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Organic Paints & Stains

Anyone who suffers from allergies or chemical sensitivities or who is interested in using “green” building materials should consider organic paints and wood stains rather than the commonly available varieties. Organic paints and stains are not made from toxic petrochemicals and heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, or mercury. Instead they are manufactured using plant oils as solvents and mineral pigments for color. The specialty companies that produce these paints and stains obtain their materials from environmentally managed sources and produce their products using sustainable ecological methods.

If you are thinking of using an organic paint or stain, consider the following:

  • These products are made for both interior and exterior surfaces. The paints come in the same wide range of finishes as standard paints, from flat through eggshell to glossy. There are also wood stains, varnishes, radiator and masonry finishes, primers, undercoats, and sealers for stone and tile.
  • These paints and stains are durable and easy to clean. They can be applied directly on to surfaces with old paint finishes.
  • When buying these products, look for brands that are made from water, synthetic binders or resins, natural pigments, mineral fillers such as limestone or clay, and cellulose or resinous viscosity builders.

A truly organic paint or stain will have no VOC’s (volatile compounds). Some products that are labeled “organic” are really just low VOC versions and will contain some petrochemicals.
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