This is a Salt, Pepper, or Spice grinder. It is a wood mill made from many layers of dyed Birch. It is not painted. The color goes all the way through. I use only ceramic grinders so grinding salt is not a problem. I offer a Lifetime Guarantee on my mill mechanisms. Every house has one of more mills that don't work. Not a problem with mine. Doesn't work send it back and I'll replace it free.