It’s that time of year to paint the house – An annual occurrence resulting from the fact that all the sticky tape I put my daughter’s recent birthday decorations up with usually pulls half of the paint off the walls.
Now, I’d never really considered the existence of ethical paint before – I’d always assumed that all paint was dangerous for the environment based on the fact that every time I tried to drink some while doing art at infants’ school, my teacher would throw a board rubber at me (different times!)
Obviously, I know that it’s not a natural product – regular paint is filled with unsavoury things like synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, formaldehyde, ammonia and titanium dioxide, which should be avoided whenever possible unless ammonia and titanium dioxide go really well with your living room curtains.
But, having done some research, it turns out paint is, quite simply, one of the evilest substances known to man. It contains Volatile Organic Compounds (V.O.Cs) which harm the environment, which was news to me as I’d always assumed the letters “V.O.C.” on the tin stood for “Very Obnoxious Colour”. Paint’s production also involves creating huge amounts of toxic waste and, most frightening of all, it smells awful.
Obviously, I need to switch to something more ethical ASAP, but I’m wondering whether the eco-paint alternatives will be as good. Well, if some of the names of the colours are anything to go by it’s at least the equal of the traditional stuff.
Shades available included: “Hopscotch”, “Mittens”, “Donkey Ride”, “Ballet Shoe”, “Fiddlestick”, “Rocky Horse” and “Trumpet”, which, when read together sound like the track-list to the worst indie band album of all time. I also found traditional “Eggshell”, which was slightly disappointing as I was hoping you could at least get a free-range version.
In comparison to traditional paint, ethical ones will make you feel much better about using them – or less bad if you hate painting as much as I do. Some contain virtually no V.O.Cs; some are produced in a carbon-neutral way; some even contain milk products (hopefully the white ones).
One producer even claims its paint is so non-toxic you can eat it. Where were you when I was five years old?