Monthly Archives: November 2014

Comparison of “Green” Paints before House Painting in San Ramon

You’re about to start house painting in San Ramon, but have become more environmentally-conscious. You know you definitely want to use paint that is environmentally-friendly. Fortunately, many paint manufacturers produce “green” paints because more and more people are aware of their paint use and its impact on the earth.

Do you know which paints are “green” and which ones aren’t? Most people will identify the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paints that cause them not to be environmentally-friendly. These include chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde, but these aren’t the only things to think about when you compare “green” paints and non-“green” paints. There are other ingredients that are harmful to the environment such as biocides (which is a necessary ingredient because it kills bacteria), phthalates, vinyl chloride, and others. You may want to find out how biodegradable these ingredients are. You may also consider the packaging of the paint since packaging may be hazardous to the environment.

Check the major paint brands first. Most manufacture “green” paints because there is such a requirement for them. Consider Kelly-Moore Enviro Coat, Delta Soy Paint, Yolo Colorhouse No VOC Paint, Benjamin Moore Green Promise, Behr Premium Plus, Real Milk Paint, Center*Star Thermopel, Sherwin-Williams GreenSure, and Glidden Brilliance. These “green” paint varieties can be found in low or no VOC. Most of them are also low in odor.

Visit the paint manufacturer’s website for information regarding their products. They will tell you which of their paints – either one variety or all of them – fall into the category of “environmentally friendly.” The presence of VOC is an example of paint’s eco-friendliness, although you may see other components as well.

Federal regulations restrict the limit of VOCs to 250 grams per liter (g/l) for flat paints. Other paint types are allowed 380 g/l. For paints to be labeled as “low VOC,” it must contain less than 50 grams per liter. To be labeled as “no VOC,” VOCs must be 5 grams or less. The brands of paint listed above offer paints in both of these two categories.

Some other ingredients that may be detrimental to the environment include mercury, cadmium, and lead. However, most paints that are advertised as “green” are devoid of these harmful ingredients. Real Milk Paint, for instance, uses pharmaceutical grade lime which is a natural anti-bacterial ingredient. This environmentally-friendly ingredient is also a curing agent. It works through carbonization which draws carbon dioxide away from the air as the surfaces hardens. This provides cleaner air and a safer environment overall. This is the type of information you want to know about when comparing eco-friendly paints.

Be careful when tinting environmentally-friendly paints. Some tints can greatly increase the levels of VOC. Research and verify the VOC levels in tints before adding them.

It’s best to discuss the green paints you are interested in with experienced professional painting contractors in San Ramon. They can provide suggestions and recommendations for “green” paints when you are about to do house painting in San Ramon.