With people’s increasing interest in non-toxic living, health and sustainability we’ve noticed a complementary trend taking flight – the movement toward natural paint. “It is in everyone’s best interest to transition to a lower tox way of living. We have seen a big transition towards health in other industries and I believe the trade industry is the next frontier where this transformation is greatly needed,” says natural paint proponent Anthony Kanavakatini of Eco Lux Painting and Decorating.
Anthony’s natural paint exploration began when he was on a quest for a healthier, more sustainable painting approach after hearing a few older painting colleagues had fallen ill. “I began looking into the long-term health effects of using conventional paints and what I found was quite alarming. It didn’t take long to convince me that I needed to make a change ASAP – for my health, for my family, and for my customers and their families,” says Anthony who favours the Bio Products range of natural interior paints and varnishes.
The main issue with traditional paint seems to be the presence of VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds. “VOCs release into the atmosphere not just while the paint is drying but can negatively affect air quality for months and even years after application. This is where that ‘freshly painted’ smell comes from. You are smelling a mix of chemicals which are majority carcinogenic and have the potential to cause serious health risks long term,” says Anthony.
By comparison, natural paints are free of VOCs and are formulated with ingredients like pine resin, linseed oil, lemon peel oil and other plant oils, earth pigments, clay, iron oxides, metal oxides and water. “Natural paints solve a huge problem for me the painter and for you the home owner, because they register an incredible 0 per cent VOC reading which makes them free from nasty chemicals and carcinogens,” says Anthony.
And in good news, traditional paint brands are heading down the low-tox route too. Wattyl’s new I.D Advanced is an ultra-low VOC formula that has less than 1 gram of VOCs per litre (a level that far exceeds green building requirements) while Haymes Paint’s Elite Interior paint is 99 per cent VOC free and the Dulux Professional Enviro2 Interior Low Sheen range contains less than 1 gram of VOCs per litre.
“People are eliminating the bad chemicals from their homes. I think it is great and should be seen only as a positive. We are in a time where the average consumer is highly conscious of health and sustainability and many people are now choosing a more eco-friendly, natural way of doing things which is a win for everyone.”