Traditionally painters and DIY’ers have had two options when it comes to finding a hard wearing Enamel Paint.
You could opt for the traditional oil-based enamels that offer good durability but are loaded with chemicals and solvents like turps and xylene to dry the oil-based resin. Sure, these solvents ensure the coating performs but also offer a terrible smell and headache for anyone painting or simply in the vicinity of the drying paint. The other option for people looking for a ‘healthier option’ was to go for a water-based enamel that utilises water instead of a toxic solvent.
On paper, water-based enamels sound great but their technical aspects leave something to be desired when compared with their solvent based counter parts. Not only are they still loaded with chemicals that are far from healthy, the hard wearing finish that can be achieved from an oil-based resin just cannot be matched with water-based enamels, and so, the end user is left with a softer product that often over promises and under delivers.
So how does the natural alternative compare?
I wasn’t aware of how far we have come with being able to get a true natural paint that works as well as their chemically based counterparts, this was until I had met the owner James from The Natural Paint Company NZ.
When I asked James to describe the difference he put this way, “Products are all based on natural ingredients making them safer to use. We use a large range of plant oils, waxes, tree resins, china clay etc. We don’t use ingredients such as chlorinated hydrocarbon; fungicides; insecticides; bactericides; xylene; toluene; benzene; formaldehyde; phenol; heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium or copper. We have made it our policy to list our ingredients on our labels and on our product data sheets. We do this so consumers can see what is in the products and make their own choices about the safety of the finishes we have available. Where there has been no alternative product, inert non-problematic raw materials have been used.”
The raw ingredients used are predominantly found in nature, and are turned into paints, oils and varnishes using “nature’s gentle chemistry”, a soft and green chemistry approach to manufacturing. China clay, talc, plant oils, tree resins and waxes are amongst the most common raw materials used. It is used widely in domestic situations and has also been used in hospitals, schools, public buildings, health food shops, galleries and by health practitioners. Internationally it has been used in parliament and government buildings, airports, playgrounds and kindergartens.
This is a remarkable product and the only one like to be able to offer a natural, safe and hard wearing finish for the benefit of your family and future generations to come. Another thing to remember is that when it comes to giving your house a repaint, your colour can be rematched and a natural alternative can be painted over top. Very cool.