ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Using Eco-Friendly House Paint-WOW!

Updated on April 23, 2014
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren is a one-person fixer of "TLC Needed" houses. She explains methods simply to homeowners who are not in the construction trades.

Happy Earth  :)
Happy Earth :)

What are you going to get dad for Father's Day? Or the newlyweds buying their first home? Or the expectant parents preparing a nursery? How about some green (meaning eco-friendly) paint!

Equal Billing

I manage to get to the paint department of our local home improvement stores regularly. As in: a lot. (Just see some of my other Hubs. I'm a painting, color-creating nutcase.) On my outing yesterday to a nationally known store, I noticed a difference in the paint section. Whereas they may have had eco-friendly paint available before, somewhere hidden up high or far back, now this line had equal billing. Yep. It was featured at the capstone of an aisle.

All the Regular Options

Furthermore, this line of paint looked as though it had "finally arrived" as a legitimate line. (Not that it was ever illegitimate.) There were all the conventional choices for primer, ceiling, and various finishes (flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss). Also, there was a variety of shades. The color choices numbered about thirty.

Eco-Friendly Ideas

Songbird Essentials SE7031 16 oz Bird Feeder/Birdhouse Cleaner (Set of 1)
Songbird Essentials SE7031 16 oz Bird Feeder/Birdhouse Cleaner (Set of 1)

I adore watching the birds outside, so a fowl-friendly feeder cleaner is fantastic!

Dip that paintbrush into safe, green-certified paint that does not harm you or your family.
Dip that paintbrush into safe, green-certified paint that does not harm you or your family.

Different from the Get-Go

I had made my choice and brought the color card up to the mixing counter. While waiting behind other customers, I thought "I wonder how they are going to add the tint? Certainly they can't just stick the can of no-outgassing-chemicals base paint under the 'regular' color drop machine. That probably has the old kind of bad stuff chemicals." Sure enough, when it was my turn, Mr. Paint Guy had to walk back to the paint display. Each color card had its own niche on a grid. What a surprise to see that the grid was actually a door which swung open to reveal little compartments. Think apartment house mailboxes and you'll get the picture. Each compartment held foil-wrapped packs with the color additive specific to the card before it on the grid door. They looked like the coffee packs pre-measured for one pot.

Inside the foil pack was another packet with powdered dye. This clear (looked like a snack baggie) pack would dissolve in the base paint. Mr. Paint Guy pried off the plastic lid to the can and dropped in the baggie. He then hammered the lid shut and put it in the agitator-shaker machine for about 5 minutes. He said that it takes more shaking than the other paints. He also said, "Have you ever used this kind of paint? You're gonna LUV the way it works. It is SO easy to use." This became an accurate foreshadowing of my painting experience.

Wow - EASY to Use

Fortunately, I do not have extreme chemical sensitivity. I do, however, have asthma which is trigerred by some allergens, so I try not to take undue risks with my ability to breathe. The lucky recipient (unlucky victim?) of my redecorating effort was a minuscule powder room. It has no windows, but does contain a ventilating fan. Therefore, if this was going to be a test of the fume factor of a paint, the room was ideal.

What can I say? What do you expect? You are probably right in your prediction. There was no odor, no fragrance, no fume, no olfactory evidence whatsoever that a can of paint was open. Phew. That is a pleasure. The next bonus was how easily it spread. I would have thought that some mineral oil had been added, the way the paint glided across the wall - and EVENLY, too! Now I am very happy.


The paint I bought was certified by an organization called Greenguard. The statement below the happy little certification box states "All GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified R products can be specified and used with the confidence that they will not pollute the indoor air with high levels of harmful chemicals." Plus, another part of the label proclaimed "CONTAINS NO VOCs. VOC content as measured by The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Reference Test Method 24." VOCs are a group of organic chemicals thought to contribute to sick building syndrome and possibly cause health problems in humans.

Drying Time

The drying time seemed a little faster than other latex paints that I use. While the can said 30 to 60 minutes, it seemed like 20 minutes. The appearance is flawless - and that is NOT because I am a fantastic wall painter. I am an impatient painter. So, this again is a worthy test of the product. There are no streak lines or grain lines. It is just nice, smooth color - like the uniform shade of virgin drywall.

Clean-up was similar to other latex paints. Use soap and water. That has never been a big issue for me.


The long and short of it is that it cost about 33% more than the store brand paint. I don't even look at the designer brands, such as Ralph Lauren or Disney, so maybe it was right in their price ballpark. However, I feel that we consumers must put our money where our values are. That is the only way that American manufacturers "get it." And politicians, for that matter. We must lead them with our buying choices.

If my wish for my grandchildren is to have them experience a Pennsylvania that looks somewhat like it did for me as a child, I have an affirmative responsibility. I must put trash in proper places, recycle, hang out my laundry to dry, not be an energy hog, and not fill the world with toxins. Many times I save money when doing these things. But, that is a side benefit.

Perhaps, for this year, when I buy eco-paint I will not enjoy that side benefit of a few bucks saved. However, my heart swells with the other benefits that the world and I gain. My hope is that eventually the cost of production will become economically competitive. Ok - I lie. My hope is that it becomes economically competitive, but also that it is the only kind of paint made.

S-O-L-D !

I am sold on eco-paint. That is all I will buy (if the color I want exists in the line). So everyone, please start buying it too so that more and more shades are produced. Then, I, the nutcase, will win - - but most importantly, we all will win on many levels.

Now, in 2012, They Tell Me...

At my favorite big box handyperson store, Home Depot, the paint people tell me why this special line of paints is no longer available. I am told that the "technology" of making low- and no-VOC paints has finally spread to all paint manufacturers, therefore a special line is superfluous. However, that reassuring certification does not seem to be on the labels.

As always, let the shopper be vigilant.

Text copyright 2008 Maren E. Morgan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      JasonPLittleton, thanks. There are even more options in home improvement stores now than when I wrote this. I think it is wonderful to be able to paint without fear of fumes harming yourself, your family, or your pets.

    • JasonPLittleton profile image


      7 years ago

      Great and very informative hub. Voted up!

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      10 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I think you will be pleased. Let me know.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Ok, I will give it a try.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      10 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Super! I was hesitant to say what paint I used, because I am always afraid that I'll be suspected of being an employee of the product's company. But since you are going to try it, I will tell you that the brand I bought is ""Freshaire Choice." It is great.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Great inovation thats for sure. yOU have sold me on this. When I paint again . I will definitely have a look and buy it. Thanks for sharing


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)