What Is Organic Paint?

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Chances are the term “organic” is not foreign to you. You might eat organic foods, drink organic coffee or even use organic beauty products. Well, did you actually know that there are also organic paints? Eco Friendly or organic paints are non-toxic, which means they don’t contain the same chemicals as all of those other paints. This means that they are pure and safe paints. In fact, one of the founders of the most popular paint brands that carry organic paints called Ecos Paints that actually ate a spoonful of their paint to prove that exact point. Obviously no one is going to suggest you go around eating paint, but the point was that if your pet or child accidentally eat some, they won’t get sick like they would if they ate regular paints. According to the EPA, a household contains more pollutants inside than outside. That’s pretty staggering if you think about it – and scary, especially if you have kids.

Many of the natural, Eco or organic paints available today are either NO VOC or low voc. VOC: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air. For example, formaldehyde, which evaporates from paint, has a boiling point of only –19 °C (–2 °F). These VOC chemicals are so called “organic” but they are anything but healthy.

The fumes from paints can cause all sorts of problems and extended long term use can cause lung cancer. Most of the organic paints that are considered low VOC are ones that have 5 grams per liter. Oftentimes the reason for any VOC in these paints is because of the tint in the paint. Organic paints can be made from all sorts of natural substances including but not limited to; water, milk casein, natural latex, plants and plant oils, resins, plant dyes and even essential oils. Imagine that! Here is a collection or organic paints – low or no VOC:

1. Benjamin Moore Aura and Natura: Both the Aura line (low VOC) and the Natura line (no VOC) are made with 100% acrylic paint that is easy to apply, covers well, and dries in about an hour. The Natura line is one of my personal favorite paints. I’ve used it for a few projects and have no complaints!

2. Bioshield Clay and Casein paints: These powder-based paints are made with naturally occurring earth born clays and pigments. No-odor, non-toxic, and no VOC.

3. Yolo Color house: This water-based, Green Seal certified, and zero-VOC paint was created by Portland, Oregon-based artists Virginia Young and Janie Lowe. The palette of 40 hues is specifically designed for interiors and categorized by nature’s spectrum of air, grain, leaf, water, stone, clay and the bright hued petal range. The packaging is also lovely.

4. Sherwin-Williams Harmony Interior Latex: A Good Housekeeping choice, the Harmony line uses sustainable raw materials, like soy and sunflower oil, in their formulation to keep solvent content low and VOCs in the zero-VOC range. Advertised as mildew and bacteria resistant.

5. Green Planet Paints: Soy-based resins with clay formulations and mineral pigments keep this line of paint “as organic as your farmer’s market produce.”

Make Your Own Paint

You also might be surprised to know that you can make these paints on your own, at home, and they have zero chemicals in them. This is a Flour Paint, but you can find many other options online as well if this does not suit you. Usually these homemade paints will last 2-3 years while brand name paints, especially those free of chemicals, will last for around 5. So are they permanent? No, not by any means. Are they going to be worth it? Most people think so because they are cost efficient. So even if you have to repaint the room a few times every few years it’s well worth it. These flour paints have water, flour, and clay. That’s it. You can buy organic and natural clay which does not contain any chemicals, in various colors. The clay is the most expensive part of all of this, which really isn’t as expensive as you might think.

The correct terms are screened clay filler and powder filler. The powder can be almost anything including silica, mica, marble, limestone or even chalk. Its ground down into the form of powder. The screen clay filler can also be found in craft supply stores or if you really want to make sure they do not have chemicals, look online.