Monday, February 21, 2011


So since my last post so very long ago we have purchased a home and have been doing little projects to make it ours. The home is a small 1960 ranch and it was recently renovated by the previous owners so most of our projects are purely cosmetic. Painting a few rooms to make them appear larger and to appeal more to our taste was first on our list of improvements. The first room to be painted was our two year old daughter’s. I asked her the morning I headed to get paint what her favorite color was and she replied “urple” so I set off to find an eco-friendly purple paint. I wanted something with low odor and high coverage. I went to a big box store since I was in a time crunch (painting between closing and move in). Had I planned ahead, I would have had a few more options but I am very happy with the results. I have provided some additional options for you.

Zero VOC Paint

We chose “Zero VOC” paints which are now readily available at most retailers and are now also available in any color. These paints produce very little odor (the room smelled clean, not like paint once we were done), do not contain VOCs, and cover very well. (See our before and after pics) “Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs are organic solvents contained in paint and many other substances. In paints, these solvents are released into the atmosphere as the paint dries after application. VOCs emitted by solvents that are found in most paints contribute to the formation of indoor air pollution and ground-level ozone.”

Ella's Room Before

First Coat

Ella's Room After
Guest Room

Den Before

Den After

Other Options

From what I have read, Low or Zero VOC paints are the closest to traditional paint. If you don’t mind a look that is a bit different than the dense coverage of traditional paint, here are a few other options:

Clay Paints

Clay paints are made from earth based materials and water. These paints cover well and absorb odors but color choices are limited to more earthy tones and can be a bit pricier than traditional paints.

Lime Wash

Lime Wash is made of limestone and water. This option can be tinted in a variety of colors but takes several coats and can only be used on surfaces such as brick, wood, plaster, and concrete.

Milk Paint

Milk Paint is non-toxic paint made with milk protein, lime, clay and earth pigments. This option is similar to clay paint options.

Many more

There are many more options available and I found this website with various brand recommendation for each type of paint.   The site also contains information on paint strippers and eco-painting tips as well.

I especially liked this one:

“Remember the BUD rule.
BUY no more product than you need. Ask your retailer for help in assessing the quantity you need. USE up all the product you buy. Give leftovers to a neighbor or community organization.
DISPOSE of leftovers in a safe, responsible manner.”

Happy Painting! Buzz!!


  1. great tips and before/after pics Brandy! it was almost enough to make me want to go paint something. almost.

  2. I love this blog, always find it to "bee" so intersting and informative! Looking forward to the next one!...

  3. good tips you have provided and am impressed with the present look of the rooms after painting. Cheers!!