Green Paint

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Let’s face it, green is the new black. As society becomes more environmentally conscious, homes also are evolving to reflect this growing green-shift.

Paint is the foundation of a beautiful space, but it also can contribute to indoor air pollution and create or worsen health conditions. The culprit? Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), toxic solvents that are emitted as paint dries. The hazardous fumes can emanate from the walls for up to five years even after the strong odor when it’s still drying has dissipated.

Several companies now offer a safer alternative for those who want to add some color to their homes. “Green” paints have low or no VOCs and are made with ingredients like water, citrus oil and chalk. Although more expensive than conventional interior paints, they come in the same finishes and can last for up to 20 years.

When low-VOC paints were first introduced in the ’90s, “they weren’t so great and painters didn’t like them. It didn’t flow right, didn’t cover well and took extra coats,” reports Mike Flemming, president of Southeast Painting. Over the years, major manufacturers have improved and expanded their lines of environmentally friendly interior paints and now, “they’ve gotten to where it’s hard to tell them apart” from the older versions, he says. “We’re starting to use them by choice rather than being forced to. Customers request them more and more now — even if they have no reason other than it seems like the right thing to do.”