Recently, we talked about two eco friendly paint options, low VOC paint and zero VOC paint. Another, even healthier paint option is Natural Paint.
Natural paints are paints that are made from all natural ingredients, and as such, are the most eco friendly options on the market. While these paints are extremely eco-friendly, they aren’t for every situation. Take a look at the natural paints that are available on the market and see if any are right for you!
Clay Paint:Clay paint is made from all natural minerals and uses a water base instead of an oil base. Clay paint is safe for both people and the environment. However, because clay paint is made from minerals – it’s not available in a wide range of colors. Clay paint can also only be used indoors. If the “earthy” look is something that you like, clay paint may be a great choice for you.
Milk Paint: Milk paint has been around for quite some time and has been proven to be a high-quality environmentally friendly alternative. Milk paint is made by separating Casein from milk. It’s then mixed with water, clay, and other earth pigments. The result is a paint that is eco friendly and easy to apply. This paint is readily available and can even be bought in powered form. When you are ready to use it, you simply add water and start painting. The main downfall to milk paint is that it can only be used indoors. It’s also only available in a matte finish, so it may not be the best choice for your kitchen or bathroom.
Lime Wash: Limewash is a wonderful alternative to other paints on the market. It’s economical and easy to apply. Lime wash is made by combining limestone and water. One of the key benefits to lime wash is that it can be used on exterior surfaces. The major downfall to lime wash is that it can only be used on porous surfaces, meaning that it can’t be used on drywall or any painted surface. It does very well on brick, wood, concrete, plaster, etc. However…paint will have to be removed before lime wash can be applied.
If you are looking for new ways to become more eco friendly, consider going with a natural paint choice. You’ll be doing the environment a favor while also creating a healthier indoor environment for you and your family.
We recently decided to paint a few rooms in our home, and during my research, I learned that indoor air quality is 5x worse than than the air quality outdoors. That’s slightly concerning, since many of us spend the majority of our time indoors.
As I researched more, I learned that paint is one of the biggest contributors of poor indoor air quality. Traditional paint, the kinds you’ve likely been using, has extremely high level of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Those VOCs aren’t only a problem when the paint is applied…they “off-gas” for up to 5 years and have been attributed to a multitude of health problems.
But you’ve got to paint, right? The best alternative on the market today comes in the form of eco friendly paint. There are a few quality eco friendly options on the market today, and I suspect as demand for them increases, the supply will as well.
Here’s a brief overview of the options that are available to you RIGHT NOW:
Low VOC Paint
In order for a paint to be marketed as low VOC, it must meet EPA standards of having less than 200 VOCs per liter. Be very careful when selecting Low VOC paint, though. Yes, all of it is better than “regular” paint, but there can be a large difference in the VOC content of even low VOC paints. The best option is to choose paint that carries the green seal standard. Paints that meet the green seal standards have less than 50 VOCs per liter for flat paints, and 150 VOCs per liter for non-flat paints. These are the friendliest of the low VOC paints.
Zero VOC Paints
Zero VOC paints are now available on the market as well. The EPA also regulates what paints can be marketed as zero VOC – basically, they have to contain less then 5 grams of VOC per liter. Some well respected paint manufacturers are now making zero VOC paints. The major downfall to these paints is that they are more expensive than traditional and low VOC paints.
For those who are really sensitive or just want to choose natural paints, there are options available for you too. We’ll cover natural paint choices in another post on My Lil Green Dress.