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How to choose eco-responsible paint

There are some steps you can take to choosing healthier and more eco-friendly paint and finishing products. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
1

Choose recycled paint

Choosing from the range of recycled paints and stains allows you to reduce resource use and save money. These products cost less than traditional paint. Producing recycled paint and stains also requires less energy than producing new products.

Do you know?

Each year, nearly 7 million kilos of paint residues and containers are recovered by Eco-Peinture. (Éco-Peinture, 2020)
2

Choose water-based paint

Opt for latex paint over oil-based. Latex paint is water-based and contains fewer hazardous substances. Oil-based paint, on the other hand, creates more air and water pollution and may even contaminate ecosystems if it is poorly managed at the end of its life. The only time to consider oil-based paint is for a job that demands extensive durability, such as outdoor projects.
3

Choose natural paint

Try natural paints and finishing products. The base of these products is derived from plants (such as flax or tung tree oil) or minerals (such as lime plaster). Choosing natural stains, oils, or waxes to treat would let you personalize your project as well.
4

Use VOC-free paint

Use paint and primer that is labelled as VOC-free or “low emissions”. Some kinds of paint, stain, primer and varnish contain petroleum derivatives and emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when they are applied and as they dry. Painted surfaces may even continue to give off volatile organic compounds for several months. These substances are toxic. They can cause coughing, dizzy spells, headaches and eye irritations.
Read labels carefully or select products with ECOLOGO® or GREENGUARD® certified products, which emit fewer VOCs and have a lesser impact on the environment.

Do you know?

Adding pigment to paint bases may significantly raise the VOC level. Choosing a light colour will decrease the concentration.
5

Eco-responsible suggestions for painting projects

In addition to choosing eco-responsible paint, here are some tips you can follow to ensure that the whole painting project is as eco-friendly as possible.

  • Before you buy your paint, calculate how much you need to avoid wasting resources.
  • Never pour your paint and varnish leftovers down the drain or into the garbage. Besides the recycling and recovery centres set up in many municipalities, RONA offers a used paint recovery service in some provinces as well.
  • Choose quality products that will help you reduce waste. The opacity and covering power of the paint have an effect on the quantity you will use: the better it covers, the less you need.
  • To get the most out of your paint, use high-quality brushes and rollers.
  • Before washing brushes, use a scraper to remove as much paint as possible. If your project takes several days, just wrap your brushes in a plastic bag to avoid having to wash them after each use.
  • Seal the paint cans well and store them upside down to keep the seal tight.
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