Want to repaint your wall, but don’t want the fumes? Try some eco-friendly options. If it is fashionable for brands to claim their paints as “green”, they may still not be in total agreement with environmental standards.
Here’s everything you need to know about eco-friendly paints.
Traditional wall paints are not really “green”. Largely composed of toxic substances, they pollute the air and kind of asphyxiate you when you’re putting them up. The major plus of using eco-friendly paints is to finally avoid all these toxins.
In terms of binders, ecological paints differ from classical ones with ingredients that can be quite surprising. On some labels, you can find linseed or sunflower oil, egg yolk, beeswax and even lavender. Generally, all these ingredients are diluted with water or sometimes with citrus or pine oils.
Just because it’s “green”, doesn’t mean you can’t allow a few eccentricities. Several colors are obtained through small experiments in which natural pigments are used, as well as minerals and plants, such as ocher, valerian or tea.
Hunting down VOCs
If you’re trying to pick the perfect eco-friendly paint, then the number one rule to follow is to avoid all VOC (volatile organic compounds). These are gases and fumes that contain carbon, such as gasoline vapors and solvents. Some of these VOCs are toxic to human health and cause irritation or headaches.
Just because it’s an eco-friendly paint, doesn’t mean it does not contain any. The VOC content, however, is significantly lower.
Before you buy your paint, read the label carefully.
Going with eco-friendly paints is a positive act that will have great impact on both your home and the planet.
Let’s start with your home. Buying “green” paint is at least a guarantee that you won’t suffer through the job. As we’ve seen, eco paint do not emit toxic fumes, and will be friendly towards your health.
With them, there’s almost no need to wear a large face mask. No more repulsing odors, and eye/throat irritations.
Another positive note about eco-friendly paint is its price. Sure, it may be slightly more expensive to buy, but eco paint will ultimately prove to be more profitable than ordinary paint. Why? It covers a larger area.
On top of that, you won’t need to “refresh” you wall any time soon. The paint is permeable to water vapor, it breathes smoothly, and is overall less damageable than usual paint by moisture.
The bottom line is you can use your new paint in sensitive rooms, like the bathroom or kitchen.
Consumers tend to believe that because eco-friendly paint is a product of natural origin that it’s necessarily harmless. That’s incorrect.
Some products can be allergenic. These may interfere with people who have allergies, such as ones against citrus or pine (sometimes used as binders).
Another well-known problem is whitewash. The limestone powder from chalk can be irritating to the eyes, but also the respiratory system. Paint cans containing it are identifiable by their labels. Care should be of course taken when handling such a paint. With it, gloves and mask will be needed.
Another, slight, disadvantage of going with an eco-friendly paint is that you won’t get a wide array of colors available. They do exist for indoor and outdoor, as well as different finishes, but in terms of colors, you may be disappointed. Some manufacturers are trying to better meet people’s needs however. It’s only getting better.
The last downside of using eco-friendly paint is you’ll need patience and time. In other words, you’ll have to wait a little longer before using your freshly-painted room. “Green” paint takes longer to dry than conventional paints. On average, account for six hours between each layers, and up to twelve for some products.
If you’re an aspiring chemist, you can create your own eco-friendly paint. All you need is to mix pigments and natural ingredients.