Saturday, 16 March 2013

Nature Paint review

Before. A nightmare to remove!
When I started thinking about this post (yes, believe it or not, I do actually think before I write this blog), I came up with the perfect opening line.  And was immediately struck down with one of the most horrific earworms known to humanity.  Of course, because of that I absolutely had to use that line, and share the joy with you all.  You can thank me later.

It's that time of year, now that spring is in the air...  when people's thoughts turn to DIY.  We moved in to our house the middle of last year.  It used to be a show house, and so the decoration is all very nice, but a bit 1991, and not entirely to my taste.  So when Nature Paint said they were looking for bloggers to review their paint range, I knew this was one for me.  Squeaky's room was decorated as a nursery, but a 3 going-on 13 year old wants something more girly than teddy bears, so hers was the room we chose to make-over.

Here's the info on Nature Paint, before I go any further.
  • Nature Paint is fully biodegradable so any waste can be composted safely.
  • All packaging is 100% recyclable for minimal impact on the planet.
  • Nature Paint is 100% VOC free - so none of the chemicals that contribute to climate change or affect our health. They are the only paint manufacturers to have achieved this, and a new ZERO VOC badge had to be designed for their packaging.
  • Nature Paint is made in Cornwall from natural & local materials including Cornish clay, French ochre and Italian sienna. The pigments are natural, lightproof, & artist-grade, meaning they are probably the most fade-proof colours available.
  • As there are no nasty chemicals, Nature Paint doesn't have the kind of painty fumes that give you a headache.  Instead, it has a faint clay smell which disappears as it dries, meaning it is perfectly safe, and even pleasant, to sleep in a room that has been painted that day.
  • As there are no synthetic materials, Nature Paint does not create static, and actually repels dust, so walls stay cleaner for longer.
  • Nature Paint has excellent breathability, due to its natural characteristics, which means it can deal with even the levels of humidity in a domestic kitchen or bathroom, with far less chance of mould growth than standard paints.
Helping, apparently.

Whereas most paints come ready mixed, and can't be sent through standard mail, Nature Paint is delivered in a powdered form, which you then mix up with water when you are ready to use it.  That means it can be sent through the post.  And when it arrives, it takes up much less space than a normal can of paint, the 1kg tins I received were roughly the size of a normal 1 litre paint can, though when made up they contain 2.5 litres of paint.

At this time in the blogging process, I feel the need to point out that in order to provide you lovely readers with a proper review, I had to spend THREE WHOLE DAYS working to decorate Miss Squeaky's bedroom.  One to strip the old and uncooperative wallpaper.  One to put down sufficient base coats of white paint onto a wall that had never been painted before & so acted like a particularly thirsty sponge as soon as it met white emulsion.  And a third day to actually do the Nature Paint thing.  I had an enthusiastic, though not particularly talented assistant, in the shape of Squeaky, who quite enjoyed picking the wallpaper off the walls, but was not impressed that I wasn't prepared to let her loose with a paintbrush.  (She was also my room-mate for 3 nights, not due to fumes, just having to take everything out of a fairly small bedroom to have the space to work)
Angel Delight? Or paint?

The colour I chose was Campion.  When I looked through the range, I half expected a whole host of muted beiges, the sort of colours normally seen on bobbly arran jumpers and old lady's cups of tea.  I was very pleasantly surprised to find a range of 63 colours, ranging from whites & creams through pinks & reds, blues & greens even into very deep greys.  The hardest part was choosing which one to go for.

The paint came in two tins, each about the size of a 1 litre paint tin, so they take up very little space, even though each tin is 2 1/2 litres once made up.  That's the fun part, making the paint.  If you've got a drill with a mixing attachment, or are prepared to sacrifice your hand blender to the paint gods, it'd be pretty quick.  I, on the other hand, only sacrificed an elderly wooden spoon, so the mixing process took a little while, and built up my arm muscles.  It's not difficult, just takes a while.  Squeaky Daddy took a look into the bucket I was mixing the paint in, and said it looked like Angel Delight, which probably says something about my cooking!

After painting.
After the paint was mixed, and had twenty minutes to thicken, off we went to the walls.  Application is a little bit different to "traditional" emulsion.  Rather than being kind of goopy, I found that Nature Paint was a bit thinner, and I would have struggled to apply it with a roller - I am not the most confident of decorators.  After one coat it looked a little patchy, but the instructions did say that it would need two coats, so I was expecting that.

I was pleased to find that the claims about the lack of painty smells were very accurate, it was a really pleasant environment to work in, with only a faint clay smell, none of the usual chemicals.  After 4 hours or so, maybe a bit longer, I went back and applied the second coat of paint, which evened up the colour on the walls.  I was a little bit apprehensive before I started that the colour might have been a touch too dark, but as you can see it's a subtle pink, with a slight purple tone to it.  It's a really grown up colour, and one that I hope Squeaky will love for a long time to come, she's certainly taken with it at the moment.

Bunting from the amazing Mummy Mandy
At £19.99 for a 1kg tin (makes 2.5 litres) Nature Paint is pretty comparable with big name branded paints.  It did take all of the first tin, and about half of the second to cover the walls in Squeaky's room, but that would have been the case with any paint, as the walls were quite thirsty to start with.

One thing I would like to have seen, either in each tin, or just available from Nature Paint, is a measure.  Some kind of scoop where 1 level scoop is the right amount of paint to mix with e.g. 100ml of water.  As I said, I used all the first tin, and some of the second. I had to get my scales out to weigh the paint powder to mix with the amount of water I calculated (100g paint / 150ml water)  A scoop would make this process a lot easier.  I didn't want to mix up all the second can of paint, because the paint only keeps for about 3 days once made up, and I like to have some leftover paint for emergency touch-ups in the future.

Would I buy Nature Paint again in the future?  I don't see why not.  I'm already thinking about what colours to paint our bedroom next.

Nature Paint is available to order online, or from B&Q and John Lewis.

Disclosure: I was provided with paint to decorate one room free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not told what to write and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive payment for their use. 


  1. Naturepaint is all very well in all respects except one. Even by their own admission the pale colours do NOT cover anuwhere near as well as claimed. The result is that once you have started you find out it is going to be very expensive. People should know this.

    1. Thanks for that. I didn't have a problem with a colour that, as you can see, is definitely at the paler end of the spectrum. I know the bit of info you're referring to, and I read it as meaning it would take at least two, possibly more coats of a paler colour to get a good even coverage on a darker background - something that's equally true of a lot of other brands.

      I fully anticipated it taking two coats to get a decent cover on our walls, as I said it was virgin plaster, so I knew it was going to sink in badly - you should have seen the state after the first base coat of white emulsion.

      I'm really happy with the coverage, and actually, after a while of settling, if anything the colour has matured and darkened up slightly (again, something I was anticipating from the website info), and looks even better. Every one, and every wall, is different.


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