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Healthier Homes Paint Review: Zero VOC and Zero HAPs Paint Made Simple

When it comes to turning our living spaces into sanctuaries, we often focus on the furniture, decor, and layout. But there’s one essential element that can make or break the ambiance of any room: paint

If you know me, you know that I try to make the best choices possible when it comes to our home. As we moved into this house in 2020, we are slowly making it our own! And one of the biggest things we have been doing is changing out the paint colors.

My next big project was to repaint our dining room. And I was looking for new paint, I learned about Healthier Homes.

Healthier Homes is a brand that is famous for its dedication to creating a healthier living environment for everyone. They also make nontoxic zero VOC paint, primer, and cleaning supplies.

Healthier Homes makes innovative healthy paint products that will transform the way you think about home improvement. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at their paints and whether or not they are a good choice for your next home improvement project and my thoughts on using their paint and primer!

This post is brought to you in partnership with Healthier Homes and contains affiliate links. Opinions and experiences are my own. Get your Healthier Homes paint here!

What is Healthier Homes?

healthier homes paint review
The Healthier Homes Reno + Remodel Primer has been renamed to The All Purpose Primer

Every great brand has a story, and Healthier Homes is no exception. The company was founded by Jen and Rusty Stout in 2013. The husband and wife duo are healthy home builders and advocates for safe and better construction in building and renovating homes that are free of harmful chemicals and pollutants. 

They created Healthier Homes to share their expertise and passion with other homeowners who want to create a healthier living environment for themselves and their families. They wanted to have better quality paints and primer options for their building company and so their own line of formulas was born!

From the very beginning, Healthier Homes set out to challenge the conventional paint formulas laden with harmful chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

They recognized that traditional paints not only release toxic fumes into the air but can also contribute to a range of health issues, including respiratory problems and allergies.

Today, Healthier Homes offers a range of products that are designed to improve the indoor air quality and reduce the exposure to toxins in your home. Their proprietary formulas are water-based and a better choice for your family!

Their products include:

  • Real Zero VOC Paint: This is a water-based acrylic paint that is blended with organic clay and minerals. It has no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals that off-gas from paint and can cause health problems such as headaches, nausea, asthma, and cancer. It also has no hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), ammonia, acetone, aromatic petroleum solvents, PVC, formaldehyde, or biocides. It comes in various sheens and the color options are nearly endless. Due to the acrylic, it is durable, nearly odorless, and easy to apply.
  • Fumes + Formaldehyde Blocker: This is a clear primer that blocks the chemical off-gassing from the surface behind the walls, such as formaldehyde, from building materials. Formaldehyde is a common indoor pollutant that can cause irritation, allergies, and cancer.
  • Clearly Natural Lacquer Clear Coat: This is a clear coat that protects the painted surface from stains, scratches, and wear. It is made from water-based acrylic resins and has no HAPs and cures VOC-free. It comes in various sheens and can be used on wood, metal, plastic, or ceramic surfaces.
  • Non Toxic Cabinet Paint + Furniture Lacquer: This is a paint that is specially formulated for cabinets and furniture. It has no VOCs or HAPs, and it provides a smooth and glossy or matte finish that resists chipping, cracking, and yellowing. It can be used on wood, metal, laminate, or melamine surfaces.
healthier homes paint review

They also have an incredible and huge selection of decor, kitchen items, rugs, pillows, throws, art, and furniture available as well! These curated products are made of sustainable and nontoxic solid wood along with natural fabrics and metal finishes to accent your home design perfectly!

I love that they offer this curated selection because it’s easy to get carried away with trendy fast fashion furniture and homeware from brands that don’t use high quality materials and unfortunately these materials are harmful to our health and the environment.

What are the benefits of Healthier Homes products?

Healthier Homes products have many benefits for both your home and the environment:

  • They improve indoor air quality by reducing the emission of harmful chemicals from paint and building materials.
  • They protect your health and minimize exposure to toxins that can cause various diseases and health concerns.
  • You get to enjoy high quality paint colors and finishes that enhance the beauty of your home.
  • They also support sustainability goals through the use of eco-friendly ingredients and packaging materials.
  • What’s more, for every gallon of paint you purchase, 100 ocean-bound plastic bottles are recycled.

These are all incredible important things to me as a mom and a consumer.

How is Healthier Homes paint… healthier?

So how exactly does Healthier Homes’ paint contribute to a healthier indoor environment? Let’s start with and understanding of how paint is made.

Paint is made by combining various ingredients to create a mixture that can be applied to surfaces to provide color, protection, and other desired properties.

The basic components of paint include:

  1. Pigments: These are finely ground powders that provide color and opacity to the paint. Pigments can be organic or inorganic and are responsible for the paint’s visual appearance.
  2. Binders (Resins): Binders are the film-forming components of paint that hold the pigment particles together and adhere them to the surface. They also provide durability, adhesion, and resistance to environmental factors. Common binders include acrylics, alkyds, epoxies, and polyurethanes.
  3. Solvents/Carriers or Water: These are used to dissolve or disperse the pigment and binder components to achieve the desired consistency for application. In traditional oil-based paints, solvents are used, while water-based paints use water as the dispersing medium.
  4. Additives: These are optional ingredients added to the paint to enhance specific properties. Some common additives include:
    • Thickeners: Control the paint’s viscosity.
    • Drying Agents: Accelerate the drying process.
    • Antifungals and Antimicrobials: Prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
    • UV Absorbers: Protect against UV damage.
    • Flow and Leveling Agents: Improve the smoothness of the finish.
    • Defoamers: Remove air bubbles from the paint.
    • Stabilizers: Maintain the stability and shelf life of the paint.
  5. Fillers: These are inert materials added to the paint to improve properties like texture, hardness, and durability. Common fillers include calcium carbonate, talc, and clay.

Healther Homes paints don’t have any drying agents (common one if formaldehyde), antifungals, antimicrobials or preservatives (common one is antifreeze).

Now, we need to learn about how oil-based and solvent-based paints emit VOCs.

Oil-based or solvent-based paints tend to have the highest levels of VOCs compared to other types of paints.

These paints use organic solvents as a carrier for the pigments and binders, which can release high levels of VOCs into the air during the drying and curing process.

Common types of oil-based paints include:

  1. Alkyd Paints: These are oil-based paints that use alkyd resins as the binder. They are known for their durability and smooth finish. However, they can release a significant amount of VOCs.
  2. Enamel Paints: Enamel paints, often used for glossy and hard finishes, are typically oil-based and can contain high levels of VOCs.
  3. Oil-Based Primers: These are used as a preparatory coat before applying the final paint layer. They often have a high VOC content.

Due to environmental and health concerns associated with high VOC levels, there has been a trend towards using low-VOC or zero-VOC paints, which are formulated to emit fewer harmful chemicals.

Water-based paints, also known as latex paints, are generally considered to have lower VOC levels compared to oil-based paints.

When choosing paint, it’s important to look for labels that indicate low-VOC or zero-VOC content, especially if you’re concerned about indoor air quality and potential health effects. But you also need to look beyond the label in to the safety data sheet (SDS) to see the test results. They will speak for themselves.

For consumers, VOC levels are often listed on paint can labels, allowing them to make informed choices about the paints they use. Products labeled as “low-VOC” or “zero-VOC” have undergone testing to verify their reduced VOC content.

Their paint is water-based because oil based paints often produce large amounts of VOCs and latex based paints are not as durable as acrylic based. Their SDS show zero VOCs in the dried, cured paint as well as zero HAPs.

Their paints and sealers prevent off-gassing from the surface underneath. They block these chemicals from emitting harmful VOCs into the air. They are the only paint and sealer available on the market that does this!

Tips For Using Healthier Homes Paint From My Experience

Now that you know how Healthier Homes products work, here are some tips to help you get started with them:

  • Before painting, make sure the surface is clean, dry, and free of dust or debris.
  • Apply a paint primer, either the New Construction Primer or the Multipurpose Primer (formerly called Reno + Remodel Primer) to block any chemical off-gassing from the surface behind the walls and to prepare the surface for paint. You can use a brush or roller to apply it evenly.
  • Apply their Real Zero VOC Paint as a top coat to add color and sheen to your walls. You can choose from flat (matte), eggshell (low luster), or semigloss (medium luster) finishes. You can also mix different colors to create your own custom shades.
  • Optional: Apply Clearly Natural Lacquer Clear Coat as a protective layer to seal and enhance the painted surface. 
  • Optional: Non-Toxic Cabinet Paint + Furniture Lacquer to update your cabinets and furniture with a new look. You can use a brush or spray gun to apply it smoothly.

My Experience With Healthier Homes Paint

Recently, I used Healthier Homes primer and paint to repaint my dining room and we are obsessed!

I started with a coat of primer across the entire room. I only used about 1/4 the can to cover the space.

I will say I noticed a slight smell to the paint but it dissipated very quickly. It is mostly just a natural, clay-type smell. The room did not have this smell for more than a day, though! And I felt comfortable staying home while I painted over the course of two days.

healthier homes paint review

The primer went on incredibly easily. At first, I was a little nervous that I would have to do multiple coats. But the primer really provided great coverage to my walls.

Personally, I choose to do only one coat of primer since my paint colors were similar in tone and I didn’t feel like I needed more than one coat.

healthier homes paint review
healthier homes review

Now for the paint!

It’s a water-based paint and I have used plenty of water-based paints in the past and they are very easy to work with. I ended up doing two coats of paint to finish off the room and it turned out perfectly! We went with the color Windmill White for this space.

healthier homes review

One thing I did notice about this paint is that I had to be a little more careful about getting the right amount of paint on the roller. It took me a few tries but I figured out I had to make sure I was covering the roller evenly and rolling off as much excess as possible in the tray before rolling on the wall.

I did get some paint drops on the flooring where I did not lay plastic sheeting down and it was still very easy to clean up, even after it had dried!

healthier homes review

We love the color of our dining room and the Healthier Homes paint made the project so simple and easy to do! And this entire room didn’t even use a full gallon of paint.

I have also used the Natural Lacquer Clear Coat before on other projects and it’s incredible easy to use and sealed my project perfectly.

One downside is that their paint is only available in the gallon size. That said, they can color match almost any color you want so you have an incredibly large amount of options available to you!

Their paints come in 3 sheens: flat, semigloss, and eggshell. I used flat paint for this room!

healthier homes paint review

Final Thoughts on Healthier Homes

In a world where health and sustainability are becoming increasingly important, Healthier Homes stands out as a brand that truly cares about the well-being of its customers and the planet. Their innovative paint products not only beautify your home but also actively contribute to a healthier living environment.

The company makes nontoxic zero VOC paint, primer, and cleaning supplies for your home. Their products are made from natural and eco-friendly ingredients that improve the indoor air quality, protect your health, and enhance the beauty of your home. 

What really makes this company’s products stand out is the fact that everything they make is so easy to use, durable, and affordable.

So, if you’re planning a home improvement project, consider making the switch to Healthier Homes’ paint. You’ll not only enjoy stunning colors and finishes but also the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re making a positive impact on your health and the environment!

About the Author

Nicole Booz is the founder of GenTwenty and GenThirty. She is an entrepreneur, author of The Kidult Handbook, and most importantly, Mama to two beautiful little boys. She loves reading, organizing her home, and living a simple, less toxic lifestyle. You've seen her in The New York Times, TIME, Insider, Inside Edition, New York Post, NextAdvisor, Forbes, Yahoo, HuffPost, and U.S. News & World Report.