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The kids and I have been playing with dirt. It’s a very earthy season during Lent, and with the approach of Spring it makes sense to get mucky. If you have young kids, you’re likely familiar with the treasures always amassing on your doorstep.

"These can't come in the house," says Mom.

“These can’t come in the house,” says Mom.

But why not bring the dirt indoors for once?

Here’s a recipe for paint using only egg and dirt (yep, you read right).


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup (approx.) of sifted soil/dirt
  • Metal sieve ($1.25 at your local dollar store)
  • 2 small bowls (bucket, yogurt container, disposable cup, etc)

Additional Project Materials:

  • 1 white Bristol board or canvas board (any size, but you’ll need more paint for anything larger than 11 x 14 in. Again, check your dollar store)
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Chalk (various colours)


  1. Use the sieve to sift out large or unwanted pieces from the soil/dirt. Repeat two or three times as necessary
  2. Separate the egg yolk from the egg white as thoroughly as possible
  3. Mix the sifted soil into the egg yolk until desired consistency is achieved

And voila! You have a mocha/espresso coloured paint.

What’s next?

  1. Apply the paint to a canvas board or white Bristol board
  2. Let paint dry overnight
  3. Once the paint is dry, use sandpaper to smooth out the surface. Or you can just leave it if you want more texture (please note: sanding the paint will lighten the colour, but only slightly)
  4. Chalk is an excellent medium to use on the dirt-paint. Have fun!

You might like to know:

The egg yolk is the binding agent.

The dirt is the pigment (colour).

Feel free to explore with other pigments (coffee grounds? Kool-Aid?).

I’m told this paint will last for five centuries.

It’s not as messy as you may think (and this coming from a clean-freak).

Now, I know some of you can’t ‘picture’ the end results. We’ll post ours once we’re done. In the meantime, if you give this a try I’d love to hear about your experience with it. Feel free to ask questions or offer suggestions.