So after ranting on about eco paint and not so eco paints I think I should list the ones I like and the reasons I like them. I'll also include a few that are not necessarily non-petrochemical but who's manufacturer has other eco credentials worth mentioning. I'll include links to their home pages so you can dig up more info if you want to.
I will add to the list from time to time - and maybe subtract. If I do any evaluations worth sharing, I will add them to the site and link to them.
I've recently been pointed to this paint from Germany and I don't know why I hadn't found it or paid attention to it before. Eco credentials look very good, the binders are potassium silicate, no acrylic present. It's a very breathable product and a nice range of colours. I will be looking at this in a bit more detail but it seems like a good addition to the list.
Earthborn have negligible amounts of VOCs and contain no petrochemicals. The Claypaint is made in Germany and coloured in the UK. The Ecopro range (designed more for the commercial market) is made in the UK and is a bit cheaper but still good. All the ingredients are on the tin and on their web site. I use a great deal of this paint, particularly the claypaint. It covers well, has virtually no smell but the smell that is present is actually very pleasant.
Auro scores high in the 'green' paint league. Very low VOC (they will tell you they are certified VOC free but that generally means it's less than 0.1%). They contain all natural ingredients (natural vegetable resins and oils such as linseed and rapeseed in place of petrochemicals) and they say their manufacturing process is carbon neutral. They are confident enough to say their paint can be composted! Full lists of ingredients are openly published. Very nice paints to use when I get the chance.
I haven’t had a chance to try this yet but I believe it's made for them by Auro in Germany (forgive me if that's wrong) so I would be happy to use it on that basis as eco credentials will be the same. The only downside to this brand is the rather high cost. But we are talking about a real designer brand here! They publish a full list of all their ingredients.
Now, I am a bit of a sucker for good brand marketing and these people have awesome visuals. Clean, minimalist - it actually makes you believe it's a clean and healthy product. I only recently discovered this brand and was interested enough to contact them and have a long conversation with the MD, who also happens to be the paint tech guy. You'll need to look at their web pages to see the angle they come from but basically they have a realistic approach in as much as, they use natural ingredients as far as possibe and don't use petrochemicals but accept that synthetic additives may be needed to get the best performance. In spite of these additives, the paint breaksdown into harmless component parts after disposal which is very important. Let's not kid ourselves, most people wash brushes under a tap and the waste paint goes into the waterways. So it's good to know that, in this case, we're not flushing toxic chemicals down there.
I'll be doing some testing and evaluation on the range so keep an eye on the reviews here. I should just add, this is only available direct from Little Knights via online orders. This means they can keep the cost of the paint down because they don't need to add a profit margin for retailers. That works for me.
This is a bit of an odd one but I'm including it because I have tried it and like it quite a lot.
It's made in The Cotswolds and based on a renewable and sustainable resource i.e. soya bean resins. This isn't a big company and the semi-gloss (I would call it satin) and matt emulsion paint is sold through Greenshop which is an eco aware retailer online who sell more than just paint. So really, it's not aimed at professional decorators but I came across it and thought it was worth testing. There are small amounts of synthetic additives to aid performance but it's mostly natural. In my opinion the semi-gloss is a little more difficult to work with than some water-based paints but the finish has a lovely silky feel to it and it's quite tough.
This one is actually a standard acrylic emulsion but it does need to be included here because it plays a part in what we are about. Newlife collects waste paints that are otherwise destined for landfill. They then process it - filtering and purifying and adding a small amount of fresh ingredients. The end result is an emulsion as good as any quality trade paint. I've used the standard and durable products and they are very good. And because they are recycling waste paint they are not only saving it from landfill but for every pot of their paint we buy, that's one less that needs to be made from scratch with more acrylic. So, not natural but still with a place in enviromental considerations.