Tuesday, May 12

Comparison of 'Natural' Paints

Having used a number of 'alternative' paints now, i thought it might be worth summarising my experiences. Note i can't comment yet on robustness or their performance against mould:

Earthborn Emulsion

Positives: low carbon, eco friendly, potentially easier to dispose of, brushes cleaned in water.
Negatives: comes in a plastic tub like many paints these days.

Earthborn emulsion gives a nice uniform finish to a wall and is a reasonable price. My Little Eco based in Copnor Road, Portsmouth sell it (online only) for about £17 for a 2.5litre tub. The colour i used had an interesting quality when applied in that it dried a more opaque colour than when wet. So basically the paint actually covers better than appears when it is still wet.

Nature Paint

Positives: Powder is compostable, packaging is a paper bag, low carbon, eco friendly, brushes cleaned in water.
Negatives: The colour appears slightly uneven on the walls, although this might be due to my poor mixing skills!

Despite the colour issue, this was my favourite. I think it's the fact it comes in a paper bag and mixing it is like cooking! You feel like you are doing something that was done hundreds of years ago. The bag can be recycled. Basically no hazardous waste.

Auro White Gloss

Positives: low carbon, eco friendly, brushes cleaned in water although dried paint will need some white spirit or similar, finish is excellent.
Negatives: Potentially long drying time.

Still using this paint. The first coat on a 'test' door frame took 2 days to dry. But the second coat only took a few hours, so the drying time might change depending on humidity?? But the finish is excellent, looks like proper gloss!

I am a bit concerned by the fact that Auro gloss is made from vegetable oils, probably need to investigate this further, since we only have so much land for agriculture.

(Added 29/05/09) Regarding Auro Gloss paint: I can confirm that the first coat of Auro gloss paint takes between 1 and 2 days to dry, the second coat take a few hours. So there is a difference between 1st and 2nd coats. Also instead of using white spirit to clean stubborn paint off the brush, I just stuck the brush in Home Strip eco friendly paint stripper to soften it up before washing off. At least this eliminated the use of white spirit.


Anonymous said...

very true about the agricultural impact but im sure it would be more sustainable than some of the minerals and oils which would require extracting for regular paints.

if the veg oil is organically grown then all the better!

Does the paint smell by the way?

Oh and did anyone else pop over the the green fair over at Clanfield on Sunday?

(sign in not working for some reason!)

TheVille said...

There seems to be problems leaving comments, i tried twice to leave a comment on my own blog yesterday!

The main ingredients of the White Gloss are:

Water, sunflower seed oil, ricinus oil, linseed stand oil, mineral pigments, fillers, rapeseed oil, sugar tensides, silicic acids, cellulose ether, drying agents, borates, lecithin and some other long names!

The paint has a faint pleasant smell.

I was going to the green fair, but was to busy.
I know some people that went and they said it was good.
I have been to the Sustainability Centre for a conference in the past, it's an interesting place. The eco toilet is interesting.

TheVille said...

One possible way forward in the future maybe paints made from algae oil.

As opposed to crop vegetable oils.