"Goethe's Delight - Liquor Silicium" Keim Soldalit and pigments on board. I continue to experiment with Keim Mineral Paints.
Trafalgar Junior School Mural "Friendship". Designed and painted by Jenny Meehan.
I worked on a voluntary basis for this project during 2012. I was assisted by small groups of children. The selected children's cartoons were arranged, transferred and painted by John T Freeman, who also led Cartooning Workshops for several of the classes.
If you are thinking of painting an ecologically friendly mural outside, my recommendation would be to use the Keim Soldalit, which is a third generation silicate mineral paint, for the whole project. I found the Keim Soldalit easier to use for the linear parts of this mural than the Beeckosil. This is because Keim Soldalit has an slightly greater viscosity and is therefore is easier to hold on the brush, and easier to apply more precisely. For the larger flat areas, the Beeckosil was fine, but for lines/details Keim Soldalit was better.
"I am very much loving the sol-silicate paint I use from Keim Paints.
It’s AMAZING… and as I am working outside in the very hot sun, it is also very healthy!
I do wear gloves if I know I am going to be handling a lot of paint, because it is very alkaline.
It’s drying quick…I use Soldalit.
Very fine brushes are best, I find, but rollers can be useful.
The light bounces off the matt surface beautifully.
It takes hours to make many pots of paint ready for a painting session. Well worth it though! I love this paint. It’s heaven!
I first started using Keim mineral paints a few years back.
I do use acrylic paints too, but I wouldn’t use large amounts in the sun anymore.
I did do this a couple of years back…
I could smell the fumes coming off the surface of the paint in the hot weather, and thought to myself, “NO, no NO!” This isn’t good for me.
As I have to paint large scale out of doors, and very hot days ARE quite handy when drying paint matters, having paint to use where I don’t need to worry about what I am inhaling is just GREAT!
I don’t paint if the temperature is more than 30ºC, as per instructions… and find painting in the morning and evening essential at the moment because it is so very hot.
“Important Note – Materials must not be
applied at temperatures below 5ºC nor those
in excess of 30ºC, nor if it is raining, or if there
is an immediate likelihood of rain”
There certainly are no worries about an “immediate likelihood of rain” at the moment. (PS written before the rain came! In the end, there were a good few days above 30% too!)
I do remember having to be very careful when painting my exterior mural all those years back, and needed to hang bubble wrap over the entire surface to protect it from rain!
I am painting on grey board…it is absorbent, and I thought I would need to use some fixative for the first layer, but I forgot to get some. It is indicated, but as the area is so small (compared to what it would be if painting a large wall) I am managing without it. I wish I had got some in order to make the paint layers a bit thinner, but with a fine brush and quick spreading I am getting away without it.
The grey board varies in thickness. It is a little bit flexible, so not quite the rigid surface required but I don’t mind experimenting…It will most likely crack if bent, but I am not planning on bending it. And I am currently experimenting on some flexible surfaces with the intention of cracking the paint layer. So in some pieces I play things safer, using what I know of the materials I work with in order to produce a more predictable result. And in other pieces I am jumping out, breaking the rules of the usual application of the Keim mineral paint, and enjoying the fact that, as I am not using the materials with the requirements of a building application to be met.
I spent a great deal of time mixing up the colours with the selection of Keim mineral paints I have available. And now I need to move forwards at quite a rapid pace, because they won’t last forever…Their shelf life is stated as being 12 months. I have found this varies a lot (and for my purposes, can be several more years, as long as stored carefully) but once I have mixed up the colours, I guess maybe because of air and some evaporation, I need to commit to some steady application!
I love these paints so much…
Yes, all types of paint have their qualities, but it’s so nice to use paint which is healthy and environmentally sound. VISUALLY it is pure as pure can be. None of the plastic quality of acrylic paint.
Yes, acrylics can do many things well…I have not thrown mine out. But I won’t be using mine in the hot sun again for certain.
But working with the Keim Mineral Paints is fantastic.
When I come to wash out the brushes or whatever, I tip the painty water on the garden. Don’t need to put anything into the water system. I am not sure if this is good for the garden but the plants seem happy enough… No complaints as yet!
If there are thicker paint layers in containers, it’s just a matter of letting it set and chipping it out. That goes on the garden too.
I am also experimenting with the Keim Mineral paint in many other ways, which will no doubt seep out as time progresses!
Volatile organic compounds and why it’s worth being aware of them
For those not familiar with the term VOC, paints used in the home contain potentially harmful chemicals such as solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and when paint dries, these chemicals evaporate into the air where the hapless artist or decorator inhales their toxic fumes. This is true for both water based (acrylic emulsions) and solvent or oil based paints. Inhaling paint fumes can exacerbate asthma and sinusitis, and because the solvents are absorbed into the lungs, then the blood stream, they can lead to headaches and dizziness.
I have experienced this myself when working with oil paints indoors on a hot day. I keep my use of oil paints for cooler days, in a well ventilated area, and not on a very large format, where possible. Though I do confess to liking the smell of turps, I also realise that the fresher the air the healthier is my breathing! It’s worth being aware that when VOCs are inhaled, they can cause eye, nose and throat irritation. In large quantities, animal studies have linked these chemicals to birth defects, cancers and damage to the central nervous system.
So best to breath fresh air!
According to the World Health Organisation, professional painters are most at risk, for they have a 20 per cent increased risk of a range of cancers, particularly lung cancer.
That’s a big percentage increase.
So anyone using larger amounts of paint, regularly, on bigger surface areas, needs to consider VOCs and the effect on their health.
There is even a neurological condition brought on by long-term exposure to paint solvents — ‘painter’s dementia’, which I guess isn’t that surprising. The World Health Organisation has also concerns about the long-term health effects of ‘off gassing’. Off gassing is the release of vapours over the life of the paint. (ie when it is on your walls).
If you do use a large quantities of paint as an artist, then it’s worth using it as safely as possible. AND disposing of your paint responsibly.
Keim Mineral paints have given me the freedom I need as an artist to experiment with paint in large quantities, but free from any concerns of impacting the environment, or myself or other people, in a negative way.
If you are using large amounts of oil or acrylic paint, on a regular basis, then consider using a respirator mask if you want to be keeping your air as fresh as you can, and work in a well ventilated area, taking regular breaks.
Healthy is important.