Paint the Town Green is delighted that the Duchess of Sussex is reported to have chosen an “organic, natural paint” for the royal nursery. Knowing how ethical she is on matters such as animal cruelty, it comes as no surprise that the royal couple have opted for an animal-friendly, free from toxins paint. Paint the Town Green founder Phil Robinson is particularly pleased as he has been actively promoting the benefits of our non-toxic paint ever since he started the company in 2007.
We are interested in the debate that this news has thrown up around eco-paint and simply had to have our say, particularly as the company Meghan has reportedly chosen, The Organic & Natural Paint Company, which launched in 2012, warns about other ‘natural’ paints on the market, questioning some of their ethics and claims. On their website, it refers to some as 'cowboys, happy to pull the wool over people's eyes.'
We understand the need for caution. In our humble opinion, however, any efforts which encourage homeowners to think about their product choices both in terms of the effects on their personal well-being, as well as the environment, shouldn’t be dismissed.
When choosing brands, it’s not always easy in amongst all the jargon around environmentally-friendly paints to make well-informed, responsible decisions; when it comes to paint there are many variables to consider: finish, quality, drying-time, durability.
As with anything however, there are varying levels of quality and just because a paint is organic, it doesn’t mean the resulting finish will meet expectation. Paint the Town Green care a great deal about how our customers feel about their home. It is important that they love the colour and finish on their walls and have the additional feel-good factor about the paint’s eco properties. We like to think of our paint colours as ‘eco without compromise ‘and we are open and honest about what's in them and how they are produced.
As purveyors of high quality eco-paint for over a decade, we know a fair bit about this area. We can vouch for our paint with confidence. Water-based, free from toxic fumes and sustainably produced, it is an ideal choice for a child's nursery.
As well as the finish etc it’s important when buying eco-paints to check the level of what’s called ‘Volatile Organic Compounds’ and what this means. In this context organic is not good as VOCs are essentially the gases released when the paint dries.
VOCs are in lots of things including cleaning products (which is why we use royal warrant-holding cleaning product Delphis Eco in our showroom) upholstery fabric and carpets; they’re also emitted by wood-burning stoves, some electrical devices and even by some plants!
Although we don’t approve of scare-mongering tactics, we urge homeowners to try to circumvent potentially harmful chemicals in all household products, not just in paint.
Paint the Town Green paints have the lowest possible levels of VOCs but like any paint they are not 100% free of them. In fact, according to government guidelines and paint industry body the British Coatings Federation, no paint is totally Zero VOC - so beware any paint that claims to be Zero VOC.
Paint the Town Green paint however has the lowest possible levels of VOCs. This means it has none of the nasty paint smell of conventional paints and is free from the toxic fumes which can cause harmful side effects such as headaches, nausea or even breathing difficulties.
In addition it’s worth knowing that the binders in our paint (which bind the pigment to the solution) are plant-based and that neither the paint nor the raw materials are tested on animals.
As we are also a decorating company we have considerable experience in working with all brands of paint. We will happily use any brand our decorating clients choose, even if one rival eco-brand was described by one of the team as ‘like working with chewing gum’. Everyone’s formulations are different depending on the ingredients they use (all of which play a part as if a paint dries too quickly it can be difficult to work and affect the end finish) but we think we have found the ideal balance between environmental idealism and practical, user-friendly products. Eco-paint is big news at the moment and as with any new trend, it unearths a raft of newcomers to the market. Our advice would be therefore to research a product as much as possible. Also speak to people who have previously used any product you are considering and get their feedback to avoid any potentially expensive mistakes.
We don’t believe people should have to compromise. Paint the Town Green paint is jolly top-notch paint even if we do say so ourselves. The flow, the opacity, the application and the finish get really positive feedback from designers, joinery companies, DIY-ers and decorators.
Plus our paint is made using environmentally-friendly methods of production that cause the least amount of damage to the planet. The factory in which it is produced uses wind, hydropower and geothermal power from volcanoes, a system that has been given an official green audit.
Not wanting to boast, as it’s not in our nature, we would however like to point out that Paint the Town Green have been thinking eco for some time. Since 2007, founder Phil Robinson has been something of a ‘green guru’, pioneering eco-paints and environmentally-friendly decorating methods, winning a Green Award from Wandsworth Council in its first year. He started the company after struggling to find a safe paint for his baby daughter's bedroom.
It’s also worth mentioning we don’t believe people should have to pay extra for healthy. We endeavour to always remain competitively priced and are currently up to about 20% cheaper than more well-known high street brands.
As Fall For DIY blogger, Francesca Stone said about our paint in her nursery makeover blog: 'Paint the Town Green offer a beautiful choice of contemporary colours and all their paints are non-toxic, environmentally-friendly and odourless. For a water-based paint the colour has a beautiful depth and needed only two coats. The paint dries in only two hours which makes finishing a room quick and easy. Especially when you leave it to the last minute like we did!' For her full nursery makeover blog where she used our colours Grey Seal and In the Clouds, click here.
The long and short of it is we support all efforts to be ‘more green’. And we thoroughly approve of the royal conscience and will be sending them a colour chart for their other rooms!
They are rumoured to be choosing non-gender specific neutral greys and whites for their nursery. If you want to follow their lead we think our colours In the Clouds and Private Universe would be beautiful.
High-quality, eco, low in VOCs, water-based, non-yellowing, quick-drying and ideal for nurseries, we may be biased (just a bit) but we think our colours would be to the Duchess’s taste and look gorgeous in Frogmore Cottage.
Paint the Town Green offer an in-house colour consultancy. Our eco-friendly paints have the lowest possible levels of VOCs making them a better choice for you and the environment. All water based, they are odourless, quick drying and come in three finishes: matt, wipeable or eggshell.
For more information about our paints or for a decorating quote, please visit our showroom at 39a&b Allfarthing Lane or call us on 020 8871 0531.