Egyptian Paint

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

sar·coph·a·gus (särˈkäfəɡəs/) noun-
a stone coffin, typically adorned with a sculpture or inscription and associated with the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Rome, and Greece

Two weeks ago, we mummified some apples, a hot dog and a game hen (see previous post). Today, we dug the mummies out (see video above) and found that they’re drying out nicely! I thought it would be fun to add some science art to the project! After all, pigments are molecules that give things color and paint is made from pigments like Zinc Oxide (white), Black Iron Oxide, and Silicate of Sodium and Aluminum with Sulfur (blue.)


Paint made from Milk Glue, pigment and water.

The ancient Egyptians were amazing artists, and historians think they made paint using materials and pigments they had on hand, including eggs, casein glue made from milk, wax and gum from local trees. This paint was used to decorate everything from tombs to coffins.

We covered one of our plastic ware “coffins” with masking tape, used plaster of Paris to make it more stone-like and made casein glue from milk and vinegar using this glue recipe (casein science on this link). To the glue, we added pigment until we achieved the desired color, and then stirred in a little bit of water to get the paint-like texture we wanted. We bought the pigment at Blick art store, but didn’t buy red or yellow pigment, since they were pretty toxic. The brownish-yellow is made from Curry spices. I’d like to try the spice turmeric for a more pure yellow!


Milk Glue (Image from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids, Quarry Books.)



Can wait to see how our sarcophagus turns out! I’ll post a photo when we finish painting it!

Leave a comment