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Clay color: natural and healthy living
Clay color: natural and healthy living

Clay paint is popular as a paint for interior design. No wonder, because clay paint is an ecological building material made from purely natural ingredients and contributes to a healthy living climate through its numerous positive properties.

The natural building material clay paint is obtained in different geological layers in many regions of Germany. Finely ground clay flours are an essential main ingredient. It also contains various earth pigments, minerals, plant proteins and cellulose fibers. Instead of high-pollutant binders, which are often used in conventional paints, only ecological alternatives are used for clay paint. In addition to the clay flour, marble granulate and chalk ensure good saturation and a high coverage of the color. You can achieve an individual color result by adding different color pigments.

Properties of clay paint

Clay paint is antistatic, which is why no dirt particles are attracted from the room air, which would then adhere to the paint. The clay-colored clay can even absorb pollutants from the air and neutralize unpleasant smells. The loam absorbs moisture from the air and only slowly gives it back, thereby promoting a healthy living climate.

Clay paint can be applied to this surface

In principle, clay paint can be used on any surface that is dry, absorbent and free of greases such as mineral surfaces, wallpaper, plasters, concrete or wood.

Clay paint can also be used on old paints, provided they are not loose or staining. It is best to test the clay color in advance on a small area. Clay paint should not be used on paints made of oil, glue or latex as well as on plastic, metal or lime paint. If the surface is permanently damp or non-absorbent, you should not use clay paint. To increase the absorbency and load-bearing capacity of the subsurface, you can roughen particularly smooth surfaces mechanically - if the condition permits. It is best to apply clay paint in the system to clay plaster.


In principle, you can use clay plaster and clay paint on any surface that is dry, absorbent and free of grease.

Photo: istock / ivanastar

How to prepare for painting with clay paint

First of all, the surface to be painted must first be carefully and properly freed from the old paint. Loose material of any kind - including old wallpaper glue residues and sand - must be removed. Surfaces made of plaster or concrete must be carefully cleaned of sintered skin and residues of formwork oil. Areas affected by mold should also be treated before painting. This is the only way to avoid strikethrough after painting. A fresh coat of lime takes four weeks to dry. You should wait that long until you apply the clay paint so that the plaster is really completely dry.

Processing of clay paint

Clay colors are either already spreadable or as a powder for mixing in many different colors. However, additional preservatives are added to the spreadable version, which affects the natural character of the clay plaster. Ideally, the temperature of clay paint should be at least eight degrees Celsius. To get individual shades, you can mix finished colors as you like. You can apply clay paint with a facade brush or paint roller - as rich and even as possible in all directions. While ready-to-paint clay paint closes tightly and lasts a little longer when stored in cool, rust-free storage, the self-mixed variant must be used on the same day. Unopened, both versions last for at least six months.

Lehmfarbe verarbeiten
Lehmfarbe verarbeiten

The drying time of clay paint is around one day depending on the temperature and humidity of the room.

Photo: Auro / akz-o

If you have to paint twice, you should wait about eight to twelve hours after the first coat. The drying time depends on the temperature and humidity of the room. Normally, the temperature of the living room is around 20 degrees Celsius and has a relative humidity of 60 percent. In this case, the paint is completely dry after about a day. Clean the tools used, such as a brush or paint roller, with soap and water immediately after you have finished painting.

What to do with the remains of the clay paint?

Since clay paint is made up of purely ecological and natural ingredients and ingredients, the dried product residues can later be simply disposed of in the compost or residual waste. Please do not discharge the remains of the paint into the waste water, as this could lead to deposits or blockages. Empty product packaging is properly disposed of in the local recycling center.

Make clay paint yourself

In addition to ready-to-paint and powder, you can also make clay paint yourself. In this variant, clay sludge is used instead of the powder. So that the clay can be used for painting, you first have to soak it in and slurry in water for at least 24 hours, but preferably several days. Then stir the mass with a mixer until all lumps have been processed into a creamy mass. Depending on how clayey the clay is, the amount of clay in the mixture must be varied. It is best to test the mixture on a small area before you apply everything.

If the clay paint cracks, the proportion of clay sludge must be reduced. If the clay paint adheres poorly and sands after drying, you need to add more clay. You can also add quark to the mixture. In this case, this serves as a natural binder and also increases the abrasion resistance of the clay paint.

Christina Leuchtweis editors

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