How To Make Outdoor ‘Flour Paint’ That Looks Great And Lasts For Years!

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Flour Paint also known as “swedish paint”, “wheat paint” or “ochre paint” is an ecological and resilient paint for wood surfaces, made from simple ingredients, which can be easily prepared at home, while offering an excellent quality/price ratio.


Yes, Flour Paint…

All paints are prepared according to a simple basic recipe: They are made from pigments (for the color), binders (to bind all the ingredients together), solvents or thinners (to dilute and make the paint easier to apply), and additives (to add specific properties to the paint, such as quicker drying, or protection against mold, etc.).

Flour Paint, made from water, soap, linseed oil, pigments, iron sulfate (a common food additive), and flour (you might’ve guessed!), provides beautiful results, requires little care, will last between 8 and 10 years, all for a fraction of the price of industrial paint.


Flour Paint is also a great alternative to ecological paints that are now available commercially, but which often have prohibitive prices. When it is colored with ochre, it will be very efficient in protecting wooden exterior walls: Ochre being a very opaque pigment, it offers a strong protection against UV radiation, which is responsible for graying wood. Painted surfaces do not require any special care, and can easily be cleaned with soapy water. To refresh the look with an additional coat, no need to sand or strip: Just clean and paint directly.

However, Flour Paint requires a preparation and needs to be cooked, a process which takes approximately an hour, but is quite simple. Flour Paint cannot be stored as long as industrial paint, as its flour and water mix will eventually ferment, depending on storing conditions.


Flour Paint can only be used on wood, may it be new or old, but it must be clean, dry, brushed and/or sanded, dusted and stripped of any previous paint or varnish which could prevent the new paint to penetrate its fibers. It cannot be used on drywall. Flour Paint is ideally suited to paint wooden exterior vertical surfaces, such as sidings, heavy timber, doors and windows, etc. It is not recommended to use flour paint on horizontal surfaces.

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How To Make

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make 10 liters (+/- 2.5 gal.) of Flour Paint, which will cover approximately 35 square meters (375 square feet) per coat. You can adjust the quantity according to your needs. Measurements are provided in both metric and US system for your convenience:

  • 8 liters of Water (8.5 qt)
  • 650g of White Flour (23 oz.)
  • 2.5kg of earth pigments or iron oxydes (5.5 lbs.)
  • 250g of Iron Sulfate (9 oz.)
  • 1 liter of Linseed Oil (1 qt)
  • 100ml of black soap or colorless dishwashing soap (3.4 fl.oz.)

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Preparation

  1. In a large metal recipient, bring 7 liters (7 qt) of water to a boil.
  2. At the same time, mix the flour in 1 liter of water (1.5 qt). Pour the mix in the boiling water and let cook for 15 minutes while stirring.
  3. Add the coloring pigments as well as the Iron Sulfate, and keep stirring for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the double boiled Linseed Oil, and stir for another 15 minutes.
  5. Add the liquid soap, stir, remove from the heat source and let the mix cool down.
  6. The paint is ready to use. If it seems too thick or viscous, dilute it with water until you get the desired viscosity.

Application

  • Don’t apply while the surface is exposed directly to the sun, or on wood that is wet/humid. The temperature must be higher than 5°C (41°F).
  • For new wood, it is recommended to use a primer, made from the paint diluted with 15-25% water.
  • Use a paint brush to apply. Apply a first coat, which will dry under an hour.
  • Wait at least 24 hours to apply a final coat.

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