Looking for eco-friendly paint? AFM Safecoat Naturals not only has zero VOCs, but the paint is made from natural ingredients like vegetable oils and plant and mineral extracts. Its milkshake smell and rich pigments are just icing on the cake.
I recently painted a porch floor with an old oil-based paint that had been in my basement for many years
. Despite proper ventilation, I was almost knocked out by the vapors.
What was once the norm has dramatically changed over the years for the better. Today's paints are mostly water-based and release much less in the way of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs): gases that contain many chemicals, some of which are toxic. The effects of long-term exposure to VOCs -- those harsh fumes you associate with house paint -- range from headaches and allergies to more serious conditions, including cancer, liver and kidney damage. Naturally, there has been great consumer demand for more environmentally-friendly paints in recent years. The market has responded with low-VOC and no-VOC paint products
, readily available -- even from big name manufacturers like Benjamin Moore and Glidden -- at reasonable prices.
While most environmentally friendly, low- and no-VOC paints offer many advantages (including good durability and ease of cleanup), they don't match oil-based products in regard to quality of finish. Water-based paints, for example, often go on unevenly because they tend to dry faster than their oil-based counterparts. This typically results in a finish that has visible brush strokes, no matter how careful you are. Similarly, rolled-on latex paints leave all sorts of textures, often referred to as "orange peel."
Using Safecoat Naturals
So it was with some excitement that I recently tried a new natural paint from American Formulating & Manufacturing (AMF) called Safecoat Naturals
. It's made from vegetable oils and plant and mineral extracts, and is free of biocides, harmful preservatives, lead and cobalt, as well as citrus drying compounds which can be an irritant for some people.
Photo: American Formulating & Manufacturing recently introduced a new line of organic, plant-based paints called Safecoat Naturals, so we gave it a try. This room was painted with the zero-VOC paint. Photo: Courtesy of American Formulating & Manufacturing
The Safecoat Naturals primer
brushes on easily. There is very little brush drag, plus coverage and adherence are excellent. My projects required two coats, which is what I'm used to with conventional primers. However, drying time was slower with Safecoats Naturals than with higher-VOC primers. While the recommendation is to wait at least eight hours before re-coating, surfaces were dry to the touch in 30 minutes. Like many primers, Safecoat can be used inside or out.
I hate smell of paint
, so I was pleasantly surprised to realize that Safecoat Naturals actually has a milky, fruity smell
. Plus the paint goes on just as easily and smoothly as the primer. There was none of the unwanted texture I get when using a latex-based paints. Safecoat Naturals can be brushed, rolled or sprayed on. Avoid painting when temperatures are below 55 degrees and humidity is high, though, or drying times will increase.
Cleaning up the brushes I used with both the primer and the topcoat paints was easy and guilt-free, as I wasn't dumping toxins into the environment
. Bonus: simple dish soap and water is all you need to clean up.
Although the vegetable-based oils in the paint are similar to those you use to cook, that doesn't make the paint safe to ingest. Like any other paint, you should keep it away from children and pets. Safecoat Naturals does not contain conventional preservatives, so cans must be kept tightly sealed. Nevertheless, the product's shelf life is three years.
The costs for Safecoat Naturals products are competitive with conventional quality paints (pricing is MSRP):
- Naturals Primer ($45.90 per gallon)
- Flat ($49.90 per gallon)
- Pearl ($50.90 per gallon)
Want to make your own homemade, natural paints? Stay tuned for our upcoming post on DIY paint recipes!
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