Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FreshAire Choice Paint

So I've been wanting to paint my kitchen before the family descends for Christmas...
Which necessarily means that I will be painting with the windows closed. So you might understand why I developed a sudden very strong interest in low VOC, odor free paints. I had done some research on ones I saw ads for and found that were they quite expensive and weren't generally available in stores near me, so I would have to order online. There wasn't much user information available on them either, which made me very reluctant to cough up the $50-60 plus shipping for one gallon.

BUT THEN!! Then I saw that Home Depot is selling a zero VOC paint called FreshAire Choice, and it was under $40 a gallon. So I went to check out the colors and was incredibly pleased to see that their paint chips aren't those useless tiny ones, but 4 inches square! Which makes it so much easier to test the color! The color selection is rather limited, sticking mostly to neutral tones, but they are lovely saturated versions of those colors. And one of them looked quite nice with those difficult wood tones in my kitchen (I won't tell you which yet, because I want the big kitchen reveal to be a surprise!) so I went ahead and got a gallon. The colorant (which is also zero VOC) looked like a package of henna powder, which they dumped in the can and then put in on the shaker. So here's what I found out about the paint:

The PROS: Really, honestly, absolutely NO odor! REALLY! Easy water cleanup, no special tools needed. The paint is pretty thin, so it patches spots very nicely. (blends well)

The CONS: You definitely need 2 coats, I was changing color but staying within one or two tones and could definitely see through places. Also, since the paint is so thin is does scratch off pretty easily, so you've got to be really careful for a couple of days after. It seems to have hardened well in 48 hours, but I confess I haven't really tested it!

CONCLUSION: A little more work than Dutch Boy (which coats very heavily and rarely needs a second coat!) and shamefully limited color pallette (I'm REALLY hoping they expand it soon!), but the total lack of odor and the saving-the-world feeling make me very excited about using this paint over and over again!

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