who are extra sensitive or concerned about dust can wear a Niosh certified mask and that will protect you completely.

    Are your products free of nuts, dairy or gluten for people with allergies?

    None of our products contain gluten. Most of our products do not contain nuts or dairy. The bottles of refined walnut oil for oil painting kits is made from nuts but it is not processed in our facility. Our “Original” Children’s Earth Paint Kit contains dairy but the regular kit is vegan. The Earth Flag Craft Kit contains dairy but can be made vegan if requested.

    Where do your pigments come from?

    Visit this link for detailed information about each pigment

    How long does it take to ship internationally?

    We ship USPS International because this is the cheapest option by far. International orders usually take 2 weeks for delivery but it varies greatly because of customs – we never know how long packages will be kept in customs. The average shipping time is 10 days-3 weeks.

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