The eco-friendly paint market has grown and evolved and choosing a truly “green” paint product for your next home improvement project can be kind of tricky. Although paint is available in a variety of colors not all “green” paints are created equal. If you had conventional paint next to eco-friendly that were open you would be able to tell very easily which one was “green” or not because conventional paint has the traditional odor most of us are used to when we open the can. Those odors are greenhouse gases and other environmentally harmful chemicals that are released into the air and our atmosphere as the paint is applied. With more environmentally conscious choices we wanted to breakdown you choices.
Contain VOC’s which are volatile organic compounds. VOC’s are what help hold the ingredients in a blended state while the paint is liquid, but they escape into the air once it is applied to a surface. Extended expose to VOC’s can lead to respiratory illnesses as well as headaches. After you apply conventional paint to your surfaces it will continue to emit races of VOC’s for more than a year after it is applied.
Many paint brands these days are featuring low-VOC. The EPA regulates interior water-based paints to contain up to 250 grams of VOC’s per liter of paint. Some paint brands have VOC’s as low as 50 grams per liter and some are free of VOC’s altogether. You should know that VOC free paint may still contain hazardous air pollutants.
The next level of going green with paint is certified green which are premium-grade zero-VOC paints that also use VOC-free colorants and toxic biocides. Green Seal, Greenguard and Ecolabel are independent organizations that test paints such as these to ensure they meet the highest standards. These types of paint have certification seals on their labels on the can so they are easily recognizable.
Au Natural Paint
The most eco-friendly paints on the market are natural paints called casein paints made primarily from proteins, lime and non-toxic pigments. These paints are usually in powder form and should be mixed with water. The drawback of this type of paint is it is not as durable as more traditional paint.
What are some eco-friendly paint brands?
- Eco Spec by Benjamin Moore
- Harmony by Sherwin Williams
- Green Planet Paints
- Yolo Colorhouse
- Old Fashioned Milk Paint