Archive for the ‘Paint and Wallpaper’ category

Auro Lime Paint – Review

August 14th, 2013

 

Basement Rec. Room, Auro Lime Paint

Basement Rec. Room, Auro Lime Paint

As I mentioned in my previous post, we recently bought a house. We painted the interior, top to bottom and I wanted to include some natural paints in the mix. You might be wondering, what a natural paint is. In a nutshell it can be defined as petroleum free containing plant and mineral-based ingredients. These paints are also breathable and are an excellent choice for walls that are built for thermal mass applications, such as Durisol built or rammed earth walls. I tracked down a Montreal-based store called Tockay, which happens to sell two natural paint brands out of Germany, Auro and Kreidezeit. I worked with Carole Hili at Tockay, who helped me choose the right kind of paint for each room. She suggested Auro’s lime-based paint for the basement because the paint will absorb excess moisture in the air — perfect for the summer! Let me tell you, so far it works. It’s difficult to say for certain because we have no idea what the basement was like before we moved in, but there isn’t a drop of dampness and we’ve had no need for the dehumidifier.

Why use a natural paint? With all the hype by the paint giants about low and zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, the focus of attention has drifted away from the fact that the main ingredient in these paints is petroleum (in the form of acrylic, or if oil-based, alkyd). Further, the standard gallon of paint contains plenty of synthetic compounds which are used to improve the drying, spreading and binding properties, as well as synthetic pigments. If you want to get away from using petroleum-based paints, paints made from plant and mineral based ingredients are the way to go.

Advantages:

  • Petroleum-free.
  • Stunning, rich colour and wall texture (flat finish, looks a bit like velvet).
  • Zero off-gassing of volatile organic compounds.
  • Mould and mildew resistant.
  • Washable.
  • Breatheable, so good for thermal mass applications.
  • Great for moderating moisture-prone areas such as basements.
  • Responsible disposal. Let leftover paint dry and put it in your compost bin (note: not sure it would be accepted in city compost programs, so I’d stick to your backyard composter.). Clean paint containers are recyclable. Or let it dry and put it in the garbage. The website tells you not to pour it down the sewer or sink. It can also be stored in its original container (edges of the container wiped clean) for up to two years without it drying out.

Auro Lime Paint

Type of paint: There are several lines of Auro products available, we used the lime paint which can be applied with an ordinary (high quality) roller and brush. The website indicates that the lime paint and can be applied to exterior materials such as weather resistant plasters, concrete, limestone or standstone. Applicable interior surfaces are clay, drywall, woodchip wallpaper or mineral paint walls in good shape.  It is not suitable for plastic surfaces, wood, or any high gloss surfaces as it won’t adhere well. Always do a test sample before applying. All surfaces need a certain amount of preparation depending on what they are. Consult the Auro website for more specific information for using lime-based paints.

Priming: There are times when you don’t want a breatheable wall surface. For instance, if there are layers and layers of paint from years past, it’s probably a good idea to seal those up so their fumes don’t continue to off-gas. Priming a surface before applying this paint will seal the surface to which it is applied and provide a “stickiness” that the paint needs to adhere to. We decided to use Benjamin Moore EcoSpec primer (yes, petroleum-based — I am nothing, if not a bunch of contraditions!), but tested it first to make sure the lime paint would adhere to the surface — which it did.

Radiator paint brush, ideal for mixing lime paint

Radiator paint brush, ideal for mixing lime paint

Mixing: One of the advantages of Auro lime paint vs. a clay paint, is that it comes in liquid form, so it’s easier to mix. However, here is a stumbling block that may prevent those but the most adventurous, from trying the paint: You have to mix in the colour yourself — assuming you want a paint with colour. Also, you should mix enough for one full coat at a time so there aren’t any visible changes in colour. We went with a shade that was an intense yellow which looks great in the rec. room, but I decided to tone it down to a paler yellow for the hallway and stairwell. Mixing the paint yourself also gives you a certain amount of control to change the colour if you want. So, you have to be a bit brave and convince yourself that if you can cook, you can paint (or at least I did), since measuring accurately is important if you’re going after specific shades. Getting the quantities right involves calculating how much paint you need in total, the coverage  of the paint and the amount of pigment you need to make your desired colour. In our case, we calculated that we would paint two coats (in addition to the primer) on the stairwell, hallway and rec room, which was about 500 square feet in surface area, so 1000 square feet in total (two coats). The paint coverage is about one litre per ten square feet (notice I’m mixing metric and Imperial, like the good Canadian that I am). We bought the ten litre bucket of white paint and one half litre bottle of pigment for the entire job.  Add colour pigment to get the desired shade you want. Stir well for a good, solid ten minutes to make sure the colour is evenly saturated. Carole recommended using a radiator brush which has long bristles and will capture all the paint and blend it well. Once the colour is mixed, the website recommends diluting the paint with water by 20% — so for example, to one litre of paint, add 200 ml of water to get 1.2 litres. Note that porous surfaces will absorb more paint than less porous, therefore, you might have to play with the water content a bit. If the surface is really absorbent, you might want to try diluting it another 10% or so. On a primed wall with an acrylic primer, the primer stops the paint from being absorbed.

Basement Rec. Room "Before"

Basement Rec. Room “Before”

First "cut" around walls

First “cut” around walls

Application: The paint is applied in the same way as an acrylic-based paint. Cut the edges first with a good brush (ie., outline the edges of the walls using a brush). Then apply paint with a roller by applying in a “W” shape and spreading it out from there. Let the paint dry for 24 hours before applying a second coat. We noticed that once the paint had dried, there was a distinct line between the “cut” area and the rolled area, however, after a few days — perhaps as long as a week — the difference disappeared. As for smell, there was a little bit of a damp smell as it was being applied, but once it dried, we couldn’t even tell it had been painted.

Testing lighter and darker yellows (look behind the door for darker shade).

Testing lighter and darker yellows (look behind the door for darker shade).

Completed walls, rec. room

Completed walls, rec. room

 

 Cost: The cost of the paint is about the same as that of a high-end water-based acrylic paint, plus the cost of the pigment. So, the darker the colour you choose, the more expensive the job will be. A ten litre bucket of paint cost $150. The bottle of pigment was $40 for a half litre. The look and feel of the paint is fantastic. It has a lovely texture and a rich depth of colour, without these positive attributes I wouldn’t be impressed with the paint regardless of its greeness. Further, the application is similar to acrylic-based paints so it is not difficult to use. But I think what I like the best is what you don’t see:

  • Auro is a certified carbon neutral company by an independent third party;
  • It uses renewable and plentiful ingredients for its products;
  • There is a complete lack of off-gassing of anything harmful;
  • The ease of safe disposal of the product at end of use.

For more information on the complete line of Auro products available in Canada, visit Tockay’s website.

(Please note: the information in this post should be taken as a guideline only, as it is based on my experience. For proper guidance, it is important to consult directly with a vendor or distributor of Auro paint. Always read all the information provided by the company and test a small area before using).

All About Mythic Paint

June 19th, 2013
New House!

New House!

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but a few months ago we bought a house. We took possession at the beginning of June and have been getting it ready for our move-in date which is fast approaching. When I went looking for a house I had a few criteria (my real estate agent would beg to differ, and say that I had MANY criteria). A friend of mine once told me that when looking for a house, write down ten points that make up your dream house, and when a house has seven, you have a winner. I think I’m able to count nine of ten items with this house, so it’s worked out well in that respect. Although originally I wanted a “fixer-upper” so I could use as many of the materials I’ve written about as possible, in the end, I discovered there was a premium for fixer-uppers in Montreal. So, we ended up with a house that will need a new furnace and a new kitchen. It’s actually my dream scenario: all the difficult work has been done (new windows, new plumbing and new wiring), and all the prettying-up has been left for us. Part of that prettying up involves making the house our own through the use of paint.

So, needless to say, I searched out paints that were better for our health and the environment than standard paint. I spoke with experts in the field from painters to distributors to manufacturers and then, finally I narrowed down my choices to three different kinds of paint: a zero-VOC* acrylic, a clay-based paint and a lime-based paint. Originally I was going to try several of the paints I’d written about, particularly Green Planet, AFM Safecoat and Homestead House acrylic. Unfortunately, none of these paints are available in Montreal and I would have had to order them through stores in Ontario. Not only does this add shipping costs, but if I didn’t like a colour I’d ordered, or the way it went on the walls, I’d have to invest more time and money choosing a new one or abandon the idea altogether. Because we are painting the entire house, using locally available paints was really important.

Mythic Paint: Mythic is a zero-VOC acrylic paint available in over 1200 colours with colour matching to other manufacturers’ colours too. They bill themselves as being a “non-toxic” paint. I felt uneasy with this self-declaration, after all, acrylic is liquid plastic and one would have to assume that because plastic is made of petroleum-based ingredients it is toxic — if not to humans, then to the environment. I contacted Mythic to ask them about their declaration and received a response from Vic Barnhill, Ground Support Leader, at Mythic. His response to my concern is quite detailed and better to let him speak for Mythic than my paraphrasing:

As far as durability goes, we are as good if not better than any conventional paint brand on the market. Like most paint you can paint over it with another brand.

All paints are made with chemicals and binders. It does not matter if it is a “green” paint or conventional. All water based paints are made of water, dirt, glue and what I call 11 secret herbs and spices. The water is the solvent in the paint. It holds everything together and keeps it from drying out in the can. The dirt or minerals give toughness, sheen uniformity, color and also take up space so the paint is opaque. The glue or binder is what holds everything together and on the wall after the paint dries. It also helps with durability. The secret herbs and spices are the raw materials used to thicken the paint give it flow and leveling, help with durability and other properties that we look for in paint. These are trade secrets due to the fact that we have done over 10 years of research to find alternatives to more conventional toxic materials. We would lose our competitive edge if we let everybody know what they are. Any company that says they are only made of plant materials and minerals is not telling the whole truth.

The reason we are able to make our claim of non toxic is based on the following;

  1. We are Master Painters Institute (extreme Green), Green Wise, Pharos Project, MAS, CHPS and Regenerative Networks certified.
  2. All of these certifications are verifiable, independent third party testing groups.
  3. None of our products contain any material found on the Pharos Project “Red List”.
  4. We are California Proposition 65 chemical compliant and do not have to put this warning on and of our products.
  5. Our interior products are tested and certified by Materials Analytical Services. These products display the MAS Certified Green mark and meet or exceed environmentally determined testing standards and are environmentally preferred over traditional paints and coatings.
  6. These products are compliant with the CDPH emissions standard specified for low-emitting Paints and Coatings under the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and the LEED programs. As such, qualified project uses of the compliant paint and all our interior paints are eligible for 1 credit point each under EQ 2.2.2 for Paints and Coatings under the CHPS program, and 1 credit point each under IEQ 4.2 for Paints and Coatings under the LEED for Schools Program.
  7. All of our claims have been vetted in the legal arena and found to be truthful and accurate.
  8. It should be noted that the founder of the Green Building Council, LEED certification program and a founding member of Regenerative Networks, David Gottfried, picked and used our products on his own home and Mythic Paint is the only paint manufacturer chosen by the U.S. Regenerative Network as part of their sustainability and resource sourcing efforts in the US.

We go to great lengths to makes sure that are claims are true and verifiable.

There are certain advantages to this paint (and zero VOC acrylic paint in general) that are not in natural paints’ properties. For instance, if you live in an older home that has layers and layers on the walls (our “new” house was built in 1928), a good zero VOC acrylic primer will seal in those extra layers of paint and prevent any off-gassing, assuming that the paints are still off-gassing.

Acrylic paint dries much faster than natural paints, so if you’re only doing a small room, you may find it more convenient to use acrylic than natural paints.

There is a wider variety of colours available, as well as colours from other paint lines can usually be matched by competitors.

One thing I’ve written about before is that a paint can become a low-VOC paint (as opposed to a zero-VOC paint) once pigment is added. It had been difficult for paint manufacturers to get the VOCs out of the pigments. However, from what I understand, progress has been made in this area by most paint manufacturers. If you’re concerned about VOCs in pigments, ask the paint retailer.

Acrylic paint is available in a variety of finishes from flat to semi-gloss. Adding a little sheen to the paint makes the painted wall easier to clean. Our walls are being painted in eggshell, while the trim is being painted in pearl finish.

Disposal: The best way to dispose of these paints is through your municipality’s household hazardous waste program, or if there’s only a little paint left in the can, let it dry thoroughly and dispose of in the garbage.

So far, my painter, who has never used Mythic before, loves this paint. He finds it very easy to work with, enjoys a completely odourless environment, and believes it will be very durable over time. It spreads over the walls and ceilings evenly and dries quickly.

In Montreal, Mythic is available through City Paints.

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*VOC stands for “volatile organic compounds.” These are compounds which evaporate into the air (off-gassing) from all kinds of objects. Pollution Probe has done a study indicating that indoor air quality is more than ten times as bad as outdoor air quality, in part due to the off-gassing of these VOCs. They are found in most new items we bring into our home from glues, adhesives and paints found in new furniture, carpets, fabric, to household cleaners. To give yourself cleaner indoor air quality, open your windows on warmer days and let the air circulate throughout. In addition, use less harmful cleaners, and try to stay away from MDF or pressboard made with VOC filled adhesives, or seal exposed edges once it’s in your home (Note: there is a zero-VOC MDF board called Nu-Green). 

 

Allback Paints Made From Pure Organic Linseed Oil and 100% Petroleum Free

March 1st, 2013

It seems that whenever you find one “new” product, others come out of the woodwork soon after. In this case I’m referring to the plant-based paint brand, Green Planet Paints, which I wrote about in December. You see, now that paint companies have tackled the problem of paints emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air with their low, ultra-low and zero VOC lines, the more obvious problem is that paints not only use a significant amount of energy to be made, they are a petroleum-based product and contain an awful lot of other highly toxic chemicals. Enter paints that made from plant-based and mineral materials, and suddenly you’ve got some real alternatives to traditional paints.

When I was in Kingston, Ontario touring Living Rooms, John Sinclair introduced me to a few new-to-me brands of paint which are petroleum free made from plants and minerals. These paints can be a little trickier to use. They have longer drying times, which means professional painters may not be too keen on using them as they can only apply one coat per day. If the job is big enough, or if they have enough jobs that are geographically close together, it may not be an issue, but it is something to consider.

Allbäck paint comes from Sweden and made from  pure organic linseed oil. The company sources all of its linseed oil from locally grown (in Sweden) flax. One of the remarkable things about this paint is that it is extremely durable. Allbäck claims that it will last for 50 years. For maintenance purposes, the company suggests that once every 10 to 15 years the paint be renewed with an application of linseed oil or linseed oil wax to restore the colour.

The paint can be used on almost any surface including wood, plastic, metal. To use on drywall and plaster, a sealant such as pure shellac needs to be applied first.  (Note: pure shellac is a natural ingredient excreted by the Lac bug, which is found in India and Thailand.) Normally, the resulting shellac flakes are dissolved in ethyl alcohol to form a liquid which can be applied to a variety of surfaces. Allbäck has developed a method to suspend the shellac flakes in water so there is no off-gassing of alcohol.

Allbäck Pure Organic Linseed Oil paint. It is available in 32 premixed colours, which tend to go along historic colour lines. This paint can be applied to just about anything from wood to plastic to masonry. It can be diluted with linseed oil to apply it as a stain, or with water for use on masonry. John explained to me that adding 30% water for masonry applications helps the masonry absorb the paint better. The paint dries to a low-gloss finish, which is especially nice on woodwork. He noted that there are no visible brush strokes after the paint has dried.

Linus is a wall paint that dries to a flat finish and is available in 13 pastel colours and black. A flat finish for walls is great for hiding imperfections, however, with low quality paints a flat finish is often not scrubbable, but John says this paint is very durable, and like the Pure Organic Linseed Oil line, also lasts 50 years. In addition to linseed oil and earth pigments, Linus also contains cellulose which acts as a binder and creates a nice texture on the wall. This is ideal for walls that tend to crack as the cellulose can prevent the cracks from occurring. One of the other characteristics about this paint is that it is considered “fire safe” — which means no toxic chemicals are emitted if a room should ever catch on fire.

Application: Contrary to modern petroleum-based paints, layers should be applied as thinly as possible. The linseed oil will penetrate porous surfaces such as wood so surfaces should be properly prepped before use. The advantages of penetrating a surface, such as wood, means that the paint won’t chip or peel off in the future.  On old wood, old paint and any rotten wood or mould and mildew should be removed before this paint is applied.  While a natural bristle brush is recommended for use with this paint, Jason from Style with a Brush, uses a microfibre pad to apply the paint.

The paint usually needs two layers for full coverage, even if applying white over a dark colour. No primer is needed and paint can be applied directly to new wood surfaces that have not been treated. (Again, a sealant needs to be applied for porous surfaces.)

Coverage: While the website notes that surface coverage is approximately 600 square feet per gallon, which can be up to twice as much as a standard paint. However, it’s important to note that coverage varies depending on which surface you are applying it to and whether you are diluting it with water or linseed oil. John told me he thinks the company’s coverage estimate is conservative. It tends to cover more on surfaces that don’t absorb the paint, such as metal, plastic and sealed drywall and plaster, so coverage is greater than 600 square feet /gallon.

Cost: While the paint is on the pricey side, it’s important to note that along with it comes long-lasting durability and better coverage. The paint is sold in litres, not in gallons and comes premixed. These prices below are taken from Living Rooms website and are for the pure organic linseed oil paint only. At the moment they don’t carry the Linus line, but they are planning on carrying it and the new pure shellac sealant in the future.

200 ml: $16.50  (Tester size or for painting a small object)

1 litre: $53.o0

3litre: $153.00

Available through Livng Rooms in Kingston, or direct from Allback’s Canadian and American websites:

www.solventfreepaint.ca

www.solventfreepaint.com

 

 

 

 

Green Planet Paints – Zero VOC, Petroleum Free

December 11th, 2012

Green Planet Paints

Ed. Note: After reading this article, Ted Sosniki, President and CEO of Go Green World Products, LLC, manufacturer of Green Planet Paints, offered some additional and helpful advice regarding these paints. His comments are indicated in quotation marks.

I came across Green Planet Paints the other day while doing some research on another product. It was the photo and the tag line that caught my eye. A woman is sitting in a tub of paint and the tag line reads “Paint so safe you can bath in it.”  It turns out this is a petroleum free, “truly zero” VOC, non-toxic paint.

Ted:  Note I would not recommend bathing in it though as it would dry and clog your skin pours. Not good health wise.

It’s important to note that while the big commercial paint manufacturers have been doing a good job at lowering their overall energy use and eliminating the noxious fumes from some of the chemicals that are needed to make synthetic paint, according to the Green Planet website, there are still over 1500 chemicals used to make most commercial paints and further, the main ingredient is still petroleum. So making paint is still a fairly petroleum-intensive process.

Ted: …[commercial paint companies] have not yet done anything as far as petrochemical reduction, increased Bio based content or recycled content which is what defines “Green”.

Green Planet Paint, on the other hand, is plant and clay-based that is completely petroleum free and “Truly Zero VOC.”

Ted: (Although Green Planet Paints are a true zero VOC paint the paint is not an absolute zero VOC but it does have the lease amount in the industry even after tinting with the GPP tint system, the actual VOC level is at 0.08 g/l. Also, VOC content/emissions dose not define green by its self, green means that not only is there a reduction in VOC emissions but that there is also a reduction  in petrochemical content, an increased use of sustainable and recycled content and this is what defines green.)

It’s explained on the website that even in zero VOC paints there exists about 5 g/l (grams/liter) of VOCs/liter of  paint. It consists of plant-based binders and additives and mineral-based pigments. While there is an odour, which according to reviews on the website, is the smell of damp clay, or “earthy,” it is not toxic and will go away within a week or so.

Ted: Note that in some cases a chemical or cleaner small is sometimes noticed when GPP is applied to latex paints that are less than 10 years old and the GPP primer was not used. We have also noticed that in few cases where an exterior latex was used on the interior of a building, this chemical or cleaner smell is sometimes strong and can last up to 30 to 45 days, especially when the GPP primer was not used. In these cases we found that it is the underlying latex that is gassing off and causing this and it can include some bleeding of the underlying paint into the clay of the GPP paint giving a translucent look in some places. The GPP primer is a special primer and not a thinned out highly flat paint like that of the big manufactures. The GPP primer was designed to lock down a wall and prevents gas off of the underlying substrates/paints.

Green Planet Paint Color Palette itself consists of 48 naturally pigmented colours in varying tones from vivid and intense to soft, pastel.  Coverage is 350-400 square feet and is applied to walls with a roller, brush or sprayer.

Ted: custom coloring is available at a one time fee if the color requested has never been matched yet. There are some limitations as minerals cannot make synthesized colors like oil based tints.

Green Planet Paint was originally developed by Meredith Aronson in the early 2000s. Meredith is a materials scientist with an expertise in clay and natural pigments. She was interested in creating a paint out of non-toxic, non-petroleum based materials. Eventually, she developed a paint that uses clay and natural pigments with soy/plant-based resin binder.  She eventually sold her paint company to Go Green World Products, LLC after filing for bankruptcy.

I contacted Ted Sosniki, President and CEO of Go Green World Products, and asked him a few questions about the paint. One of my first thoughts was whether this is a washable paint, and how long it was expected to last. Ted told me that indeed it is washable, and applied properly, the paint will last for about  10-15 years on a previously painted wall, and up to 20 years on a new wall. I noticed that the website says that Green Planet Paints “can improve the air quality in the room or building by over 50% and are listed on the federal IRS tax deduction/credit bill.” I asked Ted to explain that a bit more. I was wondering if Green Planet acted like American Clay which neutralizes the negative ions in any room where it’s applied; his response:  

Kind of like American Clay but on steroids, due to the resin / clay mix with Tio2 [titanium dioxide], it becomes a air scrubber. Tio2 is used on all kinds of air cleaning systems, lights that can remove smells from the air and water systems for purification of water.”

Finish: The paint is available in Eggshell or Flat, as well as Primer. Available sizes: 1 quart, 1 gallon, 5 gallons.

Ted: A semi gloss is available upon request but not necessary to use in bathrooms or kitchens like the petroleum paints as the eggshell was developed to be an eggshell from the beginning and not a blend of flat and gloss like the petroleum paints.

Application: While application is as simple as using a roller, brush, or sprayer because this is a different kind of paint, the website provides a few tips on getting the desired smooth finish you are looking for. I’ve highlighted a few that you might want to keep in mind if planning to use this paint, but definitely refer to the website for more specific instructions if you are planning on using this paint.

  1. Order the correct amount of paint needed for the job. If more than one gallon of paint in the same colour is needed for a room, mix the paint in a large bucket as colour can vary slightly from gallon to gallon.
  2. Use high quality brushes and rollers or a sprayer. Horse hair brushes and quality cotton or wool rollers with a nap of 1/2 to 1″. Do not use foam rollers as the paint absorbs into the foam. Ted: (you do not need to use high quality brushes and rollers, simple cost effective non-synthetic brushes and rollers work the best)
  3. Prime wall surfaces before applying paint as absorption rate may vary with paint.
  4. Do the cut-in first (paint along the corners with a brush), and apply the rest of the paint with a roller or sprayer while cut-in is still wet in order to avoid a “framed” look. Ted: (do not do large rooms like this on hot dry days as issues will arise. For best results we recommend downloading the helpful hints document)
  5. Wait until the first coat is dry before applying the second. Drying rate will vary depending on the humidity in the air, but will usually take around two days.
  6. To store brushes and rollers while taking a break — wrap in a plastic bag and twist end closed around handle. Store in refrigerator. Can be stored this way for up to two days.

Where to buy: SIP Distribution is the Canadian distributor. There are a few retailers who sell it, however, if there is no one in your province you can contact SIP Distribution directly.

Mythic Paint — Zero VOC, 1200+ Colours, Great Price!

August 15th, 2011

 

Mythic Eggshell InteriorA few weeks ago our family was on holiday near Huntsville, Ontario. While there, I dropped in to visit Jonathan and Celine MacKay, owners of Sustain Eco Store and Pure Green Magazine. When I asked about any new products they were carrying, Celine told me that they’ve brought in Mythic Paint.

Mythic was developed at the University of Southern Mississippi. It is non-toxic and zero VOC (volatile organic compounds), even when tinted. One of the dirty little secrets of some paint companies is that their paints are  zero-VOC only until they are tinted.

Volatile organic compounds are bad for our health — in addition to the immediate paint smell you get when you breathe in, paints can off-gas for another 6 years, putting all kinds of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals into our indoor air ready for us to breathe. VOCs are also bad for the environment, and the paint industry estimates that VOCs from paint manufacturing may be contributing up to 10% of chemicals responsible for ozone depletion and climate change.

Mythic paints are different than traditionally manufactured paints because they avoid using the toxic solvents usually needed to dissolve paint and colour tints (hence the absence of VOCs). However, performance and coverage are considered as good if not better than traditionally made paint. It has performed very well in scrub tests too.

But maybe what I like best about this paint is the price. Mythic Classic sells for $42.99-$54.99 per gallon. That is an incredible bargain, considering I just spent $85+ on one gallon of a competitor’s zero VOC paint.

Mythic sells three different lines through Sustain:

Mythic Classic: Homeowner, do it yourself paint for anyone to apply. Coverage is approximately 400 sq. feet. Available in three different sheens: flat, eggshell and semi-gloss. Sustain Eco Store Prices: Flat $44.99, Eggshell $46.99, and Semi-gloss $54.99. All prices are per gallon.

Mythic Pro: excellent coverage, made for professional painters. Available in flat, eggshell and semi-gloss. Price $32.99 – $42.99. All prices are per gallon.

Mythic Black Label: an all-in-one paint and primer. Made for drywall and first-time applications on new material. Available finishes are matte, satin and semi-gloss. Price: $58.99-$60.99 per gallon.

Note: all prices quoted are current prices (2011) at Sustain Eco Store. Prices vary by vendor.

Mythic is available in more than 1200 colours and the palettes are divided into different categories and available on their website (although I’d recommend seeing the real thing because digital colour and real colour will vary by computer). Finally, Mythic has a “room visualizer” where you can “paint” a ceiling, trim and wall from the colours available in their palette. It’s kind of fun. You get to put all kinds of colours together you wouldn’t do in real life; for instance, I paired “plenty of sunshine” (orange) as a ceiling colour with a trim of “island magic” (turquoise) and “Sunburst Nose” (deep pink). Let’s just say if you walked into a room like that you’d wonder if I was colour blind!

(Update April 6, 2016 — Mythic website and Mythic room visualizer don’t seem to be available. I have contacted the company for updated information but so far have had no response. Visit Southern Diversified products for more information.)

For more information on Mythic, contact Celine and Jonathan McKay at Sustain at info@sustainmuskoka.ca or  705-787-0362.

Sustain Eco Store

8 Crescent Road

Huntsville, ON

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