Why use green paint?
Be it acrylic paint, low VOC paint or eco paint, they are all better for the environment than solvent-based paints.
Daniel Wurm, president of GreenPainters, says on their website: “Conventional paints can make the air you breathe a chemical cocktail, even long after they have dried, as they continue to release petroleum-based solvents.”
Those solvents are called Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. Environmentally and human-friendly paints market themselves as “low VOC”, which is an indication that they are much better for the planet.
Acrylic paints, because they are water-based, are also better for the environment. When solvent-based paint dries, solvent evaporates into the atmosphere, contributing to air pollution. Water-based paints, however, emit mainly harmless water vapour.
Eco home improvement company Livos Australia makes a range of paint that is free from harmful substances, doesn’t emit vapours or toxic gases and reduces dust levels thanks to its anti-static effect.
The paints are biodegradable and are harmless to humans, animals and plants. They use plant-derived solvents and binders, rather than synthetic ones, so have much lower VOC levels than conventional paints.
Livos’ paints cover all the bases: base coats, primers and colours for walls and ceilings, paints for doors and trims, primers and paints for metal, as well as sealers and rust-preventative primers.
And green paint company Ecolour, based in Byron Bay, leaves your options open – they can mix paint to 36,000 different colours and shades.
Dulux EnviroWash System
Paint giant Dulux, a member of the Green Building Council of Australia, has its own ranges of low VOC and acrylic paints.
But Dulux also promotes careful waste management through its EnviroWash System. This water-based treatment system turns paint washout into clean water and solid waste, making for easier and safer disposal.
The system provides an environmentally responsible way of washing brushes and rollers, separating paint solids from water in one hour.
Keep the clean-up green
GreenPainters, the eco side of the National Institute of Painting and Decorating, has some advice for keeping the post-painting clean-up sustainable too, as most paints contain chemicals that can be harmful if they get into the stormwater system.
Never clean brushes or rinse paint into a street gutter or drain.
Squeeze excess paint back into the paint tin.
Seal the lid securely and store the paint upside down, creating an air-tight seal around the lid.
Use one container to clean brushes and another to rinse them. Leave them overnight to allow paint solids to sink to the bottom. Pour the water onto grass or a garden area, wipe out the paint and dispose of it in the garbage.
Check with your local council for your nearest hazardous waste depot for recycling paint and paint tins.