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10 Easy Pieces: Best Eco-Friendly Paints

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10 Easy Pieces: Best Eco-Friendly Paints

April 11, 2018

No longer does “going green” mean a sacrifice in paint or color quality. The eco-friendly paint market has grown and evolved: The paints we feature here perform like premium conventional paints (offering good coverage, vibrant colors, durability, and longevity) but without harmful odors, chemicals, or added solvents. One tip: Look for products that are low- or no-VOC in both the paint and the colorant. (For more on this, see Remodeling 101: All You Need to Know About VOCs in Paint.)

Most of the brands featured offer large, painted color cards and/or small sample pots, a low-waste way to test the color in your space.

10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints Several years ago Farrow & Ball moved its paint to a water based formula, significantly reducing the solvents in its products to low  and zero VOC. Colors are derived from natural pigments, as well as other natural ingredients such as china clay, lime putty, and linseed oil. And the company doesn&#8\2\17;t use harmful ingredients such as ammonia or formaldehyde. The price for a standard gallon of Farrow & Ball Paint is \$95 from Farrow & Ball.
Above: Several years ago Farrow & Ball moved its paint to a water-based formula, significantly reducing the solvents in its products to low- and zero-VOC. Colors are derived from natural pigments, as well as other natural ingredients such as china clay, lime putty, and linseed oil. And the company doesn’t use harmful ingredients such as ammonia or formaldehyde. The price for a standard gallon of Farrow & Ball Paint is $95 from Farrow & Ball.
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints Mythic Paint is a nontoxic, ultra low odor paint that provides the durability and coverage you&#8\2\17;d expect from a premium paint, without emitting the VOCs or toxins that can continue to be released into the air for years after application. Made by Auro, a German company that now distributes in the US, Flat Mythic Paint is \$59.99 per gallon at Sustain Eco Store.
Above: Mythic Paint is a nontoxic, ultra-low-odor paint that provides the durability and coverage you’d expect from a premium paint, without emitting the VOCs or toxins that can continue to be released into the air for years after application. Made by Auro, a German company that now distributes in the US, Flat Mythic Paint is $59.99 per gallon at Sustain Eco Store.
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints  C\2 LoVo Paint is a premium, nontoxic, low VOC paint with infinite color options. The only pigment system in the United States to use European colorants, C\2 Paint can be customized in any color.
Above: C2 LoVo Paint is a premium, nontoxic, low-VOC paint with infinite color options. The only pigment system in the United States to use European colorants, C2 Paint can be customized in any color.
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints For exterior or interior woodwork, consider Eco by Fine Paints of Europe, an American based company that makes its paints in Holland. The Eco Satin Paint is \$60 per liter from Fine Paints of Europe.
Above: For exterior or interior woodwork, consider Eco by Fine Paints of Europe, an American-based company that makes its paints in Holland. The Eco Satin Paint is $60 per liter from Fine Paints of Europe.

10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints A new line of paints from the Hackney Draper come in an Eco Emulsion formula that is water based, breathable, and eco friendly. For more on the paints, see our post Hand Mixed Eco Paints from the Hackney Draper in London.
Above: A new line of paints from the Hackney Draper come in an Eco Emulsion formula that is water-based, breathable, and eco-friendly. For more on the paints, see our post Hand-Mixed Eco Paints from the Hackney Draper in London.
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints  Ecos Organic Paints are water based and free of all solvents, VOCs, and toxins. When the Louvre had some touching up to do on walls near the Mona Lisa, Ecos was selected. Odor  and fume free, the brand has also been singled out as ideal for allergy sufferers. Ecos Organic Paints are available online in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
Above: Ecos Organic Paints are water-based and free of all solvents, VOCs, and toxins. When the Louvre had some touching up to do on walls near the Mona Lisa, Ecos was selected. Odor- and fume-free, the brand has also been singled out as ideal for allergy sufferers. Ecos Organic Paints are available online in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints Returning to methods used before the advent of petrochemicals, Ecotrend Collagen Paint is a no VOC, odorless paint that uses collagen (eggshell lining recovered from commercial bakery waste eggshells) as the paint&#8\2\17;s binder. It is rated very high in coverage.
Above: Returning to methods used before the advent of petrochemicals, Ecotrend Collagen Paint is a no-VOC, odorless paint that uses collagen (eggshell lining recovered from commercial bakery waste eggshells) as the paint’s binder. It is rated very high in coverage.
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints Konig Paints by Vanessa Galloway has a line of eco friendly paints that are water based and, the designers say, &#8\2\20;very low in VOCs and heavy metal free.&#8\2\2\1; For more on the line, see our post A New Line of Eco Paints from England’s First Family of Design.
Above: Konig Paints by Vanessa Galloway has a line of eco-friendly paints that are water-based and, the designers say, “very low in VOCs and heavy-metal free.” For more on the line, see our post A New Line of Eco Paints from England’s First Family of Design.
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints Portland, Oregon&#8\2\17;s Yolo Colorhouse offers premium no VOC interior and exterior paints with a user friendly color palette.
Above: Portland, Oregon’s Yolo Colorhouse offers premium no-VOC interior and exterior paints with a user-friendly color palette.
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints Devine Color is an Oregon company founded by artist Gretchen Schauffler. The paint is low odor and meets the strictest green standards, requires only one coat, and creates a luminous surface. We especially like the Northwest inspired palette. Devine Delicate Wall Finish is \$59.95 from Devine Color.
Above: Devine Color is an Oregon company founded by artist Gretchen Schauffler. The paint is low odor and meets the strictest green standards, requires only one coat, and creates a luminous surface. We especially like the Northwest-inspired palette. Devine Delicate Wall Finish is $59.95 from Devine Color.
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints  Little Greene is located on the outskirts of Manchester and known for the paint&#8\2\17;s complex pigmentation that provides character, definition, and depth of color. The company’s water based paints have a low VOC rating, and its oil based paints are made with sustainable vegetable oil.
Above: Little Greene is located on the outskirts of Manchester and known for the paint’s complex pigmentation that provides character, definition, and depth of color. The company’s water-based paints have a low-VOC rating, and its oil-based paints are made with sustainable vegetable oil.

10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints  Old Fashioned Milk Paint is a historic paint formula that uses casein (milk protein) as a binder. Both organic and biodegradable, Milk Paint is a zero VOC milk paint designed for use on walls. Milk Paint is environmentally safe and nontoxic (there is a slight milky odor when it is applied, but it is completely odorless when dry).
Above: Old-Fashioned Milk Paint is a historic paint formula that uses casein (milk protein) as a binder. Both organic and biodegradable, Milk Paint is a zero-VOC milk paint designed for use on walls. Milk Paint is environmentally safe and nontoxic (there is a slight milky odor when it is applied, but it is completely odorless when dry).
10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints  Natura Paint is Benjamin Moore&#8\2\17;s zero VOC, nontoxic, most environmentally sensitive paint offering. The waterborne paint is available in all Benjamin Moore colors.
Above: Natura Paint is Benjamin Moore’s zero-VOC, nontoxic, most environmentally sensitive paint offering. The waterborne paint is available in all Benjamin Moore colors.

10 Easy Pieces Best EcoFriendly Paints Another small, eco friendly paint company, Earthborn, has developed Claypaint, a special clay based formula with an ultra matte finish that absorbs and softens the light in the room. Earthborn paint is available only in Europe.
Above: Another small, eco-friendly paint company, Earthborn, has developed Claypaint, a special clay-based formula with an ultra-matte finish that absorbs and softens the light in the room. Earthborn paint is available only in Europe.

Need advice selecting paint shades? See our posts: 10 Happiness-Inducing Paint ColorsArchitects’ White Paint Picks, and Architects’ Moody Paint Picks. And for even more possibilities, peruse our Palettes & Paints section.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 28, 2009.

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