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Creating a Nursery? Here are Some Dos and Don’ts to Keep in Mind For Safety and Comfort

baby safe paint for cribs

Designing and setting up a nursery is a highly anticipated process for many couples. There are so many creative choices that need to be made, and thoughts that need to be considered. But before you start your planning process, it’s important to know the best strategies to design and decorate with success while keeping your infant as safe and comfortable as possible each and every day. Here are just a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind to plan the safest and most comfortable nursery for your baby.

DO: Choose the right theme/color palette
Before you purchase any actual materials for your new nursery, it’s important to consider the style, theme, and/or color palette you’ll be using. Though it’s certainly acceptable to reflect your own preferences, it’s helpful to make a general decision before stepping foot into a painting or home improvement store. Otherwise, you’ll just get overwhelmed.

DON’T: Paint before choosing textiles
Making this small error can have some disastrous results. It’s always best to choose all of your textiles prior to doing any painting.

“There is nothing worse than finally finding the perfect curtains or the baby bedding of your dreams only to discover the color scheme clashes with your paint job. Given the astounding array of available paint colors and the prevalence of color-match technology, it’s definitely easier to choose your textiles first and then buy paint to match,” writes Kitty Lascurain on The Spruce.

DO: Use proper paint for the nursery
Obviously, your baby will spend a significant amount of time in the nursery. With this in mind, it’s important to consider the health effects of all painting products. According to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, among children with multiple allergic symptoms, PGE-exposure nearly doubled the likelihood of developing allergic sensitivities to other allergens. But using baby safe paint for cribs and other low VOC paints can minimize these health risks.

DON’T: Forget the ceiling!
Finally, don’t forget that you have the creative freedom to decorate the nursery ceiling any way you choose. Why not give your little one a beautiful scene to fall asleep to and awaken by painting an elegant landscape or other design?

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating the nursery you’ve always dreamed of. For more information about baby safe paint for cribs, contact Ecos Paints.

3 Pro Tips to Help You Create the Eco-Friendly Nursery of Your Dreams

non toxic paint for crib

Eco-friendly home improvement projects are growing in popularity across the nation, but there are special benefits that come with creating an eco-friendly nursery. Not only are you helping contribute to the green initiative, but you’re potentially improving the physical health of your newborn as well. Of course, before you start creating your sustainable nursery, it’s important to know which elements are the most essential and effective for eco-friendly success. Here are just a few important tips to help you create the eco-friendly nursery you’ve always dreamed of.

‘Upcycle’ Used Decor and Furniture
Aside from the crib, which experts say should be purchased new and according to the most recent safely regulations, you should do your best to purchase used furniture and decor. The dresser, glider, and any range of decor can all be safe, sustainable, and pre-owned. Ask your friends and family, or even put a shout out on social media for gently used baby furniture — you may be surprised at the responses you get!

Use Low VOC Paints
It should come as no surprise that traditional paints and wood primers emit harmful chemicals that can hurt your baby’s health. In fact, according to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, children with bedroom PGE concentrations in the top 25% (of the study participants) had a 100% higher likelihood of having asthma, a 150% higher likelihood of having eczema, and a 320% higher likelihood of having rhinitis. But there are many types of non toxic paint for cribs that can provide the same glossy and beautiful results as their chemical-filled counterparts, but without the dangerous health risks. Keep this in mind when gathering your painting materials.

Consider Organic Bedding
Finally, when it comes to buying bedding and textiles, organic matters. Traditional materials often contain harsh chemicals, pesticides, and dyes that have unknown health risks. Instead, opt for organic materials and natural dyes. There are plenty of resources available online that can help you determine the most reputable brands.

Ultimately, keeping these tips in mind can help you on your way to safe and sustainable nursery success. For more information about non toxic paint for cribs, contact Ecos Paints.

Why Choose Neutral Colors For Your DIY Painting Project?

paint coverage

In a 2017 interior design trends survey, more than a third of respondents said they would choose a neutral color palette if redecorating their home. Why? It’s not just because neutral colors are versatile. There are countless benefits of investing in neutral colors like beige, eggshell, and gray — they’re just often overlooked by their bolder colored counterparts. Here are just a few reasons to consider a neutral color scheme for your next DIY painting project.

Accentuates Textures and Furniture
As opposed to a bold colored wall, which can take away from the other stunning elements of a room, neutral shades allow a more subtle accent to a room’s existing furniture and decor. The fact is, neutral shades allow the furniture’s unique textures to truly come alive.

“A neutral backdrop creates a welcoming interior when mixed with warm textures such as rough hewn wooden elements, shiny tiles, nubby linens, and brushed velvets…layering textiles is the key to creating a warm, well-designed space,” writes Shelley Little on freshome.

Timeless and Classic Look — Not a ‘Phase’
Though bold colors do have their advantages, they’re often chosen impulsively, and for that matter, temporarily. It’s easier than you think to grow tired of coming home to an almost obnoxiously vibrant yellow or orange wall. Neutral shades, on the other hand, are intended to enhance other elements of the room, so if you feel like the area needs a new look, add a bold trim or paint coverage to the walls or set of accent pillows to the furniture. There are countless ways to customize and revitalize any neutral colored room, making for a timeless and classic look that goes with any style.

Maximized Style Versatility
Finally, it should be noted that any neutral colored room can be redesigned to accommodate virtually any style. Neutral colors like beige serve as the perfect backdrop for countless design and style options, so whether you love rustic designs, country looks, or eclectic and modernized decor, neutral tones will do nothing but enhance them.

Ultimately, understanding the benefits of neutral shades can help you determine the right options when it comes time for picking out paints for your own home. For more information about low VOC paint coverage, contact Ecos Paints.

Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Removing Water Stains With Paint

water stains

Water stains are a homeowner’s absolute worst nightmare.

…That may be a bit extreme, but they’re at least unsightly and can easily cause further damage if the cause is not addressed and resolved. Unfortunately, many homeowners just don’t know what to do when a water stain makes its way across their ceiling and continues to spread. However, a few simple steps is all it takes to get your ceiling looking as good as new. Here’s our homeowner’s DIY guide to removing water stains from ceilings and walls with paint.

Gather Materials
Once you’ve resolved the cause of the problem and are sure that the water stain is dry and won’t get worse, it’s time to gather the materials you’ll need. It’s also important to mention that this process involves the use of wall primers and paints, and we understand better than anyone that quality makes a major difference when it comes to the results as well as your personal health. Traditional painting materials contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and according to a report by CBC Marketplace, VOC levels over 500 ppb could cause problems for people with chemical sensitivities. For this reason, it’s always worth it to invest in low VOC paint and wall primer.

The other materials you’ll need to complete this project include bleach, a drop cloth to prevent spills, protective gloves, goggles, a sponge, a spray bottle, a sponge, painter’s tape, and potentially, a ladder. As with any home improvement project, it’s generally easiest to gather your materials first.

Apply Bleach Solution
Before you actually do any painting or priming, you need to clean the area thoroughly, just as you would with other painting projects. But don’t just spray bleach on the stain itself — it’s best to create a solvent made with one cup of bleach and three cups of warm water. This helps the stain to start fading and also removes mildew, dirt, dust, and other debris. After spraying the solution onto the stain, make sure to wipe the area gently with a clean sponge. Then, spray some warm water and gently rinse the area. Finally, let the ceiling dry and cover the trim with painter’s tape to prepare it for the next steps of priming and painting.

Apply Wall Primer
As we discussed above, it’s always ideal to use low VOC painting materials, including wall primers. Studies have shown that levels of several VOCs average two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, and when inhaled they can contribute to several health problems. But regardless of the types of wall primer you’ve chosen, it’s essential to carefully consider the proper application process as well as the fact that latex primer isn’t right for this specific job.

“Your best option for a base coat to cover water stains on the ceiling is an oil-based, mold-resistant, stain-blocking primer in a shade closely matching that of the existing ceiling. Oil-based stain-blocking primers are water-insoluble, therefore, water stains cannot bleed through. Unlike latex paint, these stain-blocking primers also contain a high volume of binders (polymers that bind paint pigments), so that the primer can effectively adhere to the surface over the long run,” writes Manasa Reddigari on BobVila.

Before you apply the primer, look at your ceiling type. If it’s smooth, a roller is generally easiest. If it’s textured, consider a sprayable primer for easy application.

Start Painting
Once the layer of primer is completely dry, the painting fun can begin. Many homeowners wonder why painting is necessary to cover water stains after primer has been applied. The truth is that primers typically turn the ceiling several shades darker or lighter than the rest of your ceiling, which easily attracts attention and looks odd. That’s where paint comes in — it matches the color and covers up the discolored area perfectly.

Ceiling type doesn’t matter as much with paints. You’re free to use either latex paints, which are water based, or alkyd paints, which are oil-based. Just remember that latex paints typically dry quicker and don’t emit as many fumes from VOCs.

We hope this guide helps you to bring your ceiling back to life and cover up those unsightly water stains! Come to Ecos Paints for all of your eco-friendly and low VOC paint and primer needs.

3 Tips to Help Allergy Sufferers Paint Safely and Comfortably

painting

Countless people all over the world suffer from some form of allergies. That’s why allergy-free efforts and initiatives are growing in popularity across the nation. In fact, according to a study by the Survey Research Institute at Cornell University, 83% of travelers now say they would choose an allergy-friendly hotel room if they had the option. But avoiding allergies at home can be more difficult, especially during DIY home improvement projects that can cause dust, dirt, and debris to resurface and exacerbate allergy symptoms. Here are just a few tips to help those who suffer from allergies paint safely and comfortably.

Use Eco-Friendly and Low VOC Paints
This is, by far, the biggest step you can take to reduce the allergy symptoms you experience as you complete your painting project. The fact is traditional paints are filled with toxins called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). According to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, among children with multiple allergic symptoms, PGE-exposure nearly doubled the likelihood of developing allergic sensitivities to other allergens. Not only that, but according to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, children with bedroom PGE concentrations in the top 25% (of the study participants) had a 100% higher likelihood of having asthma, a 150% higher likelihood of having eczema, and a 320% higher likelihood of having rhinitis. Fortunately, you can reduce these effects by investing in low VOC products that offer the same quality and paint coverage as their chemical counterparts.

Suit Up
When you’ve gathered your eco-friendly and allergen free materials, it often helps to suit up with gear that will work to keep allergy triggers and symptoms at bay. Goggles, for example, can prevent dust particles from making their way into your eyes, and protective clothing and headgear can do the same. These items can be found at most home remodeling stores.

Ventilate Workspace
Finally, as you’re painting, make sure to keep your workspace as ventilated as possible. This doesn’t mean you should allow dust particles to spread and contaminate more areas of your home, but it’s important to open all the windows in the room you’re painting in. You should also lay down plastic sheets to gather debris and then dispose of them carefully once the project is complete.

Ultimately, these tips can help you keep allergy symptoms at bay during almost any painting project. For more information about environmentally friendly spray paints, contact Ecos Paints.

Top Tips For Preparing to Paint Your Walls

wall primers

We’ve talked quite a bit in the past about the importance of investing in low VOC paints and wall primers; in a recent study, participants spent six full work days in an environmentally-controlled office space at the TIEQ lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. In this space, VOC levels were reduced to approximately 50 micrograms per cubic meter and 40 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per person. They found that, on average, cognitive scores were 101% higher than in conventional workspaces. But after you purchase your low VOC paints, what’s next? You don’t just pull out your paintbrush and hope for the best. On the contrary, there are a number of simple yet specific steps that have been laid out to achieve the most successful results for any wall painting job. Here are just a few important steps for preparing to paint a wall.

Protect Yourself and Your Furniture

First, if you want to virtually eliminate the risk of causing any damage during your painting project, it’s ideal not just to cover nearby furniture, but to remove all furniture from the room, if you’re able to. As for your equipment, it’s best to get a pair of heavy duty goggles to avoid the risk of splattering. You don’t have to cover up from head to toe, but it’s simply common sense to wear older clothes.

Prepare the Walls

Wall primer isn’t the only step you need to take to actually prepare your walls to be painted. Experts say you should actually clean and dust your walls beforehand using either a vacuum or a cloth. Kitchen and bathroom walls have a special solution that works best for cleaning, and you should take a few other steps to properly prepare your walls as well.

When painting a bathroom or kitchen, wash the walls with a solution of approximately three teaspoons of laundry detergent to one gallon of water. Scrape any cracked or flaking paint with a paint scraper. For other small imperfections on the wall such as plaster bumps, smooth them away with sandpaper. Use muscle power with a piece of sandpaper stapled to a sanding block, or use an electric sander,” says DIY Network.

Apply Wall Primer

Wall primers are intended to conceal small imperfections and make the paint appear smoother. Many say that wall primers can also help you to use less paint, which could save you money in the long run.

Don’t forget these paint preparation tips for your next DIY home improvement project.

Homeowner’s Guide To Painting Like the Pros (Part 3 of 3)

painting
In the previous two posts, we’ve discussed quite a few tips for improving your DIY painting strategy to more closely align with the professionals. However, there are still a few more tips used by professionals all over the country that can help you paint like a true master of your craft. Here’s the third and final installment of our homeowner’s guide to painting like the pros.

Use Real Canvas Cloths
Many DIY painters like to be resourceful and use an old bedsheet as a drop cloth to prevent spillage, but any professional will tell you that that’s not the most effective way to stop splatters.

“Pros don’t use bed sheets as drop cloths, and neither should you. Thin sheets won’t stop splatters and spills from seeping through to your flooring. And while plastic can contain spills, the paint stays wet for a long time. That wet paint can (and usually does) find the bottom of your shoes and get tracked through the house. Use what the pros use — canvas drop cloths. They’re not slippery and they absorb splatters (but still wipe up large spills or they can bleed through),” writes Brett Martin on Popular Mechanics.

Paint One Wall at a Time
Finally, it’s important to paint with precision in mind, not with efficiency. This means that instead of painting all the corners of a room and then going back to roll the walls, it’s always best to complete one full wall at a time in order to give the paint from the trim a chance to blend seamlessly with the paint on the rest of the wall.

While these tips are sure to provide a more seamless DIY painting experience, remember that the most important part is to invest in the right low VOC paints. In a recent study, participants spent six full work days in an environmentally-controlled office space at the TIEQ lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. In this space, VOC levels were reduced to approximately 50 micrograms per cubic meter and 40 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per person. They found that, on average, cognitive scores were 101% higher than in conventional workspaces. This is especially important for allergy sufferers: according to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, among children with multiple allergic symptoms, PGE-exposure nearly doubled the likelihood of developing allergic sensitivities to other allergens. Investing in non toxic spray paint is the best way to avoid these harmful side effects. For more information about low VOC paints, contact Ecos Paints.

Painting Occupation Hazards | Toxic Wall Primers and Paints

Encountering Toxic Wall Primers and Paints in a Painting Profession

Did you know that inhaling paint or polyurethane fumes for an extended period of time can trigger headaches, fatigue, confusion, clouded thinking, dizziness, and nausea?

Did you know that repeated and extended exposure to paint fumes can lead to serious health effects, such as kidney, brain, and liver damage, blood deficiency, and even cancer?

More and more people are coming to realize the toxicity of paints and other coatings. From wall primers to interior paints and stains, the dangers of falling ill from fumes are numerous.

What Makes Paint Fumes So Dangerous?

Paints, wall primers, and related products are generally divided into two categories: water-based and oil-based. Oil-based paints include toxic solvents that make the paint spread more evenly. These products also off-gas harmful chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Once these paints dry, the VOCs evaporate into the atmosphere only to be inhaled by unsuspecting decorators.

What Are Paints Made Of?

Many oil-based paints are made of solvents, metal compounds (such as cadmium, chromium, and inorganic lead), and other harmful materials. Examples of these solvents include benzene (a known human carcinogen), xylenes (chemicals that irritate the respiratory tract, skin, and eyes), toluene (a chemical that may cause liver and kidney damage in addition to dizziness, weakness, anxiety, muscle fatigue, dermatitis, confusion, and exhaustion), and other toxins.

It’s one thing to consider how these chemicals affect homeowners and hobbyists, but how do they affect those who paint for a living?

Occupational Exposure for Professional Painters

In 1989, the IARC Monograph Volume 47 classified occupational exposure as a painter as a Group-1 carcinogen based on an increased risk for the development of lung cancer.

Without respirator masks or gloves, professional painters are routinely exposed to hazardous chemicals throughout their workday. When removing old paint, painters are exposed to a variety of pigments and fillers, and when applying new paint, they are exposed to solvents and harmful VOCs. Inhaling these fumes over an extended period of time can cause:

  • Dutch Painter’s Syndrome – also known as Painter’s Dementia or Chronic Solvent-Induced Encephalopathy
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Fertility Problems

Evidence of Harm from Paint Exposure

According to an excerpt from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there exists a strong correlation between a painter’s occupational exposure to paint and the risk of lung and bladder cancer as well as mesothelioma. Even after controlling for other job-related exposures and tobacco smoking, the magnitude of the risk remained consistent. The study also found a correlation between a mother’s exposure to fumes during painting and the development of childhood leukemia in the unborn child.

Where’s the Proof?

Lab work reveals that professionals who are exposed to paint have heightened levels of paint compounds or paint metabolites in their blood and urine. Experts agree that choosing low or no-VOC paints and wearing personal protective equipment can significantly reduce these risks.

Interestingly, some countries were at first hesitant to admit the legitimate (and scary) realities stemming from exposure to paint fumes. Take, for instance, Dutch Painter’s Syndrome, or Chronic Solvent-Induced Encephalopathy (CSE).

Dutch Painter’s Syndrome

In the 1970s and 1980s, more and more complaints began to emerge from those who worked with paint products over long periods of time. However, in many countries around the world, medical experts were reluctant to recognize CSE as a legitimate medical condition. Many physicians and scientists referred to CSE as “pseudo neurotoxic disease.”

Recognizing CSE

A combination of international support from peers, patient organizations, various publications, and the World Health Organization (WHO) brought CSE into the light as a legitimate medical concern. WHO organized a conference where long-term effects of organic solvents on the central nervous system were documented, and a classification with diagnostic criteria was developed. In the Netherlands, manufacturers of paints and inks actually recognized CSE as a legitimate issue and were the first in the world to provide screening programs for their employees. In 1978, Finland labeled CSE as a clinically recognized occupational disease.

While CSE is recognized in the European and ILO list of occupational diseases, many countries around the world still don’t recognize or take active measures to combat the condition. Controlling a worker’s exposure and monitoring their health for early neurotoxic effects are steps that are still needed globally.

 What Can We Do?

While those who take part in painting occupations face this frightening danger every day, there are steps that we can take to alleviate the problem. You can dramatically reduce the risk of health problems stemming from paint and polyurethane toxicity to humans by:

  • Wearing respirator masks while painting
  • Ensuring adequate ventilation
  • Utilizing water-based, zero VOC*, no odor** products from ECOS Paints
  • Monitoring your health with routine lab work to screen for various medical issues
  • Wearing gloves while handling oil-based paint products

What Is ECOS Paints?

ECOS Paints is a manufacturer of zero VOC*, no odor** paints, stains, varnishes, and other related products. Individuals who suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), asthma, and chemical allergies are enthusiastic about our products, as are people with painting occupations. We genuinely care about the health of our customers, their pets, and the environment, and we want those who use our products to know exactly what’s in them. Each product includes straightforward data sheets and ingredient labels, so you can rest assured that you’re using a product that’s safe for your health.

Where Can I Buy ECOS Paints?

At ECOS, we make paint shopping an impressively simple, world-class experience. Browse our stunning color libraries and order paint samples to ensure you’ve chosen the perfect color. Take advantage of our concierge paint service, where our professionals will help you with color matching, application techniques, and so much more. When you’ve chosen your paint, we’ll ship it straight to your doorstep.

Whether your living room needs a fresh coat of paint or you’re a professional in need of a healthier paint solution, you’ll find the products you require at ECOS. Have questions? We’re at your service! Call us at 866-587-3586 or email harold@ecospaints.net.

 

* Zero VOC – Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 14 days).

**No Odor – No traditional paint (polyurethane) odor, which can cause headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues.

 

 

Homeowner’s Guide To Painting Like the Pros (Part 2 of 3)

paint that protects against radiation

In the last post, we revealed a few tips that, although they may seem basic, are recommended by professionals to help preserve hard work and perform a high-quality job. But there are many more tips that can help you avoid even small mistakes that can impact your painting job’s integrity and value. Here’s part two of our three-part homeowner’s guide to painting like the pros.

Cover Furniture Top to Bottom
In a 2017 interior design trends survey, more than a third of respondents said they would choose a neutral color palette if redecorating their home. But whichever color you’re using, make sure to cover all surrounding furniture carefully. Though this may seem like a given, many DIY painters only cover the tops of their furniture pieces and leave the bottom legs open and exposed, but this could still cause damage from splatter and cause it to gather dust from sanding. If you can’t remove the furniture from the room altogether, covering it fully from top to bottom is the next best bet.

Consider Tinted Primer
Many professionals are accustomed to filling holes and patching cracks with a joint compound before painting. But either way, applying paint directly on top of this layer causes a dull and dreary look known as ‘flashing.’ Avoid this by carefully applying a high-quality primer across the entire surface. While most primers are clear or white, consider getting a tinted shade for better concealing.

“Instead of using white primer, pros usually have it tinted gray or a color that’s similar to the finish paint. Tinted primer does a better job of covering the existing paint color than plain primer, so your finish coat will be more vibrant and may require fewer coats. This is especially true with colors like red or orange, which could require three or more coats without a primer,” writes Brett Martin on Popular Mechanics.

Unfortunately, the primer step is where most DIY painters make the most mistakes. Yet it is absolutely essential to get this step right.

These tips can help you sprinkle some professional techniques into your DIY painting strategies. Of course, it’s also a good idea to invest in porch and floor paint that protects against radiation. For more information about environmentally friendly spray paint that protects against radiation, contact Ecos Paints.

Homeowner’s Guide To Painting Like the Pros (Part 1 of 3)

safe paint for the nursery

Whether you’re an amateur DIY painter or someone with more experience, chances are, you still have room to improve. Painting floors, furniture, and other elements comes with its fair share of challenges, and if the painter can’t keep up, they could sacrifice the integrity of the entire project. But all seasoned pros will tell you that there are a number of tips, or ‘secrets’, that can make the traditional painting experience go as smoothly as possible. Here’s part one of our three-part homeowner’s guide to painting like the professionals.

Sand Carefully
Sanding before applying any type of product is a pretty basic tip, but many DIY painters seem to underestimate the amount of sanding that’s actually needed in order to properly apply a coat of primer, porch paint, or furniture paint. Many professional painters have even said that they actually spend more time sanding down surfaces than they do actually applying the primers and paints.

“Sand the walls from the baseboard to the ceiling with fine grit sanding paper on a sanding pole. Then sand horizontally along the baseboard and ceiling. Don’t put a lot of pressure on the sanding pole or the head can flip over and damage the wall. Sand woodwork with a sanding sponge to get into crevices,” writes Brett Martin on Popular Mechanics.

What if you don’t have a sander? If you don’t want to invest in your own equipment, you can rent sanders for the duration of the DIY project.

Secure Painter’s Tape With a Putty Knife
This is another tip that may seem incredibly basic, but there are countless occasions in which even seasoned pros finish a hard job just to come to the unfortunate realization that the paint bled all the way through the painter’s tape. Avoid this heartbreaking realization and preserve your hard work by taking a minute to properly secure your painter’s tape by running across its length with a putty knife.

While these tips are sure to help you apply paint more evenly, it’s also a good idea to invest in the right low VOC paints for your needs and to help keep your family safe. This is especially important if you need safe paint for the nursery. According to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, children with bedroom PGE concentrations in the top 25% (of the study participants) had a 100% higher likelihood of having asthma, a 150% higher likelihood of having eczema, and a 320% higher likelihood of having rhinitis. For more information about safe paint for the nursery, contact Ecos Paints.