We needed to paint a good portion of the inside of our house and decided to check out the Eco-friendly paint options. Man are there lots of them out there and I can see how easy it would be for people to get confused and frustrated. Some brands are even making it look like their paint is certified when really it is just a fancy symbol that they themselves have added. We weeded these one's out quickly and were able to focus on the paints that were actually available in Canada and were certified by a 3rd party.
So who were the front runners?
Benjamin Moore - Aura Line
Olympic - Premium
Sico - Chamois
Benjamin Moore was the only one of the 3 that offered VOC free base paint and tinters making it a true VOC free paint. The Olympic and Sico brands offered VOC free base paint but the tinters added were not VOC free making them in the end low VOC paints.
While we would have loved to get VOC free paint and go with the Benjamin Moore line we had to look at the cost of the paint. At nearly double the cost of the 2nd in line (Sico) we decided that it was just not worth it so we went with the Sico Chamois paint. We were getting a light tint anyways so we knew that the VOC's being added in the tint would be less than if we were doing a darker paint.
I think this is something to keep in mind when you are looking at VOC free paints. Are they really a true VOC free paint or is it just the base that is VOC free. If you are going for a dark colour you may want to just pay the extra money and go with Benjamin Moore to ensure you keep your paint as low VOC as possible. Regardless of what you decide these paints are still better than the "regular" paints on the market.
I have heard people questioning if the low VOC and VOC free paints are of any quality. We found the Sico paint to be exceptional. It went on really well and provided excellent coverage. Honestly it is one of the nicest paints we have worked with.
Our tips for selecting a Eco-Friendly paint include:
- Look for a brand that is certified by a third party (eco-logo, green seal etc)
- Watch for brands that are "self" certified
- Weigh your priorities, including budget
- Look for sales (we see them at least once a month)
- Use a paint calculator to determine how much paint you need for your project