July 9, 2008

Green Home Renovation: How Durable is Green Paint?


Two years ago, I bought my first home. I christened my (actually my bank’s—I got one of those now-infamous 100% loans) new old home ‘Hotelephant.’ Located in downtown (so I could bike everywhere, everyday) Boulder, Colorado, Hotelephant was beautiful, with good bones, hardwood floors, stained glass and a big balcony. It was also pretty well-weathered, and covered with a few decades’ worth of natty ol’wallpaper, and 80’s era light fixtures. And so over the past two years, I’ve tried to do everything ‘mindfully’—from organics inside of fridge to low-VOC paint to natural claying to energy star light fixtures to reusing wood for window frames to xeriscaping and solarizing to putting everything on powerstrips. 

Finally, two years in, the outside blue paint job I’d inherited was falling off, and the wood below was turning gray without protection from sun, snow, ice and rain. So I called my Buddhist bros Jeremy (above) and Todd at Friendly Painters. Over the past two weeks they and their crew have painted a good deal of the front porch and facade with eco paints (eco is vital, as conventional paints off-gas and aren’t good for children, dogs, environment, that sort of thing…that said Todd & co advised that ‘green’ paints still aren’t quite up to the job for areas of heavy foot traffic, durability-wise–and durability is of course a key component to sustainability, and so we used some nasty toxic evil paint for the porch itself).

For more info, contact Friendly Painters—Todd is a good man and far more knowledgeable than I re green paints—furthermore if you’re in Boulder I personally recommend him as someone who’s on time, fair-priced, familiar with eco and conventional options and does a quality job.



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