The issues

  • There is a large waste in paint manufacture, plus all the half-used tins we hate to throw away.
  • The colouring and materials used in paint are toxic. White contains titanium; red and blue are particularly toxic. Paint continues to emit toxic fumes for some time after being put onto your walls/furniture – take special care if you are decorating for a new baby.


There are 3 natural alternatives:

  • Natural paints – two companies are Auro and Earthborn
  • Paints made from natural substances e.g. clay
  • Powdered paints- these reduce transport carbon and you can mix the quantity you require.
  • Casein (a sort of milk whey) coloured by natural pigments.

If you have natural wood or cork, oiling is a better option than paint, Ronseal or polyurethane. It fills the pores, making it waterproof, able to withstand even a spilled glass of red wine.

Downloadable PDF on cleaning and paints