Creating a whole new look for your home may be as simple as applying a new coat of paint.
Just changing the color will create an entirely new feel for a fraction of the cost compared to remodeling or replacing your furnishings.
Of course, choosing the right type of paint is just as important as selecting a new color.
One of the options is eco-friendly paint that offers the same desirable elements of traditional paint but provides greater protection for the health of those living inside.
If you want to know more about these types of paints, below in this article, I will be discussing what they are, what are their benefits (6 reasons), and what are the best buying options for you on the market.
So, without any delay lets start with the basic most question…
What is Eco-Friendly Paint?
As in name, it’s an Eco-paint that is environment friendly and safe for all.
Sometimes called natural paint, this is a type of paint that has removed most, if not all of the volatile organic compounds or VOCs for short.
If you have ever opened a can of paint and been hit with the odor it generates, that is the VOCs.
Although the dangers that VOCs possess have been well known for decades until recently it was believed that once the paint dried that the VOCs were locked into place and presented no danger.
With recent research, that opinion has changed.
The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has issued statements regarding the dangers that VOCs possess even with paint that has fully dried.
This is because painting in a poorly ventilated area will cause the VOCs to concentrate and lead to certain respiratory and other health conditions.
That is why it is recommended that you paint in a well-ventilated room.
However, it has been discovered that VOCs (and compounds like formaldehyde) continue to leak from paint that has long since dried.
This means a slow build-up of VOCs in the home that over the months and years may also lead to developing certain health conditions.
Adding to that, certain colors that are created using heavy metals compound the health issues related.
And it does not stop there.
Paints designed for outdoor use along with kitchens and bathrooms contain fungicides and biocide which may extend the shelf life of the paint, but it may also present dangers for those who are exposed indoors over time.
Even five years later, the biocide may still leak from the dried paint causing health issues.
This is why it is recommended that you use eco-friendly paint instead.
Benefits of Using Eco-Friendly Paint
Thanks to recent advances in technology that removes VOCs along with the use of natural substances that contain little to no volatile organic compounds.
Plus, you can choose from many different colors along with several popular brands of eco-friendly paint.
In general, this type of formaldehyde-free paint offers at least six benefits compared to traditional paint that you find in the store.
1- Environmentally Friendly
As the name implies, eco-friendly paint is far more friendly to our green earth compared to petroleum-based products.
Because of the number of harsh chemicals used in creating conventional paints along with the VOCs, it is more difficult to dispose of such paints compared to their eco-friendly counterparts.
2- Lasts Longer
One interesting effect is the inclusion of soybean-based properties instead of petroleum-based which is where most VOCs are generated.
Although petroleum properties have their benefits in terms of durability, soybean-based paints last longer, are more dirt-repellent, and the paint dries even harder which means that it maintains its colors for longer periods.
3- Low VOCs
Compared to traditional paints, eco-friendly paint contains little to no VOCs.
This is due to a filtering process that removes the volatile organic compounds during the manufacturing of the paint.
Although trace amounts may still exist, the danger they present is minimal compared to paints with higher amounts.
4- Natural Elements
Because eco-friendly paint is made from natural products such as seed oil, bee wax, or lemon peels, it does not create any harmful emissions that might affect the health of those who live inside.
This not only protects you and your family but those who work in factories that manufacture paint made from natural products.
Plus, such natural products are renewable and use items that are not commonly consumed. This means a lower impact on the environment.
5- Reduced Risk to Health
Generally speaking, the less you are exposed to VOCs and other harmful elements, the less the risk to you and your family.
The respiratory issues associated with VOCs tend to happen when exposed to spray paint that is still wet and releasing the compounds in large amounts.
Or when dry and leaking out small amounts of VOCs over time.
Eco-friendly paint has only a fraction of the VOCs compared to traditional paints.
6- Saves Money in the Long Run
It’s not just what you pay today, but tomorrow as well that dictates the cost of the spray paint.
While most eco-friendly paint may be more expensive compared to traditional paints when they are purchased, the real savings come in the reduced health risks which means a far lower chance of requiring medical treatments based on the paint itself.
Plus, with some eco-paints lasting longer, you will have to paint less often which also saves money as well.
The 7 Best Non Toxic Eco-Friendly Paint Brands
Now that you are aware of the advantages that eco-friendly paints offer, the next step is finding one that best suits your needs.
What follows are some of the best eco-friendly paint and stain brands on the market today.
1- Benjamin Moore Natura
A wide variety of colors is just the start for this eco-friendly paint.
This celebrated brand offers paint textures in eggshell, semi-gloss, and flat to increase the overall variety.
Plus, it is certified friendly to those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
It’s little wonder that so many have chosen this paint for their needs while still protecting the environment.
Its a popular brand name that produces paints with no solvents or VOCs.
Created from natural sources, the paints do not contain any toxins, additives, or harmful chemicals.
You might argue that the paint created by BioShield protects the environment by its presence far more than it might harm it.
This is why the company is so popular along with providing plenty of color choices.
3- Clare Paint
One of the more popular eco-friendly paints among house renovators and contractors, Claire Paint does not contain any VOCs and is Greenguard Gold Certified.
Plus, the company uses low-waste methods in their production, reduced use of water, and even the packaging is recycled.
While it may cost more, it does bring you peace of mind if your concern is the environment.
It’s great to use this non-toxic eco-friendly outdoor paint for fences, wooden floors, or furniture in your decking area.
4- ECOS Paint
100% free of VOCs, ECOS Paint offers a wide variety of colors for both interior and exterior walls.
Created from organic materials, this paint has become quite popular outside the home and can be found in celebrated places such as the Getty Museum, Westminster Abbey, and even the Louvre.
5- Sherman-Williams Harmony
What makes this paint desirable for those who want to protect the environment is that the technology used to create the paint actually helps reduce the toxic emissions from other sources such as pets or household products.
The fact that it has no VOCs, is GreenGuard certified for use around children while protecting the air, and the different color combinations the paint provides.
This is an excellent choice if you are looking for an exceptional eco-friendly paint.
6- The Real Milk Paint Co.
Created from milk protein instead of oil or water-based paints, The Real Milk Paint Co. offers plenty of color options along with loose pigments which means you can mix your own color scheme.
It also helps that their milk paints are fully biodegradable so they can be safely disposed of without concern over the long term.
7- Earth Pigments
Using minerals and plant-based nontoxic pigments (from Earth Pigments) is another safe alternative.
They offer rich earth tones and paint colors that looks beautiful.
These pigments are usually harvested from the earth and may require you to mix some additional materials.
Although the process may be time-consuming, the end result and safe environment you get is worth the extra effort.
Can You Make an Eco-Friendly Paint at Home?
Homemade Eco-friendly paints are simple to make.
In fact, you can make one instantly by using very few ingredients that are completely natural and non-toxic.
I have once tried this recipe and it worked great.
For making a quart of paint you will need:
- ½ cup of linseed oil
- 4 cups (1 quart) of fresh tap water
- 3.5 oz white flour available in your kitchen
- 7 oz of colored pigment (red, blue, gray, or whatever you like)
If you want to prepare the paint for the surfaces outdoor, you will also need to add about 3-4 oz of iron sulfate (available at a store from where you buy your garden stuff).
It will help in withstanding the harsh weather conditions.
After you have collected all the materials, follow these steps…
- Heat 1 cup of water in a saucepan
- Add flour slowly into the hot water
- Stir to make a lump-free paste
- Add rest of the water and keep on stirring
- Add pigment color and iron sulfate
- While still stirring add the linseed oil
- Keep the mixture heating for about 20 minutes
- Let the prepared paint cool down for some time
And that’s it.
You have your homemade natural paint prepared that can be applied using a brush.
For indoor surfaces (such as drywall, furniture, etc.) that are already painted, primed, or prepared a single coat will be enough.
But if it’s an external surface putting up two to three coats will help get you the right finish.
Natural paints for kids art work can also be made using the same process.
For art-works and fun activities, you can even prepare homemade paint for your kids by using certain plants, and natural powders.
- For paint colors like Blue, you can use blackberries, blueberries, or blackcurrants
- For Red color, beetroot, rose petals, cranberries, or strawberries are best
- And for making Yellow-colored natural paint you can use mustard powder, bee pollen, or pumpkin
Since most acrylic paints available on the market are not eco-friendly, you can prepare and give your kids these homemade natural paints for their artwork.
These will be completely safe for their skin as well as lungs.
The Bottom Line
With our planet regularly suffering from all the disasters, Eco-friendly paint is the real demand of time.
This is the reason why paint varieties like mud paint, chalk paint, clay paint, and other green products are getting much more popular than traditional oil-based toxic paints.
Choosing the best eco-friendly paint brands will ensure that you get the results you want while limiting the exposure to harmful VOCs along with other harsh chemicals.
That way, you can enjoy the appearance of the new paint inside your home without concern for the harm that traditional paints may cause both in the short and long term.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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