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Image Magazine

Planning to Paint?

Feb 28, 2010 06:59PM ● Published by Erin Frisch

Paint Swatches

Go for an eco-friendly option

by Kristy Erickson

Green is hot when it comes to paint—and we’re not talking about the color. Whether you’re doing a major remodel or giving your home an inexpensive facelift, you’ll find a variety of environmentally friendly paint options that are healthier for both your family and the planet.

Traditional Paint

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside your home can be significantly more polluted than the air just outside its walls. Although harmful chemicals come from various sources, those released during painting (even after the paint has dried) are major contributors to indoor air pollution. These volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, can cause headaches, dizziness, and other health problems.

Healthier Options

Choose paints that emit few or no VOCs. Because these paints contain fewer chemicals, there will be less off-gassing and a lower health risk to you and your family. Look for interior and exterior no- or low-VOC options from companies you’re already familiar with. Additional options for naturally beautiful color:

  • Milk paint: Made from a protein in milk mixed with water, clay, and earth pigments, this eco-friendly and fast-drying paint only comes in a matte finish.
  • Clay paint: This common natural paint is made of earth-based minerals and water. Clay painted walls cannot be scrubbed or wiped down (it may damage the paint), so seal with a low-VOC sealer.
  • Lime wash: Limestone is combined with water to form a simple, natural paint. Lime wash can be used indoors or outdoors on porous materials like brick, wood, plaster, and concrete.

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