“ECO – Traditional Techniques for Construction and Landscape Sectors” INFO SHEET BASIC INFORMATION: Country: Name of the technique: Finland Making Red Ochre Paint Description of the technique: The current recipe of the Red Ochre paint, which is consisting water, rye flour, linseed oil, salt and red ochre pigment (punamulta), was finalized in the 1920s. As punamulta paint ages, the binder deteriorates leaving the colour granules loose, but restoration is easy since simply brushing the surface is all that is required before repainting. The red ochre is nontoxic and since the binder is starch, the paint is permeable to water. Historical aspect: The prehistoric dwellers may have discovered that unlike the dye colour derived from animal and vegetable sources (which we do not have traces anymore), the colour that comes from iron oxide deposits in the earth would not fade with the changing environment. For this reason, it is estimated that men traveled long and far to maintain a steady supply of red pigment. Natural red chalks, with their rich, warm colour, were popular from about 1500 to 1900. The earliest evidence of its use dates from the 16th century. The traditional colour remains popular today due to its effectiveness in preserving wood. In Finland, the Red Ochre is known as punamulta ("red earth") after the pigment, very finely divided hematite. The red ochre is nontoxic and since the binder is starch, the paint is permeable to water. Tools and materials: 120 l hot water, 4-6 kg iron sulphate or copperas (well-equipped color movement), 12 kg rye flour and 30 l cold water, 3-6 l linseed oil varnish, 25kg sack of red ochre , 1 kg fine sea salt, 200 l old steel drum or barrel, mixing stick, scales for weighing the components of the paint Step-by-step instructions: make a firebox out of bricks pour 60 liters of water into a drum light the fire under the drum mix iron sulphate with 20 l of cold water add iron sulphate mixture to the drum when the water is boiling, add flour and stir continuously to prevent lumps continue heating and stirring until the mixture boils and add the 3 l of linseed oil keep the mixture simmering and stir continuously - when the base of the drum feels slippery the paste is ready gently stir in the red ochre, little at the time reduce the heat before adding the pigment as the paint is liable to boil over the paint is ready once it has cooled. It stays fresh for several days, or a week if stored in a cool place Other information about the technique Once the walls are painted, the paint lasts for decades, looking even more beautiful as years go by. Repainting can be done straight on top of the old paint. Simply brushing the surface is all that is required before repainting.