ISSUE 7  |  Winter in the Desert

Paints from the Earth

February 14, 2012 6:30 PM

BY Julie Carlson

For the environmentally conscious among us: paints from Unearthed Paints, made from raw ingredients like clay, chalk, marble, and natural pigments—so green they're vegan.

Jessica Pfohl (an attorney) and her husband, Florian Speier (an architect by training), founded Unearthed Paints in Louisville, Colorado, after they became disillusioned with conventional green paint choices. Their paints—which are 100 percent VOC-free, vegan, and biodegradable—are sourced from a German company called Kreidezeit and are made from clay, chalk, marble, and other earth and minerals pigments. Earthy shades range from ocher, sienna, and umber to ultramarine and spinels.

"We are taking the ingredients out of the earth and minimally processing them to make a wide variety of finishes," Pfohl says. "The Sistine Chapel in Rome was painted with paints like ours."

Above: A room painted in subtle neutrals.

Above: A detail of the textural effects possible with Unearthed Paints.

Above: The paint formulas come packaged in paper bags, ready to be mixed.