Plant paints, advantages and disadvantages


Plant-based paints, also known as ecological or natural, are paints made up of natural ingredients and devoid of the chemical components contained in traditional products, or they contain very little. Easy to apply, covering, low odor and very aesthetic, they are ideal for both interiors and exteriors, in particular for heavily used spaces such as children’s bedrooms. Let’s take stock of the characteristics of these natural paints and their advantages and disadvantages.

What is vegetable, natural or ecological paint?

Vegetable paint is a paint composed of renewable natural materials, that is to say of natural and biodegradable products that do not pollute the environment. It contains the following elements:

  • Solvents of vegetable origin (such as citrus distillates, water and / or balsamic turpentine), to provide elasticity to the paint and preserve its liquid appearance.
  • Binders composed of vegetable oils (linseed, castor, lavender or soybean) and natural resins, as well as beeswax or lime, which make it possible to homogenize the texture of the paint and bind the different ingredients between them.
  • Charges, such as clay, chalk, quartz powder or silica to give thickness to the paint.
  • Pigments of plant or mineral origin give color to these ecological paints, such as madder, turmeric, sandalwood, reseda, sienna, ocher, etc.

These natural and ecological paints are devoid of the products and chemical components that make up traditional paints, or contain very little. As a result, they are recommended for painting the interiors of houses, especially bedrooms, which are busy rooms.

To be considered environmentally friendly, a natural paint must contain almost 98.5% natural components. If it costs a little more than traditional paints, it is much healthier for the health of the occupants of the home and for the preservation of ecosystems. In addition, its effectiveness is no longer to be proven, since these paints are of high quality, with deep and covering pigments and colors which are suitable for all surfaces and all materials.

Natural paints can combine VOCs (the famous volatile organic compounds), but their content is reduced since it is limited to 5 g per liter of product. Note that the painting must also be environmentally friendly, that is to say energy efficient, recyclable and biodegradable. Finally, ecological labels are also necessary, in particular the Ecolabel, NF Environnement or Ecocert label, to bear witness to a quality and truly ecological product.

What are the advantages of vegetable paint?

Vegetable paint has significant advantages:

  • Easy to manipulate, it does not generally require a mask to be worn and the brushes and rollers are very easily rinsed with water after use.
  • It’s a long lasting product, which is UV resistant and does not move in the sun. It does not fade and it does not crack on the surface, provided that you have removed any old glycerol type paint already present on the support.
  • It’s a microporous paint, which allows the wall to breathe and naturally evacuate the moisture it contains. It also allows the wood to breathe better.
  • Natural paint is elastic and easy to apply with all types of brushes and rollers.
  • She has a excellent covering power and often requires fewer coats than traditional paint. The yield is much higher.
  • Its natural pigments are of deep color, resistant and harmonious.
  • The range of colors and finishes is extensive, both for the interior and for the exterior. The same color can present multiple shades and very diverse aspects.
  • She does not release no or very few odors and toxic fumes.
  • It is not harmful for the environment and does not pollute. It is also possible to throw them down the drain without risk!
  • Those are antimicrobial products and washable.

What are the disadvantages of ecological painting?

Despite its advantages, vegetable paint has some drawbacks:

  • Its cost is generally higher to that of traditional paintings. It is estimated that it takes about 20% more for equivalent coverage. However, the additional cost is offset by the ease of application.
  • Vegetable painting keeps less well and should be used as soon as the jar is opened.
  • Drying time is often longer. Between two coats, it takes between 4 and 8 hours and up to a week for complete drying. This longer time is explained by the absence of a chemical drying accelerator.
  • Even if the choice of color is vast, it is much more limited than with traditional paints since limited to natural shades available.
  • Even though these paints are healthier, they may exhibit risk of allergies due to certain natural components.
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