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Recipe: Natural Casein Earth Paint

Recipe: Natural Casein Earth Paint

Posted by Leah Fanning on Feb 11th 2021

Derived from milk, casein paint dates all the way back to Asian cave paintings. 

It was widely used up until the Renaissance, and it's durable, fast-drying, and water-soluble. It does smells a little strange, but the smell dissipates as it dries! Do not use if you are allergic to dairy products.


Prep time: 5 min. prep; then let sit overnight. 5 more min., and let sit an hour.


  1. Mix 2 Tbsp. casein powder with 5 oz. warm water, and let sit overnight.
  2. Discard the water that accumulates on the surface.
  3. Mix 1 Tbsp. borax with 4 oz. hot water, and add to casein/water mixture. Let sit for one hour.
  4. Mix a spoonful of the casein mix with pigment in a glass bowl or on your palette.
  5. Paint on wood, paper, or canvas. Add water if you want a watercolor effect. 

Mixtures last a week if refrigerated.