Of course since the main driver for me changing my lifestyle was my own little peanut I was going to make sure her very first room in this world was not going to cause her any harm. Cue my paranoid mom phase (adding in a dash of pregnancy hormones) and there was no way my husband was going to complain about the heftier price tag of the paint. So we found ONE bonus to raging pregnancy hormones, sweet.
We moved into a new house when I was five months pregnant (no stress there) and the room we had designated as the nursery was painted a pepto pink with a brown ribbon painted across every wall……….yeah……….no judgement, just soooooo not my cup of tea. So painting was the first step.
I read somewhere that there was a zero VOC (volatile organic compounds; read about them here http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html) paint at Home Depot. I thought, hey my husband loves Home Depot, win-win! So we grab a can of the primer and bring it to the paint guy, who looks like he has sniffed one too many cans of paint thinner, to have some color added to it. The older woman next to him (who will now be referred to as my fairy paint mother) says “you know once color is added to the primer, VOC’s are added back in?”
Uhhhh no I did not know that! What the hell is the point then?! The oh so helpful employee then tells me that I shouldn’t worry as VOCs don’t emit gas (known as off-gassing) once the paint is dry.
Now I may not be a scientist but yeah I know that’s not true. Before I could launch into a full fledged lecture on the dangers of off gassing my husband politely says we won’t be taking the paint and leads me out of his treasured homeland. I tell you this not to dis Home Depot (my hubby still drags me there for everything but paint) but so that you won’t be fooled by the greenwashing! Grrr it makes me mad in case you can’t tell.
To make a long story short back to researching I went. I came across two brands that were zero VOC, Yolo and Mythic. Luckily for me they were both carried at a green building supply store in Berkeley (shocking I know). Check out their websites to see where you can buy them locally or you can order online; Mythic https://www.mythicpaint.com/searchDealer.aspx and Yolo http://www.colorhousepaint.com/store-locator/.
I went with the Mythic paint Black Label paint/primer in one. The guy there said it had slightly better performance. They even matched the color I had picked out from the hazardous brand. Score! I snagged some non-toxic chalk paint there as well to paint the closet doors with. Yes, I know I may be encouraging my daughter to draw on the walls, but it was an impulse buy. I will post pictures in a few years of my walls with markers all over them and we can all have a good laugh.
We were able to get all the painting done in one day and it only took one coat with touch-ups, which says a lot about the paint as we were going from pink with dark brown to light grey. We did however do a primary coat just on the brown ribbon before starting to prevent it from showing through. There was almost no smell, but I still used a mask since I was pregnant and also aired out the room for a full week before opening the heating vent or door.
I think it turned out great and I feel so much better knowing the paint will not be off-gassing for years to come. It was a more expensive paint for sure- about $50 in total for two gallons of the paint/primer and the quarter gallon of chalkboard paint. It turned out we didn’t need the second gallon of paint, but I’m glad we have it for future touch-ups. I also chose a color that will work for both a girl and boy so we don’t have to re-paint for the next child.
Do you like my rationalizations? My husband did
Good luck on your future paint jobs!