Clay Paint Recipes

1 / 4
2 / 4
Kaolin clay, when ground down into a fine powder and mixed with water and other ingredients, makes the perfect clay-based paint with its light color that won't darken other pigments.
3 / 4
Kaolin clay in its bulk form before it is ground down and sifted to a fine material for use in clay paints.
4 / 4
“The Mudgirls Manifesto Handbuilt Homes Handcrafted Lives” guides readers through building healthy, eco-friendly homes out of natural and recycled materials, while also giving a group of women the opportunity to explore social inequalities and systems of oppression that are driving forces behind patriarchy, hierarchy, and capitalism.

Mudgirls Manifesto Handbuilt Homes Handcrafted Lives (New Society Publishers, 2018) by The Mudgirl’s Natural Building Collective is a guide to building eco friendly homes from natural and recycled materials to cut down on the mass pollution and waste that comes from conventional construction methods.  The Mudgirl’s collective is about more than alternative building practices, each woman that spends time as a member of this group is taught building techniques, leadership qualities, and a new way of life where one can live in harmony with the earth and in equality with all of its people.  While this book does include many helpful tips on building and techniques for effective and eco-friendly projects the main goal is to focus on the groundbreaking process and practice this group of women embody.

 You can buy this book from the Grit Store: Mudgirls Manifesto.

These paint recipes never let us down. They work great over basic earthen plasters, and they hold color well. The more whitening you add, the more paste you can add, too.

Paint #1


  • 2 parts kaolin clay (It’s bagged, sifted, and such a light color that won’t darken any pigment you add to it)
  • 1 part starch paste (Also known as wheat paste, paper-mache glue, wallpaper paste, or just “glue.” Starch paste just sounds super professional.)
  • 1/2 part calcium carbonate (Also known as whitening, or that chalk stuff that they use to draw lines on soccer fields; it’s like superfine powdered sand.)


  1. Add water slowly and carefully until it reaches the consistency of paint.

Paint #2


  • 1 part kaolin
  • 1 part superfine sand, 325 mesh is good (available at pot­tery supply stores)
  • 1/2 -1 part starch paste


  1. Add water slowly and carefully until it reaches the consistency of paint.


If pigment is in powder form, mix it with water in a jar, screw the lid on super tight, and shake it up. If you add a drop of liquid dish soap, it helps disperse the powder throughout the water. Let it sit until the pigment settles to the bottom of the jar, then gently pour off the water and measure out the pigment paste. You can also just throw the water and pigment into the mix together – just keep notes and keep everything consistent if you’re trying to replicate shades over multiple mixes. You can measure pigments by volume, but if you’re after maximum precision, you should weigh your pigments on a scale to really know how much you’re adding each time.

 More from The Mudgirls Manifesto:

Excerpted from Mudgirls Manifesto Handbuilt Homes Handcrafted Lives by the Mudgirls Natural Building Collective and published by New Society Publishers, 2018.

Hand-built Homes

On North America’s West Coast, there’s a group of rebel women who 10 years ago chose to break free from a rigged economic and social system. They didn’t take to the streets to lobby banks and governments to change their ways – they didn’t have time for that. They had babies to feed and house. They reckoned that if nobody else was going to change the rules to support basic human needs and respect the biosphere, then we were all free to make our own rules. They chose action. They decided to teach themselves how to build houses using the most abundant material on earth – mud. They’d learn by building, gathering skills and allies. They’d have fun, sharing whatever they learned with whoever wanted to come along for the ride. The Mudgirls revolution was born. Part story of rebel women, grassroots self-governance, and community-building, part incendiary political and economic tract, and part practical guide to building natural homes for real people, Mudgirls Manifesto is about respecting the earth, each other, and crafting meaningful lives.The Mudgirls is an all-women’s natural building collective from coastal British Columbia. They build houses and offer workshops that empower people to take back the right to provide themselves with shelter. They champion respect for the earth and each other. Order from the Grit Store or by calling 866-803-7096. 

Need Help? Call 1-866-803-7096