Earth Paints Review


Review of Earth Paints, a family-run business based in Oregon. I have had Earth Paints on my Made in the USA list under art supplies since learning about them some time ago, but had not personally tried the paints so was very excited to receive a sampling of them for this review! About the family behind Earth Paints, from their website: “Artist and mother, Leah Fanning Mebane & her husband, Drew, work from home creating small batches of high quality, natural, sustainable paint (no child labor involved!) We create our paints in basically the same way our cave-dwelling ancestors did 100,000 years ago, and most cultures around the world and throughout the centuries have (with the help of a few modern gadgets). We enjoy carrying on this ancient tradition and sharing non-toxic, natural paint with the world. We create Earth Paints using eco-friendly, natural pigments, millions of years in the making. Harvested from the earth, the naturally colored clay is dried, crushed and sifted into pure pigments. The vibrancy and luminosity of these natural paints are unsurpassed for creating deeply saturated colors. We offer both our professional, eco-friendly Earth Oil Paint Kit for artists and water soluble Children’s Earth Paint Kits. A professional toxicologist tested every pigment for toxicity. We mix the pigments with organic milk protein to create a paint that is water-soluble and creamy”.

This business, like all businesses these days, gets tons of requests from bloggers such as myself for samples of their products. They agreed to send a partial kit for me to get an idea of the quality of their product. I was sent a red, yellow & blue sample, the whole kit contains orange, green & brown in addition to the colors I was sent. The kits are available in 2 sizes: Petite which will yield 11 ounces of paint when mixed ($19.95), or the larger kit which will yield 96 ounces of paint when mixed ($29.95). Refills & bulk amounts are also available, something I always like to see offered! They also offer an egg- dyeing kit, an eco gesso kit and face & body paint kit.

My son has really, really enjoyed these paints, and so have I as I have no concerns over their safety! 1st, mixing them up has been great fun. I use a 4 oz. glass Mason jar for each color, which is convenient for when we’re done as they have lids for refrigerating leftovers until the next use. I get out ~1 TBSP of powder, hand it to him & let him dump it in the glass jar. Then I get out a shot glass & fill it full of water & hand that to him to dump in, and then hand him a paint brush for each color & let him mix them up. He really loves the process of making the paints, and I love that it engages him, and he learns that not everything comes ready-to-go in a plastic tub from the store. And of course he really enjoys painting. The project he’s enjoyed the most was when I let him dip his hands & feet in for prints, as you can see in the photo. The colors are very earthy, and dry very similar to the color they are when wet, dulling maybe just a little. And of course you can water them down more or less depending on your preferences. The hand/foot prints were from a different batch that was more watered down than the brilliant artwork above in the attached photo. The blue is extremely vibrant & impresses me every time I see it, it’s my favorite! Here’s info from their website on how they acquire this blue color:
Where do you find the blue earth?

•The blue earth is the only color that has been tampered with to get this vibrant color. It is made of 90% earthen clay with 10% mineral added and then heated in the oven. 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’ve found this alternative.

Their website is full of great information, I really enjoyed reading the following facts: “We are proud that our Earth Paints are one of the safest paint products on the market. They are safe for you, your child, and the planet. They are handcrafted, and because of their undiluted purity, these paints have a time-tested durability of thousands of years. Of the many benefits, here are a few….

•Archival: Pure pigments are the most permanent of all pigments, lasting thousands of years.
•Superior Quality: There are no added fillers or stabilizers (to increase shelf life). This increases paint intensity and allows the refraction of light to bounce off of pigment particles. Color mixing is also greatly improved without additives.
•Vibrancy: The pigment particles are larger and more irregular (than synthetic pigments), which allows for more light to pass through the pigment particles and creates a paint that has a higher refraction-vibrancy.
•Non-toxic and natural: Truly certified non-toxic and earth friendly paint for you and your child (no need to ventilate studio).
•Durable: Not affected by sunlight, temperature or humidity.
•You don’t have to worry about harming yourself, your family, and the environment in order to create your art.
•No more off-gassing paintings in your studio or home.
•The risk of acute/chronic diseases from heavy metal toxins is eliminated.
•You can safely dispose of rags and excess paint in the trash and flush wash-water down the drain.
•The ONLY type of pigment that is completely unaffected by UV rays (commonly used to protect metal & wood).
•Made in the USA by a small, family-owned business.
•Connection with nature and the earth beneath our feet: Children are always shocked to learn that they’re actually painting with “dirt.”
•Earth Paints were developed primarily with safety, sustainability, and quality in mind. Using natural earth pigments, our paints are safe, certified non-toxic, and organic. They have been tested by government approved toxicologists and are 100% non-toxic. But no matter how tantalizing they seem, we still do not recommend ingesting them and please avoid inhaling the dust.
•For the children’s kit, it’s best to use the paint mixture promptly after mixing or refrigerate it because the milk in the paint will spoil after a few days if left out. Refrigerate them in a closed container and they will last as long as milk lasts (1-2 weeks). Wash hands after use.
•* Note Possible Allergen: Children’s Paints contain organic milk protein (from happy, local, organic cow dairy)
•*Paints are safe to wash down the sink.
•* Conforms to ASTMD-4236
•If you’ve used toxic paints for years, here are some easy ways to detox those nasty chemicals.

Did you know………
•Arts and crafts products do not usually list ingredients. Consumers rely upon “non-toxic” certification, believing that their art materials have undergone sufficient testing to ensure the products they use are safe. Don’t let these labels fool you.
•Art pigments (colors) are commonly made from petrochemicals, and the actual hazards of these materials are not always known. In the US, synthetic pigments that have never been tested for toxicity can be labeled “non-toxic.” The rationale? There is no data to prove otherwise.
•Arts and crafts paints are exempt from consumer paint lead laws, and often contain lead, cadmium, and a host of toxic ingredients like formaldehyde (a carcinogen), one of the most common paint preservatives. Be careful what you paint with or give your child to paint with.”

I am very grateful that Leah agreed to send me a sampling of these wonderful paints! I learned a lot about natural pigments, and appreciate all the additional info they provide on their website about paints in general. I think these paints would make any child a very happy artist, and would be a fabulous birthday or other gift idea. I will definitely be buying my son a full kit of colors once we use up these samples.

For more information, including a photo gallery, please visit their website & ‘like’ their Facebook page:

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Art supplies made in the USA? | Eco-friendly baby/family products MADE in USA

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