October 28, 2015 DIY Home No Comments

Natural Paint Vs Petrochemical Paint

Paintbrushes dripping paint of various colors into containers

Nowadays, people still tends to choose to use petrochemical paint to repaint the wall, or renovate their house, because petrochemical solvents still represent more than half of the paints on the market today. However, the production of petrochemical solvent-based paints had seem the decrease slowly, and replaced by solvent-free or water based paints. Solvent-free paint, or we normally called them as safe paint, or natural paint, will not only improve the air quality inside the house, it can also last longer than the ordinary paint. It is also produced less danger to those who manufacture, work and people who live surrounded by it.

Petrochemical Solvent Paint consist of:
a) A Binder(act as hardener)
b) A Solvent(dissolves the binder and keep it in a liquid form)
c) Pigments to add color
d) Additives to improve their characteristics

Why Petrochemical Solvent Paint is Dangerous?

It contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air.

As paint is drying, the odour is noticeable for the first few days. While smell may go away in a short time, the toxins in the paint will continue to be released for years afterwards.According to the environmental standard Green Seal, “Paint emissions can continue for extended periods of time after application… (it is) estimated that less than 50% of the VOCs in latex paint (applied to a surface) are emitted in the first year.”Humidity levels and air flow will not only encourage the drying of paint, but will also speed up the release of VOCs. Depending on these factors, it is estimated that standard latex paint will continue to off-gas for 3 to 5 years after application.

Even though we can see some of the paint company actually reduced the amount of VOCs, which it printed on the can of the paints, as “low VOC”. People think “low VOC” is a non-toxic product, however it is not necessary the case. Low VOC can mean as little as 25% lower than the regular paint, they are healthier, but still dangerous to human health.

Sometime we can also see some of the solvent based paint have zero VOC too. Indeed, it is correct where there is no added VOC< but they substituted it with other ingredients such as formaldehyde, ammonia, acetone and even odour-masking agents that cause indoor air pollution.

What is the alternative?

Milk Paint


As natural paint, milk paint contain no fumes, and it is completely safe for pregnant women and children. The price of a milk paint is normally cheaper than a zero VOC paint, and the look is more rustic than the conventional paint. Different from any conventional paint, milk paint needs a little of work, as it comes in powder. We need to manually adds in water, stirred for several minutes, strained, and left to stand for ten minutes to thicken before application.

Besides than buy the milk paint from the local stores, you can actually make your own milk paint. The materials needed can easily get from the supermarket or grocery shop. It contains cottage cheese, hydrated line, and water only.

When you ave all the materials ready, just mixed the hydrated lime with water to make a paste. Next, add the paste into cottage cheese and stir it well, left it cool down for a few hours. Add some lime-proof pigment powder to the paste. Just add more water if the paste is too thick.

As the milk paint applied to the wall, the lime within the paint will reacts with carbon dioxide in the air in a process called carbonation, and eventually returns to its original state of limestone. When the pain was first applied it might seem quite opaque, but the color will get richer as it cures.


How to Remove Old Paint Safely

If you decided to remove the old paint from walls, you must do it the safe ways as removal of old paint can post serious health risk. Sanding produces a lot of airborne and potentially toxic particles, so if you are undertaking a project like that it is highly recommended to do it with a respirator or face mask.

Paint strippers are pretty easy to use and fast acting. They will usually contain methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane, which is a known carcinogen. Instant side effects from vapours can be nausea, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Read labels carefully and take the proper safety precautions. Wear gloves, eye protection and a proper respirator mask with cartridges rated for vapours. This is important – not all respirators are the same, some are specific to dust particles and won’t offer complete protection from vapours.

As a conclusion, when people is improving their house appearance, or condition, they must start to care about their health in the same time.

Written by admin