Your home is your family’s sanctuary, so it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to fill your home with toxic substances. Luckily, there are several paint options that will leave your home looking beautiful while also creating a safe space for your family and the environment. Environmentally friendly paints have become increasingly popular over the last few years.
It’s very common for traditional paints to contain volatile organic compounds (or VOCs). These chemicals readily evaporate at room temperature. Fumes from VOCs can cause nausea, dizziness, and respiratory tract irritation. In addition to VOCs, most paints contain biocides to prevent the growth of mildew and mold. These chemicals are toxic, contaminate both indoor and outdoor air, and can be detected in the air as long as five years after the initial coating. Paints containing biocides can seep into groundwater if they are not disposed of properly. Also, some pigments used in coloring traditional paints can be toxic. This is why it’s so important to know your options when it comes to natural paints.
In your search for a family friendly paint, try to find paints with low VOCs, low biocides, and natural pigments. Many times, the paint ingredients (and their levels of VOCs and biocides) are printed on the paint can’s label; however, doing your research beforehand can also help you determine which eco-friendly paint will best suit your needs.
Green Promise is a line of paint produced by Benjamin Moore that’s environmentally friendly. Plus, the company includes a list of VOC levels for their Green Promise paints. To view the Green Promise color choices, a list of products, and their green standards, you may visit their site. In addition to Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams carries paints that have achieved their GREENGUARD Gold Certification. All of these paints have low-VOC levels, and many of them include a zero-VOC level.
Pro-tips for choosing your paint:
Natural paints are derived from minerals and are typically petroleum-free; however, they do contain terpenes. Terpenes are VOCs that come from plants. Select a natural paint with a low level of terpenes. Natural paints do not contain biocides and fungicides. Another high quality choice is latex paint, which can have a low biocide count and low VOCs levels.
Exterior paints must contain fungicide to do the job, and typically, they must include biocides. When available, you can lessen the toxicity level of these paints by choosing an exterior paint that contains zinc oxide as the biocide. If you are unable to locate a paint with this type of biocide, try to select an exterior paint that contains zero- to very low-VOC levels or recycled water-based paints. Steering clear of oil-based paints is a good idea due to their higher level of VOCs.
Bluenote Painting is committed to high quality painting projects that protect your home, your family, and the environment. Our experts are highly trained professionals who are ready to help with selecting an environmentally friendly paint for your home.