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Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I invite you to grab a glass of sweet tea and join me as I (along with my husband, John) renovate our love nest. We're both born and raised in the south and love to share with you some of our favorite recipes, stories and our life. We hope you'll come back often!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Consumer Reports Puts 'Green' Paints to the Test

With the ever-growing concern of the Earth and companies wanthing the trendy chic label of "going green" on their products, many home improvment companies are doing their best to downsize their carbon footprint. This is fabulous news for all of us, and Mother Nature too. For years companies have provided a safer, more environmentally friendly paint for our homes, but without the market, they haven't been able to leap into stores. Until now. To help us along with this new trend in home improvement, Consumer Reports is here to help us discern which products will help us all get the look, without the harm on our local eco systems.

Environmentally-friendly paints are getting better performance ratings from Consumer Reports.
These so-called "green" paints have lower levels of VOCs, volatile organic compounds that contribute to respiratory problems and air pollution.
"When we tested low VOC paints in the past, we found they didn't do very good, particularly at covering the darker colors,” said Rico De Paz, with Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports' latest tests of more than 50 paints still found problems with some brands claiming zero VOCs.
For example – the Freshaire Choice from Home Depot. "You can see all the stripes with one coat. And even with two coats, you can see a lot of the stripes,” De Paz said.
However, some paints, such as Behr Premium Plus Ultra from Home Depot, performed well, covering better with one coat than some do with two.
"This is one coat of paint and you can see it did a great job of hiding,” De Paz said while testing Behr.
Behr has only 50 grams of VOCs per liter, which meets the strictest regulations in the country. It earned top ratings in all three finishes – flat, satin and semi gloss.
But that paint did not perform well in the fading test, so it may not be the best choice for a sunny room.
"This is the original color. And you can see, when we exposed it to a lot of light, it faded quite a bit,” De Paz said.
A better choice for a bright room is Valspar Signature Colors, sold at Lowe's. While it didn't perform as high overall, it did well in the fade test and contains just 50 grams of VOCs
Consumer Reports says one thing to keep in mind is that the amount of VOCs in paint refers to un-tinted paint. Adding tints increases the levels of VOCs.
As for picking the right gloss level, flat paint hides imperfections but tends to stain more easily. It is best for low-traffic areas.
Semi-gloss paints are easy to clean but tend to dull in the process. Use them for trim, windows and doors.
Satin and egg shell paints combine the best of both and are the top choice for most areas.

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I hope you all found some of this interresting, and even helpful. Stick around, later this week I'll fill you in on more of Kitchen Diva and Ranger Dad's bathroom redo!  Squeeeel!

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