Painting the Eco Way

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We have been painting machines since we moved into our new home. We’ve painted our living room, hallway, kitchen, bedroom and the bathroom is the last on our list…yay! I must say we’re both over painting and all the cutting in that is required with living in a 90 year old home with all it’s beautiful yet complicated builtins, but I’m so happy we did it. You know that very recognizable new paint smell? Well you won’t smell that in our house and it’s great! No headaches or smelling paint right when you walk in your door for a week after the work is done.

Improving indoor air quality is a great step to take when trying to live an eco-lifestyle. What could be more important than you and your loved ones health? Indoor air is more often than not full of harsh and toxic chemicals that off gas from our paint, rugs and furniture. You can find out more HERE. Of course buying products without these harsh chemicals in them is a perfect way of cleaning up your indoor air quality but there are also simple steps you can take.  Opening up the windows everyday to let in fresh air and having houseplants that help cleanup the indoor air are super helpful and cost little to nothing but help make a huge difference.

Volatile Organic Compounds called VOC’s are dangerous to be breathing in and are found in the off gassing of many household items, including paint. Click HERE for a great short article by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to find out more.

When it comes to painting there is only one thing to do in my opinion and that is to choose No VOC or Low VOC paint. These paints are sold everywhere nowadays and it’s awesome. They will say it right on the front label. We bought ours from Lowes (where we have been spending way too much time and money now that we are homeowners). These types of latex based paints are not hard to find which makes it a smart and easy choice. I found that when they weren’t on sale they were only $3 to $10 more a gallon, which for their benefits is so worth it.

When we were painting our living room we had family over to help (Thank you!) and it made me so happy that everyone noticed the lack of strong paint smell. Our family was commenting that they couldn’t believe there was zero “paint smell” and I tried to explain that that paint smell is really just chemicals that are added to paints that are no longer necessary. Everyone stayed in a good mood and we finished the project with no headaches or irritable guests. I totally chalk our happy helpers up to the fact that they weren’t breathing in harsh chemicals throughout the day, I’m sure the pizza helped too ;-)

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Many hands make light work!

Our homes should feel like sanctuaries, places we come to relax and be with the ones we love, by making the space healthier through improving the indoor air quality, everyone, including the environment, will benefit.

Have you ever used low VOC paint before? What did you think? I’d love to know!

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