Each room was unique to itself and yet all were connected in harmony. Our home became a warm, inviting and comfortable place.
- Charlotte and Michael Paull, Kildeer
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Archive for Green Paint

Are you Allergic to Paint?

We all know that “green” paints are good for the environment. They are also great if you are allergic or sensitive to some paint additives. There is no universal rule about what people may be allergic to or which “Green” paint they will not react to. Additionally, many “No-VOC,” eco-friendly paints have a number of additives which, although they do not contain VOCs, can have serious side effects with some people. When allergies are involved, it is important to carefully select the products for a house paint job.

Last Sunday, Painting in Partnership, from the Barrington area, received an urgent email, followed by an equally urgent phone call. This prospective client had just moved out of her condo, following an unsuccessful attempt to paint a room in her condo. After priming the walls, she felt dizzy, achy and generally terrible. She then had an ah-ah moment and said to herself: “The paint is making me sick!” She immediately left her condo and checked into a nearby hotel to stay away from the fumes.

SuperMythic Saves the Day

Two years earlier, she had had a similar experience after painting another room in her condo. The difference is that she then thought that there was something wrong with her. It did not occur to her at the time that the paint was the culprit. She went through a whole battery of tests that did not find anything wrong with her. After a few months, the symptoms disappeared. Everything slowly came back to normal and she forgot about it, until the last episode.

What we did, as part of our “green” paint prescription was to use an off-gassing sealer over the primer she had used. For top coats, we chose Mythic Paint, a line of non-toxic, zero VOC and virtually odorless paints. The ultimate performance test was our client not having any reaction at all after she returned to her condo. Mythic Paint saved the day for our client! Devising “green” solutions to meet the specialized needs of our clients is part of what we do as house painting contractors.

Clay Paint is Decorative, Eco-Friendly and Natural

Next week, Painting in Partnership’s craftsmen will be completing work on a green painting project. Because of the environmental sensitivities of this client, the specs called for only the cleanest of products. For the kitchen’s wall surfaces, we settled on Bioshield’s Clay Paint.

Clay is one of the oldest and safest building materials available. Clay paints create a pleasant room climate because of its breathability and its reputation as an odor reducer.

Sample of Clay Paint Colors

Sample of Clay Paint Colors

Bioshield’s clay paints are made of naturally occurring clays. Different clays provide color and body for the paint. Clay paints also have other advantages such as low drip and splash factors. Two coats will produce the best result.

In this case, our client wanted more than just a uniform color on her walls. To meet her need for a softly mottled look for her walls, we experimented with stainless steel trowels in the creation of clay paint decorative finishing technique. It consists of rolling one coat of the base color clay paint and letting it dry. We then roll a second of the same color and then, while still wet, we randomly brush on two other colors. Using a trowel, we then artistically blend the three colors for a soft, rich look.

This project is an example of Painting in Partnership’s commitment to our clients’ sophisticated needs for both a safe home environment and good color design.

Epoxy Wood Restoration is a “Green” Activity

“Green” paint products and practices are becoming an integral part of the arsenal of true painting craftsmen. For instance, epoxy wood restoration is one of those areas.

Before Epoxy Wood Restoration #1

Before Epoxy Wood Restoration #1

In the Northern United States, houses are subjected to an array of punishing climatic shocks that can result in the rapid deterioration of wood surfaces, unless someone keeps a close eye on the maintenance of those surfaces. Window sills, bottom rails of doors and casings are especially vulnerable to the effects of the sun, moisture and snow. Still today, a common attitude is this: If there is wood rot, rip out the old wood!

There are two significant problems with this attutude. First of all, it kills trees and loads up the landfills. Moreover, especially for older houses, the wood being so willingly replaced is actually far superior in quality and durability than today’s woods, which are younger, softer and more porous than the old woods. If you are interested in preserving the integrity of the materials on your house, epoxy wood restoration makes a lot of sense!

After Epoxy Restoration #2

After Epoxy Restoration #2

Epoxy wood restoration is not a new concept. However, it use is becoming more widespread. At Painting in Partnership from the Chicago area, we encounter plenty of rotting wood. Our product of choice is Flex-Tec.

I often compare epoxy repair to dentistry. First you clear out the decayed fibers. You then make sure that the remaining cavity is of a shape that can hold the epoxy filler. On occasion, the decay is so extensive that the tooth has to be replaced. In other occasions, epoxy is the perfect solution. Before proceeding with the epoxy work, make sure that the moisture in the wood does not exceed 18%. If it does, let the wood dry out. When the wood is dry, you first use a two-part consolidator to help harden the softer wood edges and create a good bond for the epoxy. You then add the two-part epoxy filler. You then shape the epoxy as desired and allow it to cure completely.

Eco Friendly Primers that Seal In Toxic Outgassing from Plywood and Drywall

Green paint is good for the environment, we all agree. Additionally, specially formulated green paint products can be an important step in reducing the hazards from toxic outgassing from construction materials like plywood and drywall.

Painting in Partnership, from the Chicago area, is currently involved on a green house painting project where a kitchen is being remodeled. The remodeling involves the use of new plywood for the sub-floor and new drywall for parts of the ceiling and walls. Our client being highly environmentally sensitive, a critical step in ensuring the success of this project consists in the careful selection of only the greenest of materials for the project.

Primers that Seal In Toxic Outgassing in Plywood and Drywall

Primers that Seal In Toxic Outgassing in Plywood and Drywall

The Project Coordinator and Interior Designer for the project, Ginny Blasco, specked green primers by AFM Safecoat for both the plywood and the drywall. The product of choice for the plywood is called Safe Seal. It penetrates deeply into the wood surfaces, seals in the exterior plywood surfaces and prevents future toxic outgassing of formaldehyde. The sheets of plywood are sealed with two coats of this product on both sides and all edges. The cuts are also sealed in the same manner. Since the Safe Seal product stays a little tacky when dry, we substituted the Hard Seal product as a second coat on the top face of the plywood sheets.

For the drywall, there are two products. One is a heavy-body primer called Primecoat HPV and is intended to seal in toxic outgassing in new drywall. The other, called Transitional Primer, is much thinner and is intended for previously painted drywall. Among Primecoat’s ingredients are limestone, calcined clay and calcium carbonate.

Doing green painting is more demanding. It requires a willingness to do research on alternative products, experiment to see which product will achieve the best result and, on occasion, develop new application techniques. Helping to produce a healthy environment for our chemically sensitive clients is part of what we do at Painting in Partnership.