Natural paint is defined by the process by which it was made and distributed. Many conventional paints are made from crude oil products and release volatile organic compounds into the air we breath. "Natural paint" in Parras is a cal mixture (from Durrango). A pigment is sometimes added if color is desired. Locals would use the carcus of a nopal eating insect called chiuchilla or cochineal beetle which produces a red color, it is still used in red food coloring today.
Where?[edit | edit source]
The white washing of walls that takes place around town is a simple mixture of cal. The interior walls of patios, done by hand, are often done handmade and considered "natural."
Justification as Appropriate[edit | edit source]
The materials are local. They are mixed on site. The process and byproducts of the natural paint uses in Parras seem to be appropriate in the sense that they are non harmful to the environment and the workers involved.
Issues with the Inappropriateness[edit | edit source]
Most of the buildings in town are painted using acrylic paint as it is believed to be more durable and less labor intensive. it is all that is available in a paint shop, although it is possible to buy cal at a local hardware store.
Notes[edit | edit source]
Figure 1 is of acrylic paint collected around town. Most of the people I spoke with did not recognize the use of natural paint and insisted on the chemical properties of paint in town.