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Eco-Friendly Paint Options

New paint for your interior rooms or the exterior of your home is one of the most effective ways to update your home. It’s also one of the more cost effective ways to upgrade your home’s appearance, especially if you do it yourself! Before you get started research your options. Painting takes time and expertise, and depending on the project it is wise to consult with a professional.

Jeremy Brooks of Brooks Painting

For example, if your home was built before 1978 the walls may have been painted with lead-based paint.  Just this April, the Environmental Protection Agency issued new federal laws requiring contractors and paint professionals to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Exposure to lead can cause medical problems to the nervous system, behavioral problems, learning problems, slowed growth, headaches and other debilitating conditions. There is specific training, certification and equipment necessary for industry professionals when working with lead paint, and it’s equally important for homeowners to recognize the risks if they do the work themselves. Due to potential health hazards, it’s an obvious choice to seek out professional work if your home or project falls in this category. Brooks Painting Inc. based in Davis recently posted an informative piece on their website. You can read it here.

If your project is more DIY in nature, take the time to prepare properly with quality products and appropriate tools for the job. Before you get started evaluate the space that you’ll be painting. What’s the square footage?  What kind of sheen do you want? Do you need to prime the walls or not? What color should you select? Do you have the appropriate rollers and brushes for the paint you are using? There are many online resources to help you answer these questions; simply Google search such questions.

Fred Summers & Kris Mashburn of Kelly-Moore

At Kelly-Moore Paints in Woodland, store manager Kris Mashborn is ready to help you get started painting. He and his employees are always informative,  and their customer service is top-notch every time I’ve been there.

In 1946, William Kelly and William Moore started their paint store in San Carlos, California. Today it’s the largest employee-owned paint company in the United States. They’ve always been known as “the painter’s paint store”, but don’t be intimidated by the warehouse interior look of their stores. If you’re a DIYer or pro, they want to sell you some paint!

Have you heard about or seen the new labeling for paints called low or zero VOC? Most of the major brands carry this type of environmentally-friendly paint. The EPA’s website defines VOC as “Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors.” In other words, VOCs are solvents in paint which evaporate easily at room temperature, the toxic-smelling ingredients, unhealthy for people and the environment. VOCs contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer, as well as poor indoor air quality.

Yolo Colorhouse of Portland, OR

As a result of the health hazards from these gasses, paint companies have created formulas that are better for the environment and consumers. Recognizable names, big box stores and smaller private companies each offer paint in this eco-category. “Green”  is definitely more mainstream than ever, as it should be. Benjamin Moore has ‘Natura’ and ‘ben’ in their line of low or zero VOCs; Sherwin-Williams has ‘Duration’ and ‘Harmony’ for their environmentally-friendly paint offering. Kelly-Moore offers three choices – Enviro, Green Coat and eCoat. Each is either low or zero VOC and virtually odorless. Kelly-Moore was one of the first paint companies to develop an environmentally responsible technique to dispose of leftover paint and became the first paint company to introduce a quality recycled paint in the industry. The eCoat line is manufactured with recycled post-consumer paint waste. There are even specialty brands such as Yolo Colorhouse available at paint retailers like Kelly-Moore in Woodland. Yolo Colorhouse, manufactures a zero-VOC paint. It is a woman-owned, socially conscience company based out of Portland, Oregon. They offer a color palette especially for children’s rooms too. At the other end of the retail spectrum is Home Depot. Their FreshAire Choice zero-VOC, odorless paint is available in 65 colors segmented into four nature-inspired palettes (water, atmosphere, botanical and earth). With the Green Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and value-pricing at Home Depot, any budget can have access to paint that’s good for families and the ozone!

Before you get started with any summer paint project, take some time to research these links and decide what’s best for your household. Look for more home design 411 in the weeks to come. And, if you haven’t done so already, free subscribe to DLM and select the Welcome Home Blog to receive new entries.

Read more about Diana’s interior design work and current projects at http://www.thedesignpartner.com/and follow her on Twitter.

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