In a nutshell eco friendly painting and decorating is the use of paints and other materials that contain low or zero VOC's (volatile organic compounds) and are manufactured without ingredients or additives that are harmful to the environment.
VOC's are the gases or vapours emitted during the application and drying periods of these materials. Traditionally VOC's were higher in conventional oil based paints, such as gloss paint used on woodwork, and are most commonly recognized as the familiar smell you associate with painting. The higher level of VOC the higher impact a product can have. Other harmful ingredients are also sometimes used to help the paint bind to the substrate, such as formaldyhide.
The first reason is perhaps the most obvious. The VOC's emitted when using these paints are damaging to us. The fumes are unpleasant and can last for weeks after the painting has taken place. High levels of VOC's can cause headaches and make you feel nauseous. Using an eco friendly paint limits any potential risk.
Most eco paints are water based and partly consist of an acrylic binder to help the paint stick to the surface. Unlike a lot of oil based paints a water based paint remains white whereas oil based paint tends to turn yellow over time. There is also less drying time involved allowing painted areas to be returned to normal with minimal disruption.
On a product there should be an indicator of the level of VOC's contained. You should look for ones that have low or zero VOC's. There are varying degree's of eco friendly painting and decorating but through browsing brands you can usually determine how actively they are embracing the eco friendly ethos.
As part of my effort to I am a member of the eco friendly painting and decorating association, offset the amount of carbon I use through a carbon offsetting scheme and dispose of old paint tins and excess materials responsibly.
With a growing body of research there has been a real push, through legislation, to lower levels of VOC's. Eco friendly painting and decorating is not confined solely to what a product consists of but includes offsetting carbon used in the shipping and production of materials and the correct disposal of waste.
In terms of exterior painting an oil based paint is prone to blister and crack whereas a water based paint is absorbed into the surface. It fades over time, enabling easier future maintenance. These are just a few examples but as I have to use decorating materials everyday another advantage is you are also helping me to have a healthier worklife!
There are varying degrees of how eco friendly a paint or product is. Mainly eco friendly paints have been banded together as those that are water based and do not contain any oil or solvents but the range and quality of these paints and to what extent they are eco friendly can differ considerably. I can help you navigate through the various choices to make when
considering using eco friendly paint.
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