How to Make Moss Paint

Make your own moss paint to create a living art installation with our easy instructions.

By: Lexi Walters Wright

It’s deceptively simple to create beautifully intricate, living wall art. Moss requires a basic paint made of moss and a couple kitchen staples, the design of your choosing and a bit of patience. (The moss has to grow, after all.)

Large handful of moss (about two clumps)
500 mL (2 cups) of buttermilk or yogurt
500 mL (2 cups) of water
2 mL (1/2 tsp) sugar
Corn syrup (optional)
Bowl or container with lid


  1. Gently wash the moss, removing any excess soil. Crumble moss into a blender. Add the buttermilk or yogurt, water and sugar. Blend until smooth
  2. Pour moss mixture into the bowl or container. Dip the paintbrush into the moss mixture. If the consistency is too runny to paint with, add corn syrup and re-blend until it reaches desired consistency. (If the paint becomes too thick, add water and re-blend)
  3. Store the mixture with the lid on in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it

Painting How-to

  • Once you’ve decided where you want your wall art and how you’ll create your design, get started painting. Use the moss paint as you would regular paint, using whichever paintbrushes suit your design.
  • Once the design is complete, mist it with water at least once a week to encourage moss growth. (If you live in a dry climate, consider misting it every other day.) Apply more moss paint to encourage thicker moss growth.
  • Depending on your conditions, it can take up to a month for the moss design to grow in.

Painting Considerations

  • Choose Where Your Design Will Go Select a wall (or surface, if you’re hoping to cover steps, planters or another non-flat area) that receives some sunlight but not direct sun, which can kill moss. 
  • Consider Moisture Concerns You’ll need to water your moss art, so keep that in mind when deciding on a spot to paint. You can use an indoor wall as long as the surrounding area can get moist.
  • Think through How You’ll Make Your Design Freehand? Using a stencil? Chalking it out first? There are no limits to how your design takes shape.

Tip: Rather than grow a specific moss design, some moss artists grow a giant patch of moss on a wall first, and then use chisels and other tools to scrape away portions to leave an overall design.

What are you going to use moss paint on first? Log in or register and share your ideas in the comments below!


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