So, my version of spring cleaning is yet another freecycling rampage plus a newbie: our first new coat of paint in, ah, nine years. It's (cough) a little bit overdue, and I can't wait to fling my windows wide and start scraping! I've already asked a couple green friends and the ladies at the Green Moms Carnival for their advice and they've weighed in with a bunch of choices for paints without nasty VOCs:
Dear friends who are tackling the first LEED renovation in Atlanta say their contractor recommends AFM Safecoat. He says the company is green as well as the product, and that it's good paint. (Also? They just got geothermal installed! Woo hoo!)
Katy Farber of Non-Toxic Kids loves Mythic Paints.
Diane MacEachern of Big Green Purse says: "I painted my entire interior, one room after another, with Pure Performance from Pittsburgh Paints. LOTS of colors, no VOC, though I think it may have a couple of ingredients that something like AFM or Anna Sova (milk-based) don't. The paint has held up for several years. I never got a headache for the couple of weeks it was being applied. It cost me about $600 more to paint my whole house (8 rooms, plus two bathrooms) with Pure Performance. All the painters had "painter's cough," so I was glad to give them a break from the stuff they usually use." I love Diane! She even gave me specific hardware store recs. And I SO don't want my kids to end up "painter's cough!"
Tiffany from Nature Moms Blog loves Lovo Paint: "Very high quality paint and zero smell."
Anna from GreenTalk had buckets of advice: "We actually used Benjamin Moore's EcoSpec when we painted 4 years ago as well as AFM's primer. AFM Safecoat is made for people with chemical sensitivities. (They have paints as well.) It is amazing primer. When you put it on it is like covering your walls with white paint. You can only get it at certain green building places or online. We were told that it would lock in the chemicals from the drywall and spackle. The one we used was only for new drywall. They may have one for covering up dark colors as well.
EcoSpec is readily available, decent price point, and the color is what it is. If I need a gallon, I don't have to order it on the web or run an 45 minutes away to the nearest green store. Since then BM has come out with Aura in all colors and Nativa is coming out this Spring which is supposed to be a no VOC paint. Aura is expensive but supposed to be a one coat paint. Most painters I talk to still use 2 coats with this paint. However, with dark colors you may need 3.
Since then, I have tried Home Depot's Freshaire, which is not bad but is limited in colors. No VOC.
Also, tried Ivy Coatings, a no VOC paint. Liked it as well.
Sherwin Williams has a lot of great paints too. They say their paint is scrubbable which may not be a bad idea for you with little kids. Harmony, I think it is called.
Never used the milk paints or Yolo. Like I said before, I like convenience so I go towards being able to run over and pick it up. Plus, I like consistency. I want to know that the color that I have is the color that I will get.
If you order too much, make sure you take it out of the cans, and put it air tight containers which you fill to the top. (As little air as possible left so it does not go bad.)
I also tried to get little bottles to try the color on my wall or on a white poster board before I purchased the color. Color looks really different during the day and night. Each house is different too. I could love a color and try it. Then realized it was awful in my house. I also like going with a paint company that has lots of color choices.
I think Yolo actually send you the big swatches. Check."
Could these women be any more generous with their time and expertise? Sheesh! I am so appreciative. My kids can run to the playground while I paint but we're not moving out, so I want to do all I can to make sure the paint fumes are as safe as I can make them.
Dude! So many choices and I haven't even started to think about colors! Weigh in if you've got a low-VOC paint you love (or hate). Or even if you have any painterly tips for this rusty ol' brush. Wish me luck on the spackling!