What is different about natural paints and why should you use non-toxic paint?
Natural Paints, or Bio Paints, or Eco Paints are paints which DO NOT contain harmful Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs, they do not outgas, they are non-toxic, they are not synthetic polymers, they are not made from petrochemicals. There are many green paints advertised, most of them are not natural paints. Their green claims are based on their 'improved' VOC content (relative to their previously high VOC content), or recycled or reclaimed petrochemical content.
Modern natural paints are the same to use as the common or standard chemical based paints. Proffessional painters enjoy using natural paints because they cover better and the painters enjoy the better work conditions of not having to deal with toxins.
Watch the video to hear painters speak about natural paints.
What is a VOC?
A VOC is a liquid which volatilises, it becomes a gas. Think of a petrol station in summer, sometimes you can see the petrol ‘haze’ or fumes coming from the bowser nozzle. This is the petrol volatilising, becoming a gas. Petrol is toxic, and we are usually careful not to breathe it in. Conventional paints are made from petrochemicals, they are toxic, and these toxins continue to volatilise after the paint has dried. But it’s difficult not to breathe in the fumes when it’s in the house you are living and sleeping in.
VOCs affect us in many different ways. We use aromatherapy oils to alter our mood – lavender to relax etc. Our bodies can usually tell when VOCs are good or bad for us – we recoil at the smell of methane, chlorine and car exhausts. Now think about paint. We don’t usually sniff a can of paint and delight at the sensation. The VOCs in paint can cause headaches/migraines, nausea, and many other more serious problems. The problems are worse when we live and sleep with the chemicals in our nose and lungs. (Some paint manufacturers mask the smell of paint with synthetic perfumes, which may smell better but are no better for us, and don’t remove hazard of the original smell.)
Many synthetic, or plastic, paints outgas for 5 to 10 years. By the time you get rid of the smell completely, it’s usually time to repaint.
Note that using Vanilla essence to hide the smell of conventional paints does not make the toxins disappear, it just masks the toxic smell. The downside of using vanilla is that you no longer feel repulsed by the smell, and you stay in the toxic room longer than you would if the smell was there, so you are exposing yourself to the toxins more because your sense of smell is deceived into thinking all is well by the vanilla.
Good quality natural paints are based on clays, and do not smell or make you ill.
Good quality natural paints allow the walls to ‘breathe’, so air and moisture can move through. You don’t get condensation on the walls, and you don’t have the same problems with mould.
Good quality natural Paints DO NOT contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which means they are a No VOC paint, they do not outgas, they do not make the air in our homes toxic. They are totally non-toxic paints.
Good quality natural paints last just as long as ‘conventional’ paints.
Good quality natural paints are washable.
Good quality natural paints are available in a large range of colours
The Best Ecologically Sound Paints are Volvox and BioPaints.
Have a look at these short videos especially if you are going to do your own, DIY painting. The videos are presented by painters who have been using our natural paints for years. They don't just talk about using natural paint, these videos are full of usefull hints and tips about painting in general. They will save you time and money when DIY painting.