From Renee on January 8th, 2009 in Green Remodeling
Cal Painting Owner Ricky Chu made sure to use eco-friendly paint when he painted the interior of his grandmother’s home. Among his customers, Ricky says the elderly and families with children most frequently request environmentally friendly paint because these groups tend to be sensitive to standard paint’s strong smell.
“Grandmas and grandpas, infants and children are more sensitive to chemicals,” Ricky says. “There’s also a third group of people who request non-toxic, all-natural, or low-VOC paint, and that’s people who gravitate towards environmentally friendly products.”
Currently, about 10 percent of Cal Painting’s interior projects utilize environmentally friendly paint, but Ricky says he sees this number rising. At the same time, major paint manufacturers like Kelly Moore, Behr, and Glidden are starting to make eco-friendly paint for the first time, making it easier and cheaper for people to buy it.
Ricky says eco-friendly paint is typically 20 to 25 percent more expensive than regular paint, but with that extra cost you get a product with no odor, natural compounds, and equal durability to regular paint. “Not all eco-friendly paints are the same,” Ricky says. “Few products are 100% eco-friendly or non-toxic. Most eco-friendly paints are about 98 to 99 percent all-natural, low-VOC, or no-VOC.
Eco-friendly paints are typically used indoors because that’s where the demand is. While outdoor equivalents are available, they’re not as widespread and still require special ordering.
In addition, while eco-friendly paints have the same quality and durability as standard paint, the color selection is not as extensive. According to Ricky, that’s because it’s not always possible to mix standard paint tinters with eco-friendly ones, which have a unique base and must be mixed differently. “Eco-friendly paints may not have the thousands of colors you would find with regular paint, but most have hundreds of colors to choose from, which is enough. You’re gonna find the color that you’re looking for. I’ve always found a color that works.”
Along with the healthy properties of the paint itself, eco-friendly paint is cost effective and environmentally friendly for another reason – their packaging. “Eco-friendly paints are becoming more and more of a cost effective way of painting your home,” Ricky says. “With eco-friendly paint, a lot of the packaging is recyclable and made from recycled materials. With standard paint, a lot of people use 20 to 30 gallons of paint and paint buckets, then throw the paint buckets away in trash cans. It makes sense to do the environment a favor by using the recycled products with recyclable packaging.”
In addition to offering eco-friendly paint options, Cal Painting uses only biodegradable paints. If you are a Bay Area based homeowner, contact Ricky to receive your free painting estimate!