Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paint can be Non-toxic

We have some very good news to share - our home will soon be a little fuller this summer as we welcome a newborn to the family. So at Humphrey House we've begun what will soon become a flurry of activity preparing for baby.

One of the first things to tackle was the room we'll be using as the nursery, which is one of the two bedrooms in our converted attic. This former guest bedroom needs a makeover - and finished off (windows were never stained or trimmed!). Nothing motivates you to finish a punchlist quite like a deadline. I had to first actually finish mudding and taping the drywall around the windows (which had never been done and for three years has been craftily covered by curtains).

Once the walls were ready, we naturally wanted to paint and found that we are definitely trying to create a safe healthy room, so when evaluating options, we went beyond "typical" green paints that focus on low emitting levels of VOC's (volatile organic compounds). These VOCs can be very harmful to human health. We have been using Low-VOC paints before for our kitchen remodel, but with a newborn that takes many more breaths than an adult, we wanted something as safe as possible. The fact is, most low-VOC paints still are toxic. So we decided to go with a paint that not only has low VOC emissions, but also is made from non-toxic materials, called AFM Safecoat - which also does not have any formaldehyde. It was $10 more for a gallon than regular paint (we needed just one gallon). Is it worth an extra ten bucks to know the air is free from formaldehyde and other toxins, less likely to cause chemical sensitivities and asthma in our baby? Yes. I see this decision as very cheap insurance.


We went with a nice bluish-purple for the walls that Jen likes to call a "shade of periwinkle". I like the color selection because this particular color looks different in daylight vs artificial light so gives some variety to the room. In terms of installation, the AFM Safecoat paint does roll on the walls a bit differently - a bit more loosely and not as firm. So it take a bit more effort to apply. It also was pretty thin on the first coat, but incredibly deep after two coats. Jen was quite happy to see the "old" (a mere 4 years) yellow walls go away.

It's worth noting that just because it is non-toxic low-emitting paint doesn't mean it is low emitting before it is dry. There is an odor that is less offensive than regular paint, but still noticeable for a few days as the paint cures. But now it's virtually undetectable.

Next, we'll have to tackle the windows in this room which have been unstained / unpainted for nearly four years(!) and then trimmed out. Then we'll be ready for some nursery furniture! But of course the impending arrival of the baby means its time to polish off several other items on the wishlist punch list, so there will be more to follow.

11 comments:

Josh said...

Congratulations on your anticipated arrival!

Jacky Hackett said...

Congratulations! An exciting new project indeed.

Jan Fanning said...

Best wishes to all in the family.

marilyn said...

this is great. I hope to have a baby soon and work in an organic missioned job. This is such a great thing!

roofers said...

Great design! I wanna try this soon. I would love to see my house look like this! Thanks you for sharing!

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