Friday, October 15, 2010

Green Paint

I finally tried a low VOC wall paint. Though chemical sensitivity has required me to use natural products for everything else, when it comes to enriching my walls with liquid color, I usually just open the windows and tough it out. I haven’t known what else to do since I needed a low budget solution and others clamored, “It’ll cost you $40 to go green!” But the more I read books such as Matthew Sleeth’s Serve God Save the Planet, the more convicted I become that I need to consider more than what I can put up with or afford; I need to consider God’s creation.

I spent weeks choosing just the right color, noting the lack of environmentally sound paints at various stores. Then at just the right time when the weather turned cooler, Lowe’s weekly flyer proclaimed, “ Lowe’s is the only national home improvement store to carry zero VOC paint available in any color.” And it was on sale for only $15.98 ($2.00 off)! So I made the change and bought their Olympic Premium Interior Latex. However, I had to settle for the “flat” finish or pay $22-something.

The can says that the paint is “low odor”. I indeed noticed very little odor while painting my two walls on opposite ends of a large, open living area but a concentrated dose such as one would inhale while painting an entire closed-in room could be a problem. The label still warns to “USE ONLY WITH ADEQUATE VENTILATION”. (Remember that fumes and odors are not necessarily the same thing. Some dangerous fumes such as natural gas have no odor of their own.)

The flyer boasts, “one-coat coverage”—maybe, in a pale color but my rich medium red-violet took two coats.

Would I use it again? Probably--unless the market produces another “zero VOC” paint that has still less odor and a lower price.