Eco Paint Guide

If the 2020 lockdown forced you into giving certain areas of your home a fresh lick of paint, you'd be forgiven for not having a clue what eco paint was.

As eco warriors, we're taught that plastic is bad and natural materials are good but this can only take you so far. What about all the other areas of your life such as decorating? What environmental impact does that have?

After I finished painting the hallway back in August, it occurred to me that I had no idea what was in the paint I had just used and chances are I wouldn't have used it if I did.

With this in mind, here's some things I learned a few months ago on the subject of eco paint.

What is Paint Made of?

Paint is generally made out of resins, pigments, oil or water and various other compounds.

You might've noticed 'oil' within this list and it's the presence of this oil that makes some paints environmentally unfriendly.

What is Eco Paint?

Eco paint is paint that either has a low or no (VOC) volatile organic compound content. They usually come in the form of water-based paints as opposed to oil/solvent paints.

Bear in mind though that some eco-friendly paints are simply not that good so in some cases you'd have to content with applying the paint more often which in the end might be less sustainable. 

What is the Most Eco-friendly Paint?

When all is said and done the most eco-friendly paint is going to be something that has little to no VOCs, like water-based gloss, and is going to last a long time.

What is the Best No VOC Paint?

If you're looking for a paint with no VOC, it's worth having a browse of the Earthborne Paints website. They've been producing eco-friendly paints since 2002, long before the term eco-friendly was even a thing!

You could also try someone like Farrow and Ball who are a little expensive but have the necessary quality of paint to justify their price.

Of course, you could just stick to someone traditional like Dulux who have invested a lot of time and money in research to be able to provide the best water based glosses that actually last.

Traditionally, oil based glosses have performed better but there's growing sentiment in the painting and decorating trade suggesting that water based glosses are now on the same level as oil based.