‘Green Paint’ – Hogwash or Real?

Image Credit: Catchlight Painting

In essence, paint is a relatively simple, spreadable liquid material that cures and hardens after exposure to air.  Lascaux, France is home to cave paintings 20,000 years old – simple earthen pigments mixed with charcoal, saliva and fats to bind the ingredients.  

Paint evolved to become a stew of chemicals – an array of poisonous ingredients added to both increase coverage and durability. Some of these ingredients contained volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and these contribute to air pollution, as well as present a serious health hazard to the painter – throat irritation, headaches, and with long term exposure, nervous-system damage. Increased concern about visible air pollution, or smog as it is better known, led to the eventual elimination of VOCs from most paints. The unintentional upside is a ‘greener paint’ for both the professional painter and the customer.

Today’s paints are healthier for all concerned — your professional painting crew, your family, and the environment. Because “green” paints do not off gas VOCs, it is no longer necessary to throw open every window and door or vacate your home when painting. In fact, contemporary low odor paints make interior painting hassle free year-round. When cold weather grips many parts of the U.S. in mid-November, our painters migrate indoors to focus our full attention on repairing, revitalizing and enhancing interior spaces.

As professional painters, we stay current with paint’s evolution and frequently find ourselves educating homeowners, interior designers, and builders about the characteristics of modern ‘latex’ or water-based paint. Latex is actually a misnomer, as there hasn’t been latex rubber in water-based paint for decades.

Latex rubber was quickly replaced by vinyl, a cheaper substitute and easily made from petroleum. Most modern water-based paints still rely on petrochemical resins for their performance but are able to dry without off gassing. Further, since the death knell of oil-based or solvent-based paint was obvious more than 20 years ago, all subsequent research and development has focused on optimizing the performance of water-based paint.

As one might expect, not all paints perform to the same standard and while high performance formulas may cost a little extra, price reflects not only how well a coating will apply, adhere and endure, but ultimately its aesthetic appearance and beauty.

Since 1994, Catchlight Painting has proudly served homeowners in the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area. We provide fine exterior and interior house painting, light carpentry, commercial painting, and specialize in historic home restorations. Our attention to detail and extensive surface preparation consistently deliver beautiful lasting results. Call or visit us online to learn more about our company and services.

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