I found it quite ironic that while I am posting ways to have a less-toxic home I have had my face in paint fumes for hours at a time for the last week LOL
Our home was painted with flat paint when we bought it and after 2.5yrs of two little boys with dirty fingers and cars that like to race on the walls, well, they looked horrible. I just couldnt take it anymore. So Ive started to paint.
I researched and researched looking for paints that were safer when I was pregnant with Jayna and wanted to paint her room. On every paint can you can find the "VOC"s listed somewhere. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. This is basically a measurement of all the horrible nasty things that they've used for so long to make paint work well. At the time, only 9 or so months ago, I could only find no-VOC paints online and they were outrageous when you factored in shipping. But, more and more companies are creating low or zero-VOC paints which have no odor and will not release toxins into the air for years like regular paint will. (I was so grossed out when I learned that - ick! See the link below for more info)
We have a Sherman Williams store here and I found a great paint there, Duration Home, that is not only tough but is LOW-VOC and has their "Green Sure" label. This means it meets or exceeds the Green Seal criteria. You can read about what VOCs are Here. Its actually really interesting. And its great that now you can just look for that label and know you are getting something safer. Be warned, its more expensive. The Duration Home is $42/gallon *gasp* I know, I know. I actually bought mine during one of their monthly sales though and to me its worth it.
*Note: I did read on the GreenSeal site that the non/low-VOC rating is given for the paint PRIOR to adding color at the point of sale. I wonder how much that changes the VOC????
Sherman Williams has a new product called "Harmony" that is actually Zero-VOC! Im very excited about this. Its $38/gallon. I asked and they said its not as durable/washable but would be great for a childs bedroom so that its safe for them to sleep in there they day its painted. Its available in a satin finish so it would be cleanable. I plan to use this for our childrens rooms (my next project! why-oh-why do I have a husband that hates to paint!?!?!?!)
The Duration Home may be low-odor but I still feel icky after breathing in all the fumes. The good news is, my walls look nice and pretty and no longer have pen/crayon/jelly/black marks/etc on them! :) And a prettier, nicer house makes for a happier mommy :)
We are so blessed to have more options in the paint department. Now we can keep our homes nice without harming the health of our family! Amen! :)