Our Story



Thank you for visiting Sinopia Pigments & Materials


I started Sinopia in 1995 with idea of providing traditional materials to artists. I had graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute as a painter and I was fascinated by using pigments to make paint.

Eventually these beginnings evolved into a passion for color that embraces all fine art and decorative painting disciplines. I enjoyed learning about people who used our pigments in all sorts of applications, ranging from fine art painting to plastering and custom concrete.

In the late nineties not many people knew what pigments were and I was happy that Sinopia could introduce them to the richness of pure color. While the world around me was caught up in the first dot com boom, my store in the Mission district of San Francisco offered a low tech contrast to the high flying early days of the internet.

One term that stuck with me from the tech world, was the concept of the user interface (UI).  No matter how brilliant an idea may be, if it does not have an interface that is usable, no one will know about it.

After selling pigments for 15 years, I embarked on creating a way to introduce pure color to the public that does not want to make their own paint. In 2010 I began my early research into developing a paint line that was user friendly, non-toxic and retained the brilliance of the pure pigment. I chose Casein (Milk Protein) as a binder for this paint, because of the non-toxic nature and the practicality of application. Dozens of prototypes and hundreds of paint swatches later I had formulated a paint that I could stand behind.

In 2015 I formally launched the Sinopia Milk Paint color palette for furniture and wall painting projects. In the years since the launch I have been preoccupied with scaling up production and continually researching and improving the ingredients. Much of the paint making process is very akin to cooking and/or brewing beer. Most days you will find me stirring big vats of paint and I could not think of a better way to spend the day at work.

While the Milk Paint market is rapidly growing, my heart will always be in the pigment world. I will never abandon the pigment market, but like most grocery stores, I now offer the ingredients along with an assortment of ready to use products.

Thank you for stopping by!

Alex Warren
Owner, Sinopia INC