Green Paint & Coatings Advice

Buyer’s Guide to Stains

This buyer’s guide summarizes the environmental pros and cons and durability of the three major categories of wood stains: natural oil, acrylic or urethane, and water-based. Use it to find the best stain for your specific project. More…

Selecting Healthy and Environmentally Sound Clear Wood Finishes

By Alex Pennock

Clear finishes protect wood from wear, moisture, and aging, but they can degrade the environment—in your home and elsewhere. This overview provides in-depth comparisons of Lacquer, Natural Oil, Shellac, Varnish, and Water-based clear finishes. More…

Selecting Healthy and Environmentally Sound Stains

By Alex Pennock

Many stains are made with toxic substances that come from nonrenewable resources or are energy-intensive or polluting to produce, so even low-VOC stains can have an impact on the environment. This overview provides in-depth comparisons of natural oil, acrylic / urethane, and water-based wood stains. More…

Paint Like a Green Pro

By Gabe Luna

Gabe Luna founded green contractor MoonDance Painting in the San Francisco Bay Area after working for one of the largest residential painting companies in California—and finding the massive waste, improper disposal of toxic materials, and exposure to hazardous chemicals intolerable. Here’s his advice on avoiding the biggest environmental and health pitfalls of painting projects. More…

Clear Finish Buyer’s Guide

This buyer’s guide compares and contrasts clear finish materials on their environmental and health qualities, and includes selection tips. Use it to find the best clear coating for your specific project. More…

About VOCs

Low- or no-VOC is synonymous with green paints and coatings. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause respiratory, skin, and eye irritation; headaches; nausea; muscle weakness; and more serious ailments and diseases. But what exactly are VOCs, and how can you reduce their impact on your project? More…

Selecting Green Paint

In-depth comparisons of latex, natural, and oil paints. This overview covers the environmental and health impacts associated with most types of paint on the market. More…