Non-toxic paint alternatives...

Printer-friendly version
Asked By: 
Mardi


I am seeking a paint without volatile organic compounds (VOCs). What I'm looking for is not low, but no toxic chemicals, can you help?


Regards,

Answer: 

<p>&#13;
Good for you for seeking environmentally friendly alternatives!. We have been looking more closely at these types of alternative products. We have found that chemically sensitive homeowners and those concerned about indoor air quality can feel good that there is relatively wide range of options. BUT – and here comes the difficult part--you have to plan ahead, since relatively few "brick &amp;mortar" retailers carry these products . The good news is that plenty of these products can be found online.&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
<strong>First, here is what you need to know (in case you don't already):</strong>&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
Most paint contains chemicals and compounds that are harmful to the environment and potentially harmful to you and your family. Even "latex" paint, which is considered a safe alternative by most, contains some detrimental compounds.&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
<strong>All paint has three major components:</strong>&#13;
</p><ol><li>a pigment for color and hiding powder;</li>&#13;
<li>a binder that holds the pigment to the surface;</li>&#13;
<li>and a carrier to maintain the pigment and binder in liquid form. </li>&#13;
</ol><p>&#13;
Often chemicals are utilized to perform these functions and include: petrochemicals, solvents, mercury, formaldehyde, and benzene. Lead, cadmium and chromium can often be found in pigments. Not to mention that distinctive smell of paint is in fact dibutyl and diethyl phthalate - two very volatile compounds!&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
Large paint companies such as Benjamin Moore, Glidden, Kelly Moore, and Sherwin Williams are taking notice of the need for environmentally friendly paints, and have come out with zero-VOC, low-VOC or odor free paints. But beware - according to Environmental Building News, (February 1999), "it is virtually impossible for a paint to eliminate VOC emissions entirely. These large paint companies still utilize colorants with some solvents, so tinting the paint introduces a small amount of solvent."&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
As you mentioned in your email, however, there is a difference between low VOC paints and no VOC or "non-toxic" paints. &#13;
</p><p>&#13;
Alternative paint companies offer a broader color selection that are low or zero VOC. For example, American Formulating and Manufacturing has developed a line of paints that are formaldehyde free, emit minimal VOC's (mostly naturally occurring), and contain additional sealing properties that reduce outgassing. Some other alternative paint companies offer lines of paints that are derived from milk protein, lime clay, and earth pigments. These are the types of paints you should look for that would be considered completely non-toxic or "no VOC".&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
One no VOC/no-fungicide brand we found was "ChemSafe" paints which can be found in a limited number of stores. The paint comes in both interior and satin finish exterior grades, and it has a one-year shelf life. A single exterior coat should last 10 years; if you apply two coats, make that 12 years.&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
One of the best non-toxic alternatives is Milk paint, used since Colonial times and still made today by specialty manufacturers. One such company is The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company, started by a group of furniture restorers who liked the aged look this very flat paint gives to antiques. Their paint is made from all-natural ingredients, and based on casein, a dried milk protein. &#13;
</p><p>&#13;
In general, price is generally slightly higher than a standard mid-to-high quality paint, ranging from $20/ gallon to $40/gallon. Keep in mind though, if it is not available at a local store you will have to pay for shipping too.&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
Lastly, if you're truly a Jane Of All Trades, you can also make your own simple milk paint from a combination of commercially available casein, distilled water, mason's hydrated lime and borax!&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
In terms of painting, when it comes to no-VOC/no-fungicide paints, keep in mind you ideally want to paint the interiors in the fall or spring, between heating season and air-conditioning weather. Periods of high humidity are bad for water-based paints, which can dry slowly and produce mold. You'll want to leave windows open, and use an exhaust fan.&#13;
</p><p>&#13;
Here are a few sites you can purchase from: &#13;
</p><p>&#13;
</p><ul><li><a href="http://www.milkpaint.com">Milk-based (casein) paints</a></li>&#13;
<li><a href="http://www.afmsafecoat.com">Safe Coat primers, paints and sealers</a></li>&#13;
<li><a href="http://www.bioshieldpaint.com/">Bio Shield paints and stainsv</a></li>&#13;
<li><a href="https://www.benjaminmoore.com/">Pristine Eco-Spec Paint (by Benjamin Moore &amp;Co)</a></li>&#13;
<li><a href="&lt;?php print url_resource(" index.js="">p"&gt;ProMaster paint (by Glidden/ICI)</a></li>&#13;
</ul><p>&#13;
Let us know if you find what you need!</p>

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

1 comment

23
Jun

If I can help you with anything else let me now.. Karen Frankly Green www.frankly-green.com Save the Planet-It's the only one with Chocolate!