You only have to prise the lid off a tin of standard gloss or emulsion paint to know that you’re dealing with powerful chemicals. Almost by definition, they’re not likely to be eco-friendly or good for you.
Fortunately, manufacturers have come up with environmentally friendly alternatives that you can use in your green remodeling.
The problem with the oil and acrylic-based paints that we’re used to is that they contain solvents that regulate the viscosity of the paint and make it easy to apply. These solvents contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that evaporate and are inhaled. Not only are they bad for the environment, they are thought to be harmful to the health of people who are exposed to them on a regular basis. They can also emit harmful gases long after the paint has dried.
Regulations have forced manufacturers to cut down on VOCs in paint, but the laws still allow so-called VOC-free paint to include it! For people with an environmental conscience and those with allergies or chemical sensitivities, solvent-free paints are the logical solution. Reputable companies don’t use animals to test for toxicity either.
Organic paints are water-based, and colorings are derived from natural materials whenever possible. Petrochemical ingredients are a problem with conventional paints, but not all are necessarily harmful and implicated in the carbon emissions that affect global warming. Certain petrochemicals and modern materials (such as silicates) are found in some green paints, where they are judged to be non-harmful or very low impact.
Using green paints doesn’t mean going back to the paint recipes of yesteryear, although the manufacturers have sometimes gone back to the roots, with clay-based paints and ochre pigments. Eco-friendly paints are cutting edge, and are designed to meet all your decorating needs when you’re green remodeling your home.
Green paints have all the advantages of modern paints, without the perils. They’re not even necessarily more expensive. They are designed for the durability you’ve come to expect and come in a wide range of colors. .
You’ll find all the products that you’re used to, for interior and exterior use and for application to walls, wood and other surfaces. As with any paint, you’ll need to make sure the product you pick is designed for the surface you want to paint and that you prepare the surface according to instructions.
Decorating with organic paints will put the finishing touches to your green remodeling work – and you won’t have tins full of toxic dregs stored in your garage.