Add color, not toxics, to your home.
GET THE FACTS
Health and Safety
This how-to brochure from the National Paint & Coatings Association provides information on reading paint-can labels, flammability hazards, health effects, and proper disposal of leftover paint.
Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil
Although banned in 1978, the dangers of lead paint linger. Consult the EPA's lead-safety tips before remodeling an older house.
Low- and No-VOC Paints
The city of Austin's nationally known Green Building Program offers a primer on volatile organic compounds and how to avoid their toxic effects.
Most paint labels include information about square-foot coverage, but using one of these online estimators makes the math easy:
LivingHome.com Paint Calculator
Ace Hardware Paint Estimator
BUY THE RIGHT PAINT
Paints bearing the Green Seal label contain fewer VOCs and other toxics.
Paints, Finishes, and Adhesives
Sustainable Sources lists consultants, manufacturers, and other resources for painting green.
Oikos Green Building Source
A directory of manufacturers offering mineral- and plant-based paints, natural-bristle paintbrushes, recycling services, and other products.
An international listing of natural-paint manufacturers.
Reprocessed and Consolidated Latex Paints
Intended for government purchasers, this EPA page offers some useful information about recycled paint.
CLEAN UP GREEN
The National Paint & Coatings Association's tips for keeping paint out of landfills, including a guide to forming a neighborhood paint exchange.
Managing Paint Wisely
The Paints and Coatings Resource Center offers some environmentally friendly tips for proper disposal.
DO IT YOURSELF
The Natural Paint Book: A Complete Guide to Natural Paint, Recipes, and Finishes, by Lynn Edwards and Julia Lawless (Rodale Press, 2003), offers instructions for making all-natural paints and finishes. It also includes design advice and a resource directory.
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