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Buying Guide to Nontoxic Paint + DIY Milk Paint Recipe
Posted By Annie B. Bond On June 29, 2009 @ 1:18 pm In Eco Decorating, Green Living | 24 Comments
Painting is surely one of the easiest and most budget-friendly decorating tricks to brighten up your home. And if you use paint that’s safe for both for you and the environment, you can’t go wrong (except, of course, when the color looked so different on your wall than it did in the store … ).
Traditional paints contain volatile organic compounds  (VOCs), fungicides to prevent mold and mildew growth, and synthetic chemicals called biocides as preservatives to extend the product’s shelf life. VOCs, like ethylene glycol and the carriers in many pigments, can trigger skin rashes, asthma , headaches, dizziness and fatigue. VOCs also contribute to ground level ozone. Biocides are lesser known than VOCs, but they can be detected in the air five years after painting. And fungicides can be toxic.
It definitely worth the extra legwork and expense to find paints that don’t contain these chemicals, for the environment’s sake as well as for your health.
Look for paints that are made with zinc oxide as a safer fungicide.it is easier to find no-VOD or low-VOC paints these days.
You can buy milk paint pre-made (see Where to Buy Nontoxic Paint below) — or you can make your own. Here is my best formula for milk paint. It’s an indoor/outdoor formula, and an adaptation of one found in a Lime Institute brochure called “Whitewash and Cold Water Paints.”
2 ½ pounds casein
7 gallons warm distilled water
25 pounds mason’s hydrated lime
1 ½ pounds borax
Natural earth pigment (optional)
Soak the casein overnight in a large tub filled with 2 gallons of the water.
In a separate tub, combine the lime and 3 gallons of the water; stir to blend.
In a third tub, thoroughly combine the borax in 1 gallon of the water; add this to the lime mixture, then stir into the casein mixture.
Add pigment if desired. Add more water if needed.
Makes 8 gallons.
Shelf Life: A few days, once the dry ingredients have been mixed with liquid.
The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company’s Safepaint  combines milk protein and lime with pigments. It arrives as a powder and you add water. $45.95 per gallon.
Mythic Paint  has no VOCs and is also, the company claims, free of carcinogenic chemicals. About $38.95 per gallon.
AFM Safecoat’s new zero-VOC Ayurveda Essence  line is intended to help you find balance through colors that suit your personality. (The colors are wonderful and unexpected.) From $38.90 per gallon.
Yolo Colorhouse  divides its no-VOC palettes into categories like air, grain, and petal. There’s also a “little Yolo” line, and tinted or white primer. Yolo, $39.95 per gallon, little Yolo, $10.95 per gallon.
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/healthy-paint-tips/
URLs in this post:
 volatile organic compounds: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/4WaystoReduceVOCsInYourHome.html
 asthma: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/AsthmaSolutions.html
 Milk paint: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/4-safe-green-ways-to-refinish-reclaimed-furniture/
 The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company’s Safepaint: http://www.milkpaint.com/prod_safe.html
 Mythic Paint: http://www.mythicpaint.com/
 AFM Safecoat’s new zero-VOC Ayurveda Essence: http://www.afmsafecoat.com/ayurveda/index.html
 Yolo Colorhouse: http://www.yolocolorhouse.com
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