Choosing Eco-Friendly Paints in Portland Area

Posted by Sam Sundeleaf on Monday, September 30, 2013

With the Portland Area, and Pacific Northwest in general, being an area at the forefront of eco-consciousnes and sustainability, it's only natural that people would think about these things when it comes to painting either home and business. Selecting traditional paints is already difficult, so finding and selecting the right eco-friendly paint can sometimes feel even more daunting. Who do you trust? Which one is the best? Here are a few eco-friendly paints to simplify your decisionmaking process. And if you still feel bogged down, our team is here to help out. 

First, a few notes. You want to make sure the green certification is legit, not what we call "green washing." On the label, look for Greenguard or Green Seal. You're going to want to find low or zero-VOC paints. What that means is there are little to know volatile organic compouns. This is great for the environment, but also for the respiratory health of those in your home or business. 

Below are six companies that produce environmentally-friendly paints. Other options exist, of course, so we encourage you to do some of your own research, or give us a call. 

YOLO Colorhouse 

YOLO Colorhouse is a Portland-based company, so right there you know they're on the up and up as far as environmentally-friendly product. 

The company website states, "At YOLO Colorhouse we are proud of what’s NOT in our paint: no mutagens, no hazardous air pollutants, no ozone depleting compounds, no formaldehyde, no phthalates, no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and NO BAD COLORS!" Their paints are latex-based and available in flat, semigloss, and eggshell finishes. 

YOLO calls itself the "environmentally responsible paint company," and we like that boldness. What's also cool is that its creators are artists who craft paints "with nature in mind." But, perhaps the best thing of all about YOLO Colorhouse is the color selection. It's quite simply inspiring. They range from earth-inspired colors with names like Air, Grain, and Leaf, to a rich range of pastels. 

Learn about the company's founders here

Devine Color

Devine Color is yet another Portland-based paint company. The state's truly at the forefront of green painting, is it not? 

The company markets itself as producing "luminous" colors. Created by artist Gretchen Schauffler, they aim to "free color from the limits of mass-produced paint" by making their paint differently. "Our exclusive, color-illuminating formula is infused with premium-quality pigments that embrace light and let true, rich, radiant color shine through," reads the company website. "Devine Color is luxuriously creamy and coats walls abundantly with a soft, lush finish that’s durable and washable. It’s low odor, zero VOC (as calculated by EPA method 24)."

Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball is a great company, which is now producing paint in a water-based formula; which, of course, is an eco-friendly type of paint.

The company's paints range from low to zero-VOC, and are naturally-pigmented and derived from lime putty, linseed oil, china clay, and other natural ingredients. You won't find any harmful chemicals like formaldehyde or ammonia in Farrow & Ball either, which is fantastic for everyone from families to hospitals. One gallon of Farrow & Ball, however, costs $85. But, sometimes you just can't put a price on protecting your health and the environment. 

Sherwin-Williams Harmony

Sherwin-Williams may be a huge paint manufacturing business, but they're actively producing eco-conscious and sustainable paints. Their Harmony line of paints are Greenguard certified. They're acrylic latext and zero-VOC, which means they contain no Volatile Organic Compounds. What does this mean? Well, it doesn't contain the typical compounds found in traditional paints; this means that it's great for the environment and personal health. And there are plenty of color options for Harmony, too.

Benjamin-Moore Aura & Natura 

Benjamin-Moore's Natura is one of the greenest paints on the market. As a zero-VOC paint, it's great for the environment and personal health, and is available in all colors. Aura is also Greenguard certified. It's a low-VOC paint available in any color that Benjamin-Moore offers, which is a great upside. It's quick-drying, low-odor, and very durable. 

The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company

This family-run company from Groton, MA, produces paints out of milk protein. Crazy, right? No, not really. While milk-based paint might be uncommon, it does exist! The company's paints are available in 16 low-VOC, naturally-pigmented colors no biocides. 

The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company website reads, "Our Milk Paint is environmentally safe and non-toxic. There is a slight milky odor when it is applied, but it is completely odorless when dry. The paint is safe for children's furniture and toys, and can also be used for interiors of homes of people who are allergic to modern paints." Well, a slightly milk odor is preferable to something that makes you want to run out of the house, right? We think so. 

Sundeleaf Painting, Inc.
2037 SE Ochoco Street
Portland, Oregon 97222
(503) 236-9797

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