Pick of the Week: Eco-Friendly Paint

Recently, a paint store opened on our block and it inspired us to look into what the world of eco-friendly paint involves. Paint is one of the few chemicals we have to welcome into our homes to redecorate and reinvigorate our lives. We use paint to give something new a certain look, and we use it to make old objects look like new. However, as well all know, paint can be harmful.

A general rule of thumb is to avoid oil-based paints. Oil-based paints are more likely to release hazardous gases and fumes into the environment. They may contain a high level of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These are chemicals that evaporate easily at room temperature and release gases and fumes into our environment’s that are toxic. There are many brands that are offered that have little to no VOCs so be on the look out for them.

Paints that are made from natural materials and natural pigments are better for the environment and you. Latex is popular as well as paints derived from fruits and seed oils. Paint stores are offering more options and brands for you to purchase that are eco-friendly and will release next to no gases into the environment.

One last option that can be fun is to make your own paint. A very easy paint to make from scratch is milk paint. Milk paint is the version of paint that has been used throughout history until recently when technology was developed to make synthetic paints. Milk paint has a very simple recipe with three basic ingredients: dairy, crushed limestone, and a pigment for color. It holds up on most surfaces.

Of course, your paint is just one part of the process to painting in an eco-friendly fashion. Some additional quick tips in regards to painting in an eco-friendly way are:

  • Making sure to purchase only the amount you need and donate your unused portion to a local charity or theater group
  • Save unused portions of paint and mix it with other colors in the future to use on new projects
  • Make sure to recycle paint cans when they are completely finished
  • Reuse your paint thinner, paint remover, or turpentine. After you are done using these products you can pour it into a container and give the removed paint residue time to settle at the bottom of the container. You will then have paint thinner or paint remover or turpentine that can be reused over and over again.