Eco Friendly Paint – Why Pay More

Little Greene Review

Decorating can be so stressful.  Our living room was way overdue a fresh coat of paint and we’d decided to bite the bullet.  A day into the process I wondered what, on earth, possessed us.  Everything was everywhere and nothing was where it should be.  This in itself is a huge reason why to not choose lower quality paints.  There are far more important reasons, which I’ll explain below.


Before we started, we did our research on the different brands of paint available.  You can pick up good old B&Q paint for around £15 for 2.5 litres, where as a higher end brand that boasts being eco-friendly, such as, Little Greene, is more than twice the price of that.  What’s the difference in the two and is the extra money worth it?

VOC Rating

poison VOC

VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds.  These are solvents that get released into the air as the paint is drying.  The VOC in paint leaches into your body primarily through respiration but also through touching the paint/walls.  They can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea and have also been found to be damaging to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.  You should note, these compounds are especially dangerous to people with asthma or allergies.

⚠ As a family, we’re super careful with the toxins in our home – I make most of our personal care/cleaning products to avoid unnecessary toxins in our home.  Dependent on the paint, the toxins in the paint can continue to leach out and last up to five years.  That’s a long time to avoid coming into contact with your paint! ⚠

You should note it is particularly dangerous to people with asthma or allergies.

It’s uncomfortable when you realise there was a time when we would paint our children’s bedrooms using toxic paint without even giving it a seconds thought.  We were filling their environments with not only heavy metals but also benzene, ammonia, formaldehyde, toluene, naphthalene and even methyl chloroform!

living room little greene

Little Greene

little greene logo

When you choose Little Greene, you’re choosing to buy from a company that is environmentally responsible.  They also manufacture their high-quality paints and wallpapers here in the UK.  The VOC rating of their paint is almost zero.  They use natural pigments in a higher content, rather than artificial ones with added water (which is more expensive than synthetic versions made in a laboratory).  Natural pigments mean the depth of colour is more complex and holds true under different lighting scenarios.  Artificial colours can often look flat and lack depth.

Our Colour Choices

little green living room

We decided upon a delicate shade of pink called Chemise and a beautiful shade of grey called Mono.  Both of these colours are from the Colours Of England range by Little Greene.  They look great in our lounge.  I know you’d traditionally use emulsion just for the walls, but MrLovely actually painted a piece of furniture with the grey colour too and, not only did it go on really easily, it looks brilliant.

We’ve gone for quite a bohemian look by teaming it with duck egg blue and turquoise furniture and red sofas with purple curtains and a huge rug.  I’m really happy with the way it looks and we’ve had so many compliments on it.

Words From The Decorator

Here’s MrLovely’s review of the paint – I didn’t actually do the painting, I was more of the director…

Upon opening the tin, there was a very minimal faint odour from the paint, not unpleasant and hardly detectable, even for my super sensitive sniffer. Texture and viscosity, it’s very thick and smooth as smooth gets. The paint really does go on the wall with ease, roller or brush it just levels out without hassle. It was a pleasure to paint with! Coverage was actually better than thought, actually on par with the website estimate. The paint estimator on their website is really clever!

I’m probably going to do a separate post about the furnishing we finished off the look of our lounge with.  I would highly recommend Little Greene for paint and I will be buying from them when we decorate other rooms.  The extra money is well worth it.

Thanks for reading.

Lu Lovely

Disclaimer:  I was sent the Little Greene paint I used for my living room for review.  This hasn’t influenced my opinion, I genuinely love the paint.  Also, if you’re a regular reader, we all know I’m gonna choose the eco-friendly option.

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17 replies on “Eco Friendly Paint – Why Pay More”
  1. says: Kirsty Dee

    I’m a firm believer in what we use in our environment affects us. When we move next year and have to decorate I’d much rather pay more and use something safer around the kids.

  2. says: Kelly Peters

    What a great post! I’m not panicking that I never even considered this in my own home which we had painted from top to toe in November and it wasn’t eco friendly paint, eek! I’ve learnt so much from this piece, thank you so much!

  3. says: Jenni

    I would pay more for Eco friendly paint. I like the fact it does not let of a strong odour normal paint knocks me sick after a while of painting

  4. hmm, interesting read. We’ve bought two pieces of vintage furniture that we want to paint so I’m just doing my research now. We want to make sure we stay on budget but then we also want to be eco friendly. It’s the smell that annoys me too so I like there is barely any from this one 🙂

  5. says: Helen

    This is really interesting and something I hadn’t considered previously if I’m honest. Next time we decorate a room I will certainly be looking into this paint 🙂

  6. says: Natasha Kendall

    I never knew about eco-friendly paint! It’s not one of those things I associate to having a carbon footprint of some kind, but now I know 🙂 Great and informative post, thank you 🙂

  7. says: Sarah

    I absolutely love the colours you went for and it’s really good to learn about why you should use this over normal paint, totally sold!

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