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All About Green Paints and Finishes (page 1 of 2)

Green paint, or eco-friendly paint, is becoming a popular option for home decorating because it doesn't contain harmful VOCs. Check out the different types of natural paint to help you choose the best one.

Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Courtesy of DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Green Paints and Finishes

Green paint, sometimes termed eco-paint or natural paint, is becoming a popular option for home decorating. The reason for choosing these paints over conventional ones is directly related to harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) found in conventional paints and decorative coatings. It has now been established that these compounds — which aid drying times and help with viscosity — can be harmful. Paint manufacturers have therefore been tasked with finding an alternative that still allows the paint to perform to product requirement. Usually, more natural raw materials, such as linseed oil, are used in paint production. In fact, many natural paints have been in existence for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Natural Paints

All paints contain a binder, pigment, solvent and sometimes a filler. Binders make up the main film-forming body of the paint, the pigment provides the color and the solvent essentially creates the paint's liquidity. Sometimes fillers are added to further thicken the mixture and increase its volume. With natural paints, it is straightforward to identify these different components as they are all naturally occurring — there are no synthetic parts. The following table provides information about the ingredients of natural paints — there are many variations on each type.

Making Your Own Natural Paint
It is possible to produce any of the paints shown in the table below, and there are numerous "recipe books" available, all offering different ideas on how to mix the perfect paint.

When making your own paints, the main concern is to produce the correct quantity for the job ahead — it is impossible to match colors so you won't be able to make a supplementary batch. The second problem can be with sourcing ingredients, as natural paints are not mainstream. You will need to source specialist local suppliers — a process that is far simpler than it once was thanks to the Internet.

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009