Why does non-toxic paint matter?

Toxic paint can release airborne chemicals or gases that can severely damage your health. These toxic emissions are known as VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and can cause breathing problems, skin disorders, itchy eyes, dizziness, headaches. They also are known for contributing to global warming. VOCs are much higher indoors than outdoors according to the EPA, which is why we should be even more mindful of creating an eco-friendly home.

The good news is that in recent years VOCs have been drastically lowered and most paints are now swapped to a water-based formula (as opposed to heavily-fumed, oil-based paint) along with some higher quality brands containing naturally sourced ingredients like plant-based oils and waxes, mineral oils, clays, chalks and other extracts from natural sources.

How to choose non-toxic paints that are less harmful to your health and the planet:

A good start to having an eco-friendly home is by giving it a fresh coat of non-toxic paint. We often forget that while paint has a huge impact on how we feel in a room, it also has a huge impact on our health. But why non-toxic you say, and what does it mean? Well, it all comes down to the ingredients and the overall health benefits it can have.

non-toxic paints My Nordic Studio
Photocredit @Sara Medina Lind

What are the benefits to your eco-friendly home?

1.Well obviously you are healthier as the reduced toxins benefit everyone from little ones to our four legged friends, including those with allergies and chemical sensitivities.

2. Looks after the environment and reduces landfill, groundwater and ozone depleting contaminants.

3. Low-VOC products perform well in terms of coverage, scrub and hide (covering flaws on previous coats) which give effective end results.

4. It’s naturally water-based and therefore easy tp cleanup with just using soap and warm water.

5. There’s little or no hazardous fume and has low odour during application with no off-gassing.

6. Painted areas can be occupied sooner.

7. To top it all off it’s not deemed hazardous waste, so your cleanup and disposal is greatly simplified.

My top picks for eco-friendly and non-toxic paint

There are some amazing companies out there leading the way with environmentally friendly paint. These smaller brands consider the environment and your health first. Here are a few non-toxic brands that I love:

Little Green

These guys have been committed to protecting the environment for a long time. Their paint has virtually zero VOC and are mainly water and oil based paints. They also work with the National Trust to reformulate original paint colours in their properties, with a contribution from each paint tin purchase going towards supporting the charity’s paint research project. Little Greene have a vast offering of colours and finishes in their range, including several that are suitable for exteriors.

Love it: they have full transparency on how they reduce their environmental impact, this even includes their packaging!

non-toxic and eco-friendly paint My Nordic Studio Blog


Manufactured in Iceland and Sweden, using 100% geothermal or hydropower energy, the production process of Eicó paints is carbon positive. It also claims to have one of the lowest VOC ratings of any paint sold in the UK and is particularly popular for people suffering from allergies, as it has practically no odour. As well as a vast library of more than 20,000 colours, the company also offers a bespoke colour matching service and a metallic range of 12 shades.

Farrow & Ball

So popular are some of the shades they have their own following (just check #Elephantsbreath on Instagram). As well as the low or minimal VOC content in its paints, the Dorset based company’s dry waste from its manufacturing plant is either recycled or converted into energy, whilst 97% of its liquid waste is recycled. The entire range also rates A+ for interior air emissions according to the French Indoor Air Quality Decree, which measures the emittance from paint after 28 days of drying and curing.

Love: offering great coverage, sophisticated pigment and a beautiful finish

eco-friendly paints My Nordic Studio Blog
eco-friendly paints My Nordic Studio Blog
Photogcredit @Edward Bulmer

Edward Bulmer

Regarded by many as a pioneer of eco paints and one of the most well-known names in the environmentally-friendly interiors movement, Edward Bulmer’s range has an air of elegance and sophistication to it. Proudly plastic-free, the paint is microporous which means walls and woodwork can breathe. It’s also one of the many reasons why Edward Bulmer Paint is a top choice in heritage and listed buildings. Made from naturally occurring raw materials of plant origin, like linseed oil, or from mineral raw materials such as chalk, earth and mineral pigments.

Love: the brand are very open about their paints’ ingredients, even publishing a handy A-Z of them.

Paint The Town Green

Founder Phil Robinson set up his own paint range a decade ago, after struggling to find eco paints with the finish and colour choices he required. Manufactured using hydro, wind and geothermal power from volcanoes in Iceland, it has a lower carbon footprint than traditional paints and is transported in containers returning to the UK that would otherwise be empty. The stylishly curated range of water-based paints comes in three interior finishes: matt emulsion, wipeable emulsion and eggshell, and features some beautifully named shades such as Night Swimming and Moonlight Shadow.

eco-friendly paint My Nordic Studio Blog
Photocredit @paintthetowngreen
sustainable paints My Nordic Studio Blog
Photocredit @Nordfärg


If you’re looking for a calming palette then look no further. Nordfärg’s range of 30 soothing hues are inspired by Nordic landscapes, with soft greys, mellow greens and cool blues. Designed to be durable as well as aesthetically pleasing. Nordfärg has been awarded the Nordic Swan – a highly regarded distinction for commitment to environmentally-friendly manufacturing methods.

Non-toxic paints have so many benefits and there are many different brands of beautiful wall paints. So go for it: improve your health and the planet and say goodbye to toxic paints.

Do you want more inspiration about wall colors? Then take a look at my Pinterest board “All about colors”.


Yours sincerely,

My Nordic Studio Blog by Laura