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Watercolor Binder Recipe

This binder can be added to your lake pigment or earth pigment extractions to create a dried watercolor paint pan.

Gum Arabic Recipe

The recipe below can be used as a watercolor paint binder. Premade gum Arabic solutions can also be purchased but at a higher price. This recipe can easily be scaled down or up to meet your needs.


2 cups (250 mL) water

1 cup (125 g) powdered gum arabic

1 tbsp honey (optional; can help speed up re-wetting dried paint)

3-5 drops of pure clove oil (antimicrobial agent)


Heat the water and gum arabic powder on medium-low on the stovetop. Stir frequently and do not allow to boil. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat, skim the foam off the top, stir in honey if using, and transfer the mixture to a jar for storage. Any remaining clumps of powder should fully dissolve within a day or two. Add 3-5 drops of clove oil, which will help reduce microbial growth. The solution can be stored in the refrigerator for a month or longer if bacterial growth is absent.


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