U.S. Green Technology | Where Main Street Meets Green Street

Eco Home Pick of the Week: Green Paint

U.S. Green Technology | Where Main Street Meets Green Street
Truly green paint is becoming more available. Image from Kawika's Painting.

We’ve come a long way since the days of lead paint, but we’ve got a long way to go before every color we slap on our walls classifies as green paint. When looking for green paint for your home, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Manufacturers are still experimenting with new green paint formulas, some of which are based on the milk protein casein (milk paint was common in Colonial America). But achieving the high performance of oil-based formulas is difficult. Producers might start out with a green paint base, but it’s compromised after toxic tints are added.

Some landlords have reported that their renters request green paint, and are happy about the results after the application. However, after a short time (a year or several years) they claim the paint’s performance isn’t that great, and ask for more coats to cover old marks or new scuffs.

But manufacturers aren’t giving up on green paint. Benjamin Moore has the “Green Promise” line, which is free of toxins in the base and the tints, and which performs up to customers’ standards.

Green Planet Paints have durable, quality paint that is “so clean you can bathe in it.” Based in Arizona, their green paints have been so successful that they’re sometimes backlogged with orders. Green Planet Paints are based on cutting-edge plant technology, like citrus and balsam, and mineral tints. They are expanding their business by hiring more employees, many of whom are paid on commission.

When searching for green paint, look for a product that has:

  • low VOC content.
  • low biocides (meant to control mold and fungi). You probably won’t be able to find low biocide paint for exteriors. Look for one that uses zinc oxide.
  • natural pigments.

Happy and safe green painting!

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