I will not delight you with another time lapse showing us painting, but rather talk about our product choice.
Based on our project principles and goal to provide good indoor air quality (IAQ), using anything but a zero-VOC product was non-negotiable.
I expected, in this day and age, to find a good choice and range of products and suppliers of zero-VOC paints.
Considering that zero-VOC paints are one of the lowest hanging ‘green’ fruits out there, and probably very popular with the ‘green’ and/or ‘green-wash’ minded population, I anticipated that commerce would drive this train fast and furious.
To my surprise, it took me a while to research and find a suitable and affordable product. My experience was vaguely similar to that described in the post Service Desert, although nowhere near as painful.
Yet, my local Home Depot does not carry zero-VOC paints. I would have to drive all the way to a store on Chicago’s north side, where they stock zero-VOC paints. And I am apparently not the only one running into this problem.
It appears that rather than leading the market, The Home Depot is following the customer.
Fair enough, let’s try my local Menards. Lo and behold, I find zero-VOC paint for a very good price – and a ‘Green Cert’ label. This is where I got suspicious. There are a couple of ‘green’ designations that I am aware off, such as LEED compliant or Greenguard.
And there are designations that, for whatever reason, feel they have to come up with their own label. This may be an effective marketing strategy, but also confuses the consumer and makes it difficult to separate the green-wash from actual sound sustainable products.
Does the average consumer have the time to research all this? Probably not, and nor have I. Why not turn to someone who has done the research for us, the consumers?
After a moment of thought and short trip, I find myself in the Green Depot, where I have access to a variety of zero-VOC paints in different price ranges.
We opted for the zero-VOC Ivy primer and paint. I didn’t know any better, but our neighbor Norman, who does quite a bit of painting and helped me out, commented about how nice it was without those nasty fumes.