Renovation

Painting is one of the easiest ways to make your place feel more like home with a limited amount of investment. If you have just purchased a new home or you are thinking about fixing up your current one, here are a few companies that are offering a great product which you can count on year after year.

Some people are still using VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints and wondering why they have headaches, nausea, dizziness and respiratory problems. While some people may be smart enough to wear a mask during the painting process, the “off-gassing” of chemicals will linger long after you have removed your mask, at least 2-3 months. So unless you are going to jet off to a château in France for the summer, your’e going to be inhaling some toxic stuff that at high levels can have long-term effects on your health from cancer to organ or central nervous system damage. Although the EPA may have banned the use of lead paint in this country, some paint manufactures are still selling a product that is not healthy for your family.

Over the years, there has been a growing number of alternative paints to the standard VOC paints popping up in your local home improvement stores. It has become so popular that brands like Valspar and Benjamin Moore have designed eco-friendly paint lines for buyers interested in using VOC free paints. Be aware that the base paint may be labeled as “NO VOC”, but the pigment could contain VOCs and other chemicals that have adverse health effects, like formaldehyde and ethylene glycol. Make sure you ask before you buy, and try to visit the website of the paint manufacturer to get answers to any questions you have about the content of their paints and pigments. Lastly, don’t be surprised by the increase in cost. A gallon of eco-friendly paint can run anywhere from $25 to $55 per can. 

Eco-friendly Paints

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 9.43.50 PMMythic paintThis paint can be found at most ACE hardware stores and paint specialty stores. Great selection of colors, spreads well and is very durable. They have an exterior paint available that is zero VOC and 100% acrylic. This company has been around a long time, and the colors have remained very consistent.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 9.40.55 PMAFM Safecoat: Like most big commercial paints, they have a huge selection of colors for interior and exterior application. This paint may be a bit more difficult to find, but it’s worth it. Make sure you buy it from a place that has experience mixing the pigments, as they can be a bit tricky. I have used their multi-purpose caulk as well. I highly recommend it for prepping the walls before painting.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 9.38.00 PMColorhouse: This paint use to be YOLO Colorhouse. You can find it at most Home Depots. There are 128 colors to choose, not as many as others, but still a wide range from which you can select.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 9.52.05 PMNatura: This is Benjamin Moore’s No VOC 100% acrylic paint. They have a wide selection of colors and finishes to suit any room in your house. Like the other manufacturers in this list, their tint is also VOC free.

American ClayThis 100% natural clay is non-toxic, durable, resistant to mold and fading and can cover a variety of wall surfaces. They offer five plaster finishes, hundreds of colors and a variety of textures. They have YouTube videos to help you apply different techniques and designs using their product.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 9.47.12 PMThe Natural Paint Company: This company, out of Australia, provides bags of natural occurring color pigments. All you have to do is add water, let it sit 30 minutes and apply with a brush, rag, rollers, sponge or even your hands. There are 30 basic colors that you can mix and match to create your own color.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 10.57.14 PMGreen Planet Paints: A small company originally out of Patagonia Arizona, has 48 standard colors that can be mixed to create an endless amount of hues. There are some specific techniques for applying this paint, but with a little care, you can have the results you desire. The company lists all the details of applying the paint to maximize your success, so be sure to read the instructions completely before applying.

 

Sources: epa.gov, International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)