A few companies that manufacture natural paints also make primers, sealers, stains and waxes. Though not all products are local to northern California, there is a surprisingly large number of natural products available here. Fortunately, with the need for environmentally friendly products rising, more companies are deciding to “Go Green.”
Natural Paints: The ingredients of most natural paints include natural plant dyes, oils, minerals such as clay, and waxes. If natural pigments are used, rich earth tones create its color range. Natural paints contain VOCs, but they are not the harmful ones. They also don’t contain the toxic solvents that are found in conventional house paint.
Washes: Color Washes can be made from any of the paint colors that natural paints come in. Lime washes are also readily available, which give an aged stucco appearance. Lime washes are durable enough to be applied as an exterior product, and they have a noticeable sparkle.
Low VOC Paint: A much better alternative to traditional latex-based paint, Low or “NO” VOC paint is readily available. Most large painting companies make Low VOC paints, and there is a large range of colors. Depending on how far one has to go to purchase Natural Paints, sometimes it’s the Greenest choice to use the local, easily available products.
Plaster: Clay plaster is used indoors, as it is water soluble. Lime-based plaster can be used on exteriors as well, though it can be temperamental due to the weather. Both types of plasters have a natural shimmer.
The downside to natural products in general is the degree of irregularity. The lack of synthetic solvents and other chemicals leaves us with a bit of uncertainty as to how the project will turn out. But for many people, this unpredictability is what gives vitality and interest.