A friend of mine has undertaken a rather large remodel project on the first floor of her house. She is partial to sustainable and green options and as such has hired a contractor who recycles or donates anything salvageable from his projects. He is also open to eco friendly paint and so I was dispatched to track down enough to cover most of my friend’s downstairs.
She had painstakingly chosen her paint colors from a major brand that does not offer green, low VOC, or otherwise eco-friendly options, and was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to accurately match colors with another line. I convinced her (with assurance from my local ACE hardware) that her paint could be eco-friendly, low VOC, and be matched perfectly.
What exactly is low- or no- VOC, you ask? It’s actually a range of very low Volatile Organic Chemical content under 50 parts per million. Regular paint has hundreds of thousands of VOCs per parts per million. It’s those chemical agents that evaporate and allow the paint to dry, and are used in the first place to keep ingredients like lead in a liquid state, so you can spread it on your walls.
There was no big trick to it. Just find your colors (you might as well go with a brand that’s offering eco-friendly paint) and viola. You’ve saved yourself some paint fumes and toxicity and kept quite a bit of toxic chemicals out of the air and water.
Headline image © Daniel R. Blume