Posts Tagged ‘milk paint’

Gifts for the Green Builder in Your Life

December 14th, 2010

I’ve been browsing through old posts to see if I could come up with any “gift suggestions” for all the green builders out there. There is a definite slant towards practical materials in these posts. I don’t think anyone would be thrilled to see SIPs panels, a bag of insulation or a 3 litre toilet under the tree. But I do think a bucket of all natural iQ cleaners would make a nice house warming gift!

Anyway, I did manage to collect a few products and services out there that might actually appeal to the green building enthusiast in your life. Here are a few of my suggestions:

Kill A Watt EZ

1. The Kill-A-Watt. Are you really surprised by this one? It’s one of my all-time favourite measuring tools. I’ve used it on almost every appliance and gadget we have in our house. It’s straightforward and easy to use and measures the number of watts your computer, TV, iron, toaster, basically whatever you plug into a wall, uses. It’s a great gadget to identify the biggest and smallest energy users in your house.

Available through amazon.ca and other retailers.

 

Digital Power Centre

Digital Timer Controlled Power Centre: A power bar with 8 grounded outlets, four on a timer and four independent. This power bar has 7 program opportunities and can be set to auto or random. Great for using with lights if you are away. We have our computer and wireless system hooked up to this, so it all turns off at night. (In addition to saving energy, it also stops our teenagers from staying on social web pages until the wee hours of the night.)

Available through Home Hardware, $27.95.

Energy-Wise Landscape Design

Energy-Wise Landscape Design: This is a wonderful and thorough book for the avid gardener in your life. It is not a picture book but rather a comprehensive look at how to landscape your property to lower your energy bills (cooling in summer and heating in winter), and save water. It is meant for any climate zone. The appendices help you with calculating tree height and latitude, as well as plant selection.

Available through www.energywiselandscape.com. $29.95 plus shipping.

A Milk Paint Painting Course: Milk paint is an all natural product that contains no petrochemicals consisting of a mixture of limestone, clay, casein, and natural pigments. It’s a zero VOC product that soaks into surfaces so it never peals or chips. Learning how to mix and apply isn’t difficult, but sometimes it helps to watch someone else do it first, so Homestead House, the only Canadian Milk Paint manufacturer, offers courses in learning how to paint with its product. What a great gift for the do-it-yourselfer! See their Services Page for more information on painting classes.

95 Niagara Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 1C3
(King St W. & Bathurst click for map)

416-504-9984
1-877-886-5098
homestead@homesteadhouse.ca

Cork gifts and accessories: Cork is an amazing product with so many different uses. It grows on the cork oak tree in the Mediterranean. The bark can be harvested every 9 years for up to 200 years. At the Cork House in Oakville, the store is overflowing with accessories made from cork. In addition to the flooring I wrote about, there are handmade decorative cushions, cork furniture, both upholstered and wood/cork combinations, cork pads of all kinds, watch staps, cork-bound journals, purses, toilet kits….you get the idea. The store is located in Oakville in the oldest building in Halton Region.

THE CORK HOUSE SHOWROOM

Address: 2441 Neyagawa Blvd. Oakville, ON. L6H 6Y3
Phone: (905) 257-5588
Fax: (905) 257-5589
Email: cork@jelinek.com

Homestead House — The Only Canadian Milk Paint Manufacturer

November 4th, 2010

One of the things I’m finding, as I write articles for this blog, is that there are a lot of great local manufacturers of truly green building products, that are “best kept secrets.” The problem is, they shouldn’t be secrets, they should be announced to the world so that people will use their wonderful products! The latest in the line of great products is Homestead House Milk Paint. Homestead House Paint Company is a manufacturer of both milk and latex paints based right here in Toronto. I spent a few hours with Jennylyn Pringle talking about her company’s products and in particular milk paint.

Milk paint is made from casein (milk protein), clay, limestone and natural pigments. The ingredients are found locally, and the paint is made in a facility just outside Toronto. It contains no synthetic or petroleum-based ingredients and is, zero VOC. Milk paint is best known as an historical paint; It is a paint formula and technique that was brought over from Europe 250 years ago and today is primarily used on antique furniture or reproductions.  Colours are developed within an historical palette and are derived from natural pigments. One of the unique properties of this paint is that it actually soaks into the wood fibers, which means it will last as long as the item on which it’s been applied. Because of this, the paint is breathable and will never peal. One other benefit of milk paint is that because it is slightly alkaline (basic), it resists the growth of mould and mildew.

Milk Paint

While milk paint has always been applied easily to plaster and wood, it has never adhered well to other surfaces. Now, however, there is a new primer, Milk Paint Bond, which, when applied to drywall or metal permits milk paint to adhere to these surfaces. Milk paint comes as a powder that needs to be mixed with water. It dries quickly, so, for the beginner, Homestead House recommends either mixing in small batches or adding an extender, which will permit the paint to be mixed in larger quantities and will stand for several days. This is ideal for room applications. When painting a room, it’s best to mix all the paint at once as the colour will be consistent. The website notes that for best consistency use a blender to mix the paint. Jenny said that it’s not actually necessary to use a blender, but if mixing by hand you need to stir really well in order to make sure all the powder is mixed in. The other option is to pick up a blender from a thrift shop.

Homestead House offers workshops in milk paint use. You can check their website for dates and cost. Right now there are a few painters in the city who will paint your house with milk paint, see their “Links page” for a list of painters and designers for more information. If you are interested in a DIY project, consider painting your next room with milk paint, or, ask your painter to give milk paint a try. I’m going to use it to paint our master bedroom. I’ll write a blog post on it when it’s done (don’t hold your breath, I’m thinking summer, 2011).

Kitchen Cabinets

Cost: 2lb bag (which makes 1 gallon of paint), $75. Coverage: 450 sq. feet.  (note that on its own, milk paint is not washable. A coat of hemp oil or beeswax must be applied for washability. If painting a room with it, it’s best to paint in low traffic rooms).

Other products: In keeping with its line of low-impact paints, Homestead House carries low-impact paint strippers and finishing products as well. See their product page for more information.

The Healthy Home at Downsview Park: Kitchen

March 29th, 2010

I wrote a post about the Healthy Home a few days ago. But really, there’s SO MUCH information on the home to cover that I couldn’t capture it all in one post (well, I could, but your eyes would glaze over after awhile).

To recap, the Healthy Home is an example of how using smarter materials doesn’t have to look different. All of the products used in this home are easily obtainable in Toronto. In fact, what was surprising to me was how many products were supplied by Sears. I’ll be honest — I have never thought of Sears as a supplier of green materials — shows you what I know.

I thought for this post I’d focus on the kitchen, because, well, it’s my blog, and I love the kitchen! (I’m in one for most of the day — it feels like anyway — so functional and pretty kitchens are important to me).

A few of the features of the Healthy Home’s kitchen:

Sink area

Kitchen sink -- height modified

Cabinets were manufactured by Heritage Finishes: Cabinets are made from low-VOC Composite wood board (Uniboard NuGreen low VOC wood composite panels), Richelieu Hardware supplied Greenguard veneers, and Allstyle cabinet doors supplied low-VOC cabinet doors. There is very little, if any, “off-gassing” of harmful chemicals from these cabinets. Low-VOC glues, adhesives and paints were also used in the making of these cabinets.

(Note: Greenguard is a third party certification organization that focuses on helping companies improve the indoor air quality of their products.)


CeasarStone Quartz Counter tops

Countertops: Provided by Dixie Marble and Granite. CaesarStone is made with up to

93% quartz and a polymer resin. Quartz is the second hardest substance and is excellent for kitchens. The surface is non-porous, durable, won’t scratch or stain.

Backsplash: Provided by Antica Tile and Stone. Onix Moonglass in Pearl. Mosaic tiles are made from 98% recycled glass.

Wall paint: provided by Homestead House, which is a local Toronto company, and the only Canadian company to produce a milk paint. The paint has a higher pigment concentration for fuller colour intensity, and is zero VOC.

Led-Linear Chandalier

Led-Linear Chandalier

Lighting: The kitchen chandalier is provided by Led-Linear, and uses linear LED lighting strips in a creative way for a central light. Undermount lighting for kitchen cabinetry was provided by Hafefle.

Appliances all supplied by Sears:

Wall Oven by Sears

  • Refigerator: Kenmore Elite. Energy Star. Annual energy cost: $47. Internal icemaker, external water dispenser.
  • Dishwasher: Kenmore Elite. Energy Star. Saves up to 42% water and 31% energy cost. Includes HE function, automatically measuring time water and energy for maximum efficiency. Annual energy cost: $30.
  • Cooktop: Kenmore Elite Induction Cooktop: cooks in half the time of gas or electric cooktops. Annual electricity cost of $23.
  • Wall oven: Kenmore Elite Self-Cleaning oven. Annual electricity costs $24.
  • Water filtration system: Kenmore MD Central Water filtration system. The system filters chlorine and other unpleasant tasting odours from water. Filter never needs changing as it’s self-cleaning.

Sears Self Cleaning central water filter

The Healthy Home is on display at Downsview Park until December, 2011. Open to the public, Monday-Friday 6-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 12-3pm.

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