Purchasing products online is tough, because you have to deal with shipping fees and wait times, but the selection is infinitely better since you can order from places around the world. If you are looking to stock up on supplies, or if you have a final design early enough, ordering paint online may be something to consider.
Karen Michel’s book, “Green Guide for Artists,” is full of green alternatives for creating art. The book is from a more visual artists’ perspective, but there are a lot of tips that can be transferred to scenic paint in theatre. The back of the book is full of links to eco-friendly paint companies. Here are a few:
www.bioshieldpaint.com – this company carries an assortment of interior wall paints. They sell clay paint, which is, as the name indicates, paint made with natural clays and pigments, and they “capture the centuries-old warm ambience of aged adobe as well as clay and lime plasters.” Solvent-and-VOC-free wall paint is also sold, as well as floor and furniture finishers, natural colour pigments, and brushes. They are able to ship to Canada; rates are based on how much you spend on products.
www.earthpaint.net – Earthpaint takes a very serious approach to their wood staining and paint products. The front page has an entire section on the dangers of chemicals commonly used in conventional paint. All of the ingredients for their products are sourced locally in the U.S. This company is super ‘anti-poison,’ which, in my opinion, is good. Shipping is expensive but they sell a lot of products!
www.earthpigments.com – Earth Pigments, sells natural earth-sourced pigments, obviously. If you are working on props or smaller set pieces, you can mix the pigment with a thinner, a binder, and a load. On its’ website: “Paint always consists of the same basic formula: a thinner such as water or oil, a binder such as Casein, Glue or Egg, and a “load” such as chalk and/or pigment. In addition to these basics, other ingredients may be added like “siccatives” to accelerate drying or a preservative such as Clove Oil.”
www.milkpaint.com – This American company is called The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., Inc., and it sells milk paints, which is a paint made by combining a milk protein (casein) with lime (calcium) and earth pigments. This is a very traditional and ancient method of creating paint. The paint is shipped in solid form that you mix with water upon use. It’s important not to mix more than you need, as the paint will only stay good for a few days in the fridge. Once it is dry, it acts as normal paint. This stuff is really good for period furniture and antiquing. They also sell SafePaint, made for walls.
www.realmilkpaint.com – Real Milk Paints is another milk paint company. They also sell their products in powder form, as well as paint stripper, oil for wood finishing, and wax sealers. Their website has many tips and techniques for using their paint. The only place in Alberta where their paint is sold is in Lethbridge, but you can order online.