Are you looking to make some updates around your house with a fresh new coat of paint but don’t want to damage the environment in the process? Decorating with eco-friendly paints can be an excellent way to spruce up any space without sacrificing sustainability.
In this blog post, we’ll explore which types of paints are the most environmentally friendly and how choosing green options for your next home renovation project is not only good for nature but also beneficial for your wallet. Whether it’s a full room repaint or smaller accent projects such as upcycling furniture pieces, let’s dive into understanding why eco-friendly paints are better than plain old shelf varieties.
The effects of climate change on our planet are abundantly clear. Higher temperatures, extreme weather, pollution and dying ecosystems are all side effects of global warming. Whilst you might not believe the paint we use in our homes has anything to do with it, it does contribute. And with one in four of us saying that we’re constantly decorating, that adds up to a lot of materials.
Eco-friendly paint is an attempt to reduce the impact that DIY has on the planet, moving away from cheap but harmful ingredients and focusing on clean, green, quality products. Whilst it’s likely to be more expensive than some of the most common brands, you can expect it to last longer and be better for your health and the environment.
What makes paint eco-friendly?
The first thing you should look for when choosing an eco-friendly paint brand is low volatile organic compound (VOC) levels. This is more commonly recognised as the smell you get when you’re painting, that requires you to open the windows and potentially even wear a mask. VOCs are actually carcinogenic, meaning they contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer. Plus, they can give you a headache.
In some cases, the VOCs are gone once the paint is dry, but in other cases, the effects last long after you’ve put the furniture back in the room. They have also been linked to higher rates of asthma and allergies.
The most eco-friendly paints use natural pigments, rather than synthetic ones, to create the colour. It can be quite challenging to find paint like this, as there are not as many brands, so make sure you do your research ahead of time.
Alternative options to standard emulsion paint include limewash paint, clay paint, casein paint, plant-based paint and mineral paint. Many of these options use organic colour pigments. However, do note that it will be hard to find bolder colours, and the range will be smaller as they rely on colours from the natural world.
Paint doesn’t last forever, and companies do switch up their packaging and colour ranges from time to time. This can result in tins of paint getting thrown away unused, which is a big waste. Eco-friendly companies tend to either make paint to order or keep small batches in stock, allowing them to minimise waste. However, it’s good to note that you may need to order it rather than being able to get it directly from stores, so make sure you plan ahead before you want to start painting.
Fortunately, eco-friendly paints are becoming more mainstream, making it easier for home decorators to make a sustainable choice. Make sure that you complement your eco-paint with long-lasting decorating tools that you’ll be able to use for many projects in the future.