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What are Eco Friendly Paints? !

What are Eco Friendly Paints?

Terms like “eco-friendly”, “fair-trade”, and “green”, are popping up everywhere these days, making it sometimes difficult to discern what exactly is being said when we encounter them proudly emblazoned on the packaging of various products (e.g. “Eco-friendly Edible Shoe Cream”).

As a painting company, the terms remain mysterious to us on many products—but when it comes to paint, we’re happy to clear the air. It can be helpful to first say what it isn’t. The first clue comes immediately after opening a can of paint. Normal or VOC paint will have a familiar strong sharp paint smell. Many people enjoy this smell. Eco friendly paint is much milder in smell, and has little of the characteristic “fresh paint” smell that people generally expect.

VOC Paint

Conventional paint, normally referred to as VOC paint (volatile organic compound), is made up of a creamy amalgam of plasticizers, adhesives, hardeners, pigments, biocides, drying accelerators, and solvents. The volatile organic compounds in the paint work as a solvent to hold all of the different elements in place as the paint dries. If not given proper time to dry, set, and air-out, the volatile organic compounds can be unhealthy to breathe in. For this reason, it’s always wise to give VOC paint plenty of time to dry.

Low VOC Paint

Though the national EPA regulation has said that indoor paint must contain less than 250 VOC grams per liter of paint, San Francisco and other communities, have tightened the regulations further to 50 grams or less. Certainly These paints are more eco-friendly, but they should not be understood as eco-friendly in the proper sense of term.

Certified Green Paint and Natural Paint

Paints are available that have no VOC traces at all, meaning that they are 100% free of VOC colorants, vinyls, plasciticers, and toxic biocides. Green organizations such as Green Seal, Greenguard and Ecolabel test paints, and you recognize truly eco-friendly paints by the certified green seal on the product. Some of these eco-friendly paints—namely, Casein paints--are made of milk proteins, lime, and non toxic pigments. Dating back to the 18th and 19th century, they come in a powder form that must be mixed with water before application. Though Casein paints are great for the environment, they are not without their practical drawbacks. The variety in color is significantly limited compared to VOC paint, and the paint itself is not nearly as durable.

Please don’t hesitate to contact MB Jessee with any questions you may have related to your eco-friendly painting options. We will be happy to guide you through the process of finding out what eco-friendly option best suits both your aesthetic and performance needs!

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Customer Reviews

“Awesome work by highly experienced, professional painters. They were: Conscious about the amount of time it would take. Ours had a lot of pre-work and took 3 weeks. Accommodating when we added a few last-minute changes Understanding when a heatwave hit and we remove some of the plastic sheeting over windows, which they had to put back up the next day. Accessible, especially the on-site crew (Hi Jose & Victor!) -- always answering questions and checking in. The end result is a perfect paint job that makes our 94-year-old house look brand new. I would definitely hire MBJ again”

— Stacey R.
Oakland, CA

“Julie,Just to let you know I am very appreciative of your crew catching the plumbing/mold problem. It was very astute of them. I wanted to let you know that again your crew has done excellent work here, please pass this along to Mr. Jessee. There are some bumps in the road here, but the painting and your crew has not been one of them. Their work is the only thing going right currently, and this crew is very nice and respectful. It is much appreciated. Thank you again.”

— Beth
Oakland

“Everyone I dealt with was nice, helpful, and very professional. The price was reasonable! (I didn't feel like I was getting the "San Francisco price." The attention to detail and work quality was excellent. They did what they said they would do in the exact timeframe they said they would do. Highly recommend!”

— Tim Tyson

“I just wanted to thank you all for doing such a phenomenal job on our recent house painting. We are very happy with the outcome and can't say enough good things about the crew. Everyone working on the project was outstanding and made it a great experience. Thanks to everyone.”

— Daylan
Piedmont

“MB Jessee just finished our exterior and we couldn't be happier with our experience. The foreman (Pedro) and lead painter (Ricardo) were incredible to work with: they communicated scheduling clearly, Ricardo was a joy to be around every day, the showed up early every day, were incredibly tidy and did great paint work. The final walk through experience was incredible. Pedro pointed out items I missed demonstrating a clear desire to complete another quality project. I highly recommend them. As others have noted they definitely aren't the cheapest but you quickly realize that you're getting what you pay for. The 3 year guarantee is also a nice touch since there are likely touch up items that will show up after the job is done.”

— Joshua Jansen

“Today I received a beautiful bouquet from your company. It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated--a lovely surprise. Also today, your crew finished my job. I am so pleased with all their fine work. Richard is absolutely amazing and a total delight to work with. He was also extremely helpful during the paint color process. The interior work in my home far exceeded my expectations. A big thank you to you and the crew for an outstanding job. Thank you, thank you for a terrific job!”

— Barbara
Piedmont

“M.B. Jessee painted the exterior of my Spanish house over 9 years ago, and they did such an incredible job that they are still getting referrals from me today. The paint is holding up perfectly -- there is absolutely no peeling chipping or any other deterioration. I still remember that my final walk-through list consisted of items written on one side of a 3x5 index card (and I'm REAL picky about my house!) However, when Matt and I did that walk-through over HALF the items were no longer an issue, as his team had noticed them first and they had already been resolved.”

— JoAnn Newcomb

“I just wanted to send you an email to say that John did such a great job over here today. He is truly a hard worker. He has the perfect balance of friendliness, honesty, and professionalism. I trust him. He takes the time to do the job to the best of his ability and that is what sets him (and your company) apart from the competition. He didn't make me feel rushed. He really made me feel like our job was the most important thing in the world. Thanks again!”

— Jo
Oakland

“I cannot imagine finer painters--and I have worked with many. They work exceptionally hard. It is a joy to see their workmanship!”

— Alicia R.
Oakland

“Very easy to work with, they did an outstanding job with our project of re-painting our painting our kitchen cabinets. Given the scope of the job and that our kitchen is roughly half of our upstairs living area they did a fantastic job of minimizing the mess. Workmanship was top notch, would definitely recommend.”

— Vince Scola

“Matt, Julie & Ricardo, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the three of you for the wonderful job you did in hosting the SFBA NARI Chapter Meeting on Wednesday evening. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. Members and guests alike walked away with a truly positive experience. The "painter for a day" and the cookies in the paint cans were an absolute brilliant touch and received rave reviews. What a wonderful way to do such positive marketing. Thanks again for a truly memorable experience for our members and guests. You are valued as a NARI member.”

— Judy Tufo, SFBA NARI Executive Director

“Our paint crew did a great job and the foreman, Gersson was exceptionally great to work with. He was always available to answer questions, good at problem-solving, very patient, kind, and highly professional with great customer service. We definitely recommend this company, and Gersson and his crew.”

— Andrea Y.
Berkeley, CA