Nowadays, wall paper paste comes with a slew of toxic ingredients. Not only does it smell terrible while you are applying it, chances are it will emit harmful VOCs (volatile organic compound) for years to come. But back in the day, this stuff was just a mix of flour and water.
Looking for a simple green solution? Care2.com has a recipe that makes it easy to whip up your own batch of paste. In addition to flour and water, it includes cloves, a natural preservative, and alum (aluminum potassium sulfate).
Non-Toxic Wallpaper Paste
- 1 cup flour (wheat, corn, or rice)
- 3 teaspoons alum
- 10 drops oil of cloves (natural preservative)
Combine the flour and alum in a double boiler. (If you don’t have a double boiler, set a smaller pan inside a bigger one that contains enough water that can be brought to a boil without overflowing). Add enough water to make a consistency of heavy cream; stir until blended. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened to a gravy texture. Let cool. Stir in the clove oil. Pour into a glass jar with a screw top. Apply with a glue brush.
Makes 1 cup. Shelf life: 2 weeks refrigerated.