Perhaps you, like many other people, have visited the paint store recently with a project in mind: repainting a bathroom, changing the mood of your bedroom, or picking out the color palette of your new home. You may have noticed that many brands now offer paints that are labeled as low-VOC, zero VOC, or environmentally friendly. Purchasing those products seems like a great decision, because they are better for the environment, better for the health of your family, and safer than traditional paints. Or, are they? One paint company, Unearthed Natural Paints, is hoping to educate customers on the real story behind most “green” paints, while offering a beautiful and truly healthy and Eco-friendly paint solution.
Unearthed Natural Paints is a family-owned Colorado-based company run by husband and wife team Florian Speier and Jessica Pfohl. They started their company in 2011 after becoming disillusioned with the misinformation most large paint companies provided their customers about how truly green their paints were, and dreamed of offering customers a real alternative. The small company offers paints, plasters, and wood finishes made from readily available and natural ingredients like reclaimed marble, clay, mineral pigments, lime, and chalk. Unlike many brand name paints, Unearthed Natural Paints lists every ingredient right on the front of their label, so customers fully understand what they’re buying.
When Unearthed Natural Paints says they are safe, healthy, and Eco-friendly, they aren’t messing around. Unearthed products are all 100% VOC-free, which means there are no volatile organic compounds. Customers may wonder how this is different from brand labels advertising their product as low-VOC or VOC-free. There is a significant difference since, according to Unearthed, these paints can still contain VOC’s! In fact, zero-VOC paints could have up to 5 grams of VOC’s per liter before tinting, which means that even though it’s better than conventional paint, you are still getting petrochemicals, higher ingredient counts, and a more energy-intensive manufacturing process that places stress on the environment.
Other important environmental benefits are also offered by Unearthed Natural Paints when compared to conventional or other Eco-friendly paints. The paints are produced with little processing and use only natural ingredients. Unearthed Paints are vegan, and the company even reworked the formula for the popular Vega “milk paint” to remove the milk casein. The environmental impact of the cows that produced it was large, so Unearthed replaced it with vegetable casein from legumes, which also eliminated the milky smell that occurs after application. All Unearthed paints are biodegradable, so there is no special disposal process. Even the company’s shipping process is green. Many Unearthed products are shipped in powder form, to be mixed by the customer with water, which reduces the energy required for shipping heavier products. These powders also don’t need preservatives because they won’t spoil like pre-mixed paints.
Those that have used conventional paints in the past may wonder how natural paints stack up. Are they durable? Long lasting? Colorful? You’ll be happy to learn natural paints are all of that, with the track record to prove it. Many natural paint techniques have been used for thousands of years. From Aboriginal artwork to European cathedrals, painting projects done using natural paints withstand the test of time. These paints have an elegant matte finish and are available in colors from soft neutrals to rich, vibrant selections. The color, texture, and hue are often better than regular latex paints. Families, pets, and even pregnant women can be around Unearthed Natural Paints with no harmful health side effects. The Unearthed plasters are derived from lime, which makes a durable product that is highly water resistant, while the wood finishes in hard wax oil or safflower wax bring out the natural beauty of wood floors and furniture.
Caring about the health and safety of their customers and the environment comes naturally to Unearthed Natural Paints, and they take this commitment one step further with their Rain Forest Pledge. For every square foot of Unearthed Paint sold, the company will purchase a square foot of Rain Forest, located in the Chaco Forest of Paraguay, home to indigenous tribes and exotic wildlife such as tapirs and pumas.
The next time you have a paint project, you’ll be able to see through the hyped-up green claims of other paint brands. The beauty of Unearthed Natural Paints is that it’s a truly healthy, natural, environmentally friendly product from a company that cares as much about our planet as they do about their customers.