What is the best brand of paint available in the market today when building a sustainable house?

Asked by Cameron cole
Hanover, MD

The aim is to have the best air quality. There are many brands that claim low VOC's . Is there really biodegradable paint?


Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Answered by Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Bainbridge Island, WA

A Kitchen That Works LLC

April 15, 2013

Dear Cameron,

“Best Paint” can be a subjective term

As stated in several previous posts here on the Green Home Guide (see links below), it can be difficult to ferret out the actual content of paints as most product MSDS list some components as “proprietary.

  • One rule of thumb you can hang your hat on is the posted VOC content.
  • Check out the handy chart that Harold Remlinger included in his post titled "What paints are green? And affordable?"

As a contractor/designer and an asthma sufferer, I have used a variety of low and no VOC wall finishes with both high customer satisfaction and no noticeable irritation to me (in winter with doors and windows closed). Those products include:

  • Benjamin Moore Aura and Natura,
  • American Clay,
  • Sherwin Williams Emerald,
  • Mythic,
  • Yolo, and
  • Old Fashion Milk Paint Company.

Although I don’t have direct experience with Bioshield, Unearthed Paints and Enviro Safe products, I believe they all have merit.

Realize that some of these products take more time and labor to mix and apply than others, costs vary significantly, color options vary and your ability to purchase locally will also vary.

Good luck with your project!


For more information:

I am remodeling my home and recently found out that I am pregnant. Is it safe for me to paint if I use no-VOC paints?

How can you tell if it is truly a "green paint" from start to finish?

I'm highly allergic to chemicals. Are there hidden toxins in low- or zero-VOC paints?

Tagged In: home air quality

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.