paint 101.

Today we wanted to talk a little about why we chose to build our line in the way that we did and how it affects you as a consumer.  I'll try not to bore you. 

Pictures help, right?  This little cutie pie is worth going green for. (picture by leighdameron)

When we first started talking about making Lisa's dream of her own paint line a reality we both knew it would be incredibly important to make the line as "green" as possible.  But what does that mean?  It's a term that is thrown around a lot and, especially when it comes to paint, can be rather confusing.  I gave a presentation at Northeastern a few months ago about the life of a start-up (they call it entrepreneurship, but that word makes me uneasy).  There I was, going on and on about what makes us different and why we wanted to offer organic paint, free of VOCs and I realized... they had no idea what any of it meant.  These kids were smart and engaged and passionate about new businesses. They knew I was using buzz words like "green" and "organic" and that was "good business", but no understanding of how it applied to paint. 

Paint is confusing.  Not only are there thousands upon thousands of colors for you to choose from, but various sheens and finishes.  And most importantly so many options when it comes to safety: low-VOC, VOC Free, Eco-friendly, Green, Organic, Water Based, etc.  What does it all mean? 

Well, we've tried to simplify the process for you in both color selection and sheen... so let's talk safety. 

Paint is made up of primarily three things:

  • colorants: pigments used to create a certain shade
  • binders: makes the color stick to the paint
  • solvents: keeps the paint in suspension until applied to the wall

It's those pesky solvents that cause most of the problems.  When paint is applied to the wall and begins the dry the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the solvents are emitted into the air.  This is called off-gassing and can last for years. YEARS. Not just the few days it takes for the paint smell to disappear, no, these toxins can still be present on your child's first day of school, his first t-ball game, her first ballet recital...  off-gassing continues to happen.  Scary, right?  

We thought so.  A recent investigation done by Good Morning America, found 300 toxins in a new nursery.  Three Hundred.  And guess how many were outside the house?  Two.  We need to be careful about what we are bringing into our homes.

So we aimed to offer a product that we could be proud of, that we could trust in our own homes and feel good about offering to you for your own... Our paint is without solvents completely, and what's more - there are no other toxins in the paint.  It is completely organic. 

Here is a little video that drives the point home.  We shared it on our facebook wall a few days ago, but if you missed it, it's worth watching. 

A Wake-Up Story from Healthy Child Healthy World on Vimeo.

So why does this all matter to us?  Both Lisa and I strive to live a healthy life and be conscious about our mark on the world. We knew we wanted to create a line that was smart about packaging, consistent in it's message, and safe for both people and the earth.  But we learned so much on the way... and feel its our turn to spread the message.  

Do you still have questions?  Please feel free to email us at