Alis clay paint is made up of clay, aggregate, and water. Pigments, such as powdered minerals or oxides, can be added for colour.

Often kaolin clay is used in alis because it has a fine consistency and a white colour that does not affect the final colour of the paint. Silica sand can be used as the aggregate, or mica can be substituted. Fine ground mica adds an overall sparkle to the alis, whereas larger pieces of mica look almost like irridescent fish scales scattered over the wall. Straw chopped into very small pieces can be added to an alis paint to give another variation in the final appearance.

Handling ingredients safely is important. Mineral and oxide pigments may be natural, but that doesn’t mean that they are non-toxic if inhaled. A dust mask is essential when combining the alis ingredients with water, as they can become airborne during the mixing process.