SO excited to chat with you all about the best natural paint! This post has been a long time coming. We moved into our new house in mid-November. This is our first home we’ve owned and we couldn’t be more excited to make it our own! We knew the first thing we wanted to do was paint it. Paint makes such a difference. We weren’t too fond of the color it was and wanted it to feel brighter and bigger. However, wanting a non-toxic home is at the top of my list and I didn’t want to compromise. Fortunately, after researching out natural paint alternatives I didn’t have too. I found Natura Paint by Benjamin Moore and was sold!
*This post is sponsored by Benjamin Moore, however, opinions and thoughts are my own.
If you’re unsure of what makes conventional paint so toxic, let me explain. Most paints contain VOC’s(Volatile Organic Compounds) gasses emitted from liquids or solids. They are known to cause a host of problems from irritation to throat, nose, eyes, headaches, nausea, damage to liver, kidneys and nervous system, some of the organic compounds have even been found to cause cancer in humans.
The largest factor is indoor air quality, which according to the EPA.gov is worst inside then outside-
Studies have found that levels of several organics average 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors. During and for several hours immediately after certain activities, such as paint stripping, levels may be 1,000 times background outdoor levels.
There are a number of other chemicals found in paint too besides VOC’s. Just a few are:
- Crystalline silica
Thankfully, there are waterborne paints now, instead of solvents. Waterborne paints are such a great option for so many reasons.
- Low odor
- Low VOC
- Quick dry time
- Great durability
- Less hazards and easy and safe clean up
- They’ve been proven to perform in both residential and industrial buildings.
I must note that there is no perfect paint out there. Only better options. It’s similar to nail polish- even the best natural ones still contain chemicals. They have to in order to truly perform. Paint is in the same wheel house. There are a lot more “green” options out there now, but they also don’t perform or the colors are not aesthetically pleasing. When choosing the paint for our house, look, feel and overall performance was a huge factor. You may get a natural paint but if it doesn’t perform, then what’s it good for?
My friend Steph from @stephdufordlifestyle used Natura paint from Benjamin Moore and loved it. She is very choosy in what she uses in her home too- even more so. Her son has multiple food allergies and multiple environmental allergies. She also has severe MCS(multiple chemical sensitivities) and has to be extremely careful. She has painted two houses now with the Natura line and has loved the outcome in both! She also shared this tidbit I want to pass on to you as well. She told me they recommend those who suffer from MCS to first test out a small area on a piece of wood and see how you react or possibly take it in the car with you before doing a whole room or house. This way you know if you tolerate it first.
Here is a quote from her:
As someone who has a child who suffers from multiple food allergies and environmental allergies, plus having MCS myself I was extremely happy with the Benjamin Moore Natura product both times we’ve used it in our homes. It not only went on just like you would want paint too but it held up, and did not cause us any adverse reactions.
I love that the Natura line has zero emissions after 4 hours. It also has zero VOC’s, is 100% acrylic and is a primer in one. Plus, it has a quick dry time. Everything felt dry after a couple hours. What’s even more exciting is it’s asthma and allergy friendly too! Here is a quote on the asthma and allergy certification on Benjamin Moore’s website:
We created a paint that is scientifically proven to have a reduced level of allergens. The asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program independently tests and identifies consumer products that are more suitable for those living with asthma and allergies. Natura earned the certification based on its odor, emission and VOC performance.
I love that it’s not hard to find or source Natura paint. Just head to any Benjamin Moore paint store and it’s there. Check out Benjamin Moore’s store finder here. They also have thousands of colors to choose from as well- another huge draw.
We chose the color Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65, Natura, Flat– a crisp clean white, similar to soft linen. We did our whole whole house in Chantilly Lace, except my daughter’s bedroom we did in Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52, Natura, Flat. We also didn’t paint the master bath or the kid’s bath yet- still deciding, but we did paint the 1/2 bath on the main floor(I forgot to take a before photo but it was all mint green to give you an idea). We had all the walls in the house painted in the Chantilly Lace and then my daughter’s room painted in Gray Owl and then the baseboards and trim were painted with Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65, Natura, Semi-Gloss. I couldn’t be more pleased with the overall outcome! The paint looks just as you would imagine paint to look and brightened up our whole house. As you can see below, the before and after photos show the difference paint can make!
What the painters thought-
We hired painters to paint for us. With little kids, we knew we just wouldn’t have the time or space to do the whole house ourselves. Plus, our house has some really high vaulted ceiling areas and it would be hard to try and get them. The painters were excited that the paint was from Benjamin Moore. They said it was a quality paint and good choice. They had yet to use the Natura line from them. I asked for their feedback after painting and they said it was a great paint! They did go over some areas three times where it was a little darker from the previous paint but other than that they were happy with it as well.
The best part? I could hardly smell it at all! We stayed at my parents for a week while they painted and I would come check on it everyday and was always amazed at how little it smelled. Even when my mom came over she kept saying she could hardly smell anything! My nanny said the same thing. I was excited since the biggest concern going into a paint job for me is always the smell.
I really can’t recommend this paint enough! The quality of the paint, to the zero VOC’s, zero emissions after 4 hours, and asthma and allergy certification make this paint the best in my opinion. Check out all of Benjamin Moore Colors here.
Of course I couldn’t write this blog post without some before and after photos. The change is amazing! This is just the first part of my Detox Your Home Series. I’ll be sharing everything we do to our house as we do it, from products we get, etc. So many of you have asked how to do it, excited to finally share the process and tips with you. Plus, once were done I’ll be sharing the final photos of the house. We are still in the decorating phase and haven’t put anything up or gotten new furniture yet- it all takes time. Bottom line- I have so much more planned and can’t wait to share it with you!
*Note- I live in Washington where there are more gray days then sun, so the color doesn’t quite pop as much in my opinion. However, the before pics give you a good idea of how much brighter it looks! Also, I had the light on in some after photos and some I didn’t, so you could really see what the color looks like in both lightings. I did notice in the photos with the light on the Chantilly Lace color looks a little more yellow tinted.
Living Room Before-
Living Room After-
Girl’s Room Before-
Girl’s Room After-
Master Bedroom Before-
Master Bedroom After-
Bathroom After- (Didn’t have a before photo of this bathroom but it was all mint to give you an idea)
So what did you think? Leave me a comment below! Have you used Benjamin Moore Natura before?
Sharing my favorite natural clean products. I’ve had a lot of people recently ask what I use to clean my house with. It may be because spring is here, and spring cleaning is looming over everyone’s head. I must say I’m a clean freak by nature. Ask my family, they’ll tell you-I can be a little OCD! Oh well, my house is clean. The spring cleaning bug has definitely bit me. I’ve been de-cluttering our place like crazy! My motto: If it doesn’t serve a purpose, toss it. Let’s just say I’ve given away loads of “stuff” these past several weeks and it feels so good.
In the spirit of cleaning, I thought I would share with you my top natural cleaning products. Everything from laundry soap, window cleaner, bleach alternative…well, you get the point. I’ve compiled this list after over 7 years of testing out natural DIY’s, products and everything in between. I finally feel my list meets my standards and is worth sharing. I mean do you know how many laundry soaps I’ve tried in 7 years?! I think I know every DIY recipe out there. I literally changed mine every couple of months.
Oh and you all must know how toxic cleaning products are…if you don’t, trust me when I say you don’t want them in your house! Some of the most toxic ingredients live inside those bottles, and they’re horrible for you to breathe, touch and have around if you have kiddos in the house. Half the products now are loaded with so much fragrance to mask their smell that it practically knocks you off your feet! Artificial fragrance, in my opinion, is one of the worst things-I can smell it a mile away.
So I’ve compiled my complete nontoxic cleaning product guide. Trust me, you won’t even miss your old stuff!
Love e-cloth natural microfiber cleaning cloths!
Household Product Faves:
I wanted to give a brief introduction about e-cloth before I continue sharing their products. The basis of e-cloth is that it offers a chemical free cleaning experience using only water. It does this through micro fiber technology, proprietary equipment, and manufacturing techniques. I love their mission:
“Our aim is to supply the most effective, healthiest and most environmentally friendly cleaning products available at a good value to the consumer.”
*Also, with many companies on the market offering similar microfiber cloths and products, learn why I chose e-cloth here.
This cloth has been another winner from e-cloth. One side is more grainy and perfect for getting rid of residue, while the other side is smooth for polishing. Both sides remove 99% of bacteria just using water-I love it! I just spray some water onto the stainless steel, then use the grainy side to remove any residue(make sure you go in the direction of your grain so you don’t scratch anything). Then I would use the smooth side to polish. It did clean my stainless steel well, but it didn’t leave it sparkling like I wanted. I contacted e-cloth and asked what the solution might be to get the “sparkle” effect.
They recommended the Glass and Polishing Cloth. So I got that, gave it a try, and bam-my stainless steel sparkled like new! The best part is it not only works for shining up stainless steel, but also for cleaning windows and mirrors. I would spray a little water onto my window or mirror and wipe away. No streaky residue. Are you hearing me people?! There was absolutely no chemical used to clean my stainless steel, windows or mirrors! Let’s just say I struck gold. I also used the Stainless Steel Cloth to clean my granite counters, and my countertops never shined brighter. I highly recommend these two products. They tackle so many cleaning jobs with no chemicals. Plus, no paper towel was wasted, just wash and re-use! Get E-Cloth 2 Glass & Polishing Cloth.
FAVES: a DIY natural dish soap, to my favorite dishwasher detergent and silicone scrub brush.
I’ve had this mop for over a year and a half and it’s been awesome. I used to have a Shark steam mop. It pushes out really hot steam that cleans your floors. However, I learned that steam can actually get under your wood floors and get moldy. I then was on the hunt for something else and found the Deep Clean Mop.
This mop uses a microfiber cloth to clean the floors. It attached to the mop with velcro. You just get the microfiber cloth wet and then it cleans your floors getting rid of 99% of the bacteria. It is so easy to use! I just throw it in the washer after use. I also will spray some Branch Basics All Purpose Cleaner on the floor as I mop for added benefit. My floors look clean and feel clean! Get it here!
These really work and are clean! They are fragrance free which I love and are so easy to use. Just add one tab to the dishwasher and that’s it. My dishes come out clean and streak free. Plus, as I mentioned they’re super clean- chlorine free, dye free, phosphate free. Made with plant-based mineral ingredients and biodegradable. Get the Ecover Naturally Derived Automatic Dishwasher Tablets!
My favorite natural laundry stain remover and dryer balls instead of fabric sheets.
This dish soap recipe is my fave! It’s so easy to make-literally takes a minute, it’s so effective, and it’s toxin free! Plus, you’re going to save a ton of money, since you’re not buying it pre-made. The recipe uses Sal Suds from Dr. Bronner’s and love it. I also use it for cleaning my floors sometimes when I want a little soap. For the full dish soap recipe head to Live Simply’s Blog here!
Branch Basics All In One Cleaning Kit-
I can’t recommend Branch Basics enough if you’re looking for an all in one cleaning kit to purchase to swap all your toxic cleaning products over to natural ones. They make it so easy! You buy this kit here and then you have one cleaning solution you use to make each bottle of cleaner. You add water and the solution to make each cleaning solution. From window cleaner, all purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, bathroom cleaner and even foaming hand soap. Plus they also have a product called an Oxygen Boost. This can be used to add a little extra grit to heavily soiled laundry, clean tile and grout, get out stains and add a little grit when cleaning bathrooms. Once you’ve used up the solution you just order more solution instead of more bottles. Saving on plastic and waste in the long run. Check out Branch Basics here!
Natural laundry detergent is so important in reducing your overall toxic load.
A couple thoughts on natural laundry detergent. I’ve found different water can effect how well a natural laundry detergent works. Just keep that in mind. Also, if you’re used to using conventional detergents that have so much fragrance in them it knocks you over, be warned that these will NOT be the same. Your clothes might not even smell fresh to you for the first few times because you’re used to synthetic fragrances.
Synthetic fragrance is so strong and can mask a multitude of things. But here’s the thing- it’s completely unnatural and you’re going to have to retrain yourself when it comes to what smells fresh and clean. So don’t give up! Give it time. If you really want some more “smell” to your clothes. Add some pure essential oil drops to some wools dryer balls and add them to your dryer. I’m so used to not having synthetic fragrance around that I can smell it a mile away. Just be aware and don’t throw in the towel. You may just need to retrain your nose to what real scent is! Check out my blog post on artificial fragrance and perfume here- it will make you realize you don’t want to be near synthetic fragrance in anyway.
EcoNuts Liquid Laundry Detergent-
This is my newest laundry detergent find! It uses soap nuts to clean your clothes. Not related to a nut at all but a berry tree. Instead of leaving it in berry form they make a liquid that’s more concentrated. I love that it’s in a pump form. I just pump a few pumps into my washer and I’m good to go. It gives my clothes a clean, fresh smell- even towels! Plus, you can get it on Amazon. Check it out here!
Pure Natural Laundry Detergent-
This one is also great! My clothes feel clean but don’t feel like they have a build up on them. My hubs approved too! Really good at getting rid of odors. The company even recommends soaking clothes too for tough stains or smells. They also get their cleaning action from the soap berry. This laundry detergent was actually created by a family that had children that were allergic to conventional detergents. They created Pure as a solution! It’s especially great for sensitive skin. You can even find it on Amazon. Get it here!
Greenshield Organic Laundry Detergent-
I love how easy this is to use. It feels like a conventional detergent without all the questionable ingredients. This also uses soap berries as the cleaning agent. Great for sensitive skin. They have a free and clear version, a lavender version, and even a baby version. My clothes feel clean and fresh. They also feel soft! I want to try their other cleaning products too. Get it here!
I love this detergent! It really works and is completely natural-what more could you ask for? I love the whole concept of using soap nuts. For one they aren’t nuts, but are actually a berry from a tree, how much more natural can you get?! They’re a sustainable resource and grown organically easily, they’re great for sensitive skin, and hypoallergenic. Not to mention they’re 100% bio-degradeable, and completely safe for water systems. If you’re not sold yet, they actually use less water than conventional detergent, are safe for front loading washers, and they cost less per load too. They’re just a pretty amazing little berry!! How does it actually clean your clothes? It takes the saponin contained in the husk of the natural berry, and uses that to wash and get rid of dirt. Yes, even my husband’s stinky workout clothes smell good! My clothes smell fresh, not artificial and they are clean. I’m addicted to this stuff and almost out- it really is some good stuff. Buy it here!
I like Molly’s Suds but sometimes after a couple months I feel like I need to switch up my laundry detergent and use something else. It feels like my clothes or towels are getting a residue. It could just be me and the water where I live. But just wanted to be honest about my thoughts. I do think they’re great! Nice to have a powder option especially for travel. They even have a liquid now too! I haven’t tried it but will update when I have. Check it out here!
Molly Sud’s Oxygen Whitener-
I really love their Whitener! It works well. The key is to leave your items to soak for a bit. The longer you can leave them soaking in the whitener the better from my experience. This has removed yellow stains from white shirts in the underarm area. It also has removed skincare stains from my white pillow case and freshened my white sheets. Get it! Check it out here!
Puracy Laundry Stain Remover-
This is hands down the best stain remover I’ve ever found! It works so well. At the end of the day my kid’s clothes can look pretty gnarly. This keeps them in tip top shape. I spray it on, let it sit for an hour and then use some water to scrub and get the stain out. As good as new! If you don’t want to wait for the stain remover to set in, no problem. I’ve often just sprayed it on and rubbed it in the stain. It takes a little more elbow grease sometimes but comes out! I’ve also used this on my carpet and it works great too.
I’ve had people ask me about the ingredients before because EWG doesn’t rate it as good. Remember EWG is a computer system and can’t take into consideration all of the things. This is something they missed. Read it here. Get the stain remover on Amazon here!
Wool Dryer Balls-
Say goodbye to fabric softener and fabric sheets. Literally one of the worst things you can use in your house! Filled with toxic chemicals that lead to depression, central nervous system disorder, headaches, dizziness and vomiting. Check out Dr. Axe’s full article here on the dangers of fabric sheets and fabric softeners. If you want your clothes to be static free and have a fresh smell, add some wool dryer balls to your dryer. Add a few drops off essential oil to each wool dryer ball. I like Branch Basics Wool Dryer Balls here!
Natural Scour Pads-
Scrub brushes and scour pads can really load up on germs quick. Most people don’t change out their scrub brush or pad. The germs and bacteria can build up over time, even parasites. My friend Steph from @stephdufordlifestyle shared with me a tip that she does and I’ve been hooked ever since! You buy a large pack of natural scour pads. Then cut them up into 6 or 8 squares each. Then just use one new square for each day and throw away the old one at the end of the day. Then it’s not harboring bacteria but you’re also not going through a sponge a day.
She uses a new one for each meal even. She has multiple allergies in her house so this is not only for sanitation but also safety purposes. I don’t have any family allergies so I just use one square per day. I get these Scotch Brite Natural Scour pads. I buy them in a package from Amazon. The scour pads are made from 50% agave plant and packaging is 100% recycled. I used to buy the Twist scour pads but I can’t seem to find them in bulk anymore. So I’ve resorted to the Scotch Brite Natural Scour pads for now since they come in a pack of 12. I don’t have to buy them for several months after. Get them here!
I LOVE this hand soap! Best organic, natural hand soap I’ve tried…hands down. I’ve struggled with finding a hand soap. It either wasn’t pure, or didn’t foam. This baby does it all, and has the best ingredients. Not to mention, it doesn’t dry out my hands! Everyone needs this in your kitchen and bathroom…trust me. They have them in several scents-they all smell good! Buy it here!
Branch Basics makes it so easy to swap out your conventional products for natural ones.
I’ve also picked up a few other cleaning tips and some DIY’s if that’s our thing!
Cleaning Microfiber Cloths– I get a separate set of microfiber cloths from Amazon in a pack of 12 or 15 just for cleaning the bathrooms and dusting. I get a different color so I have a set for the kitchen and for bathrooms. Helps keep things more streamlined and then I’m not using the bathroom cloths for the kitchen. Check out the cloths I get here!
Bleach alternative- I found this recipe on the blog Live Simply. Check out Kristin’s blog-it’s awesome! She has so many great DIY recipes and they actually work. This one is gold! You just mix hydrogen peroxide, washing soda and hot water. I can’t take any credit for it though. I’ve just used it for everything and I’m here to say it works. I typically soak my stuff overnight, not that you need too, I just forget I’m soaking things sometimes…opps! I’ve found it works best for things when done right away. Don’t wait a month, and then decide you want to whiten something…know what I mean? I had these white tea towels that hadn’t ever been whitened, needless to say they were in bad shape. However, they did turn out pretty white with a good soaking…but just get on the soaking asap just for good measure.
Use the same towels for cleaning each time so there is no need for paper towels. I don’t buy paper towels. However, sometimes there are seasons where my hubs pleads with me to buy some. Usually it’s when we have a baby. Sometimes convenience wins out. I buy Seventh Generation’s recycled paper towels and only allow 1 roll per week. We actually make it longer than a week most of the time. Typically we use these reusable microfiber cloths from Amazon here! Really good deal for a pack of them.
Here’s a recipe for liquid dish soap I like from the blog Mommypotamus, she really knows her stuff and this one is tried and true, and not full of the nasties.
Here’s a recipe for dishwasher detergent from the blog Pins and Procrastinations. I’ve tried a ton of these recipes, and this one has seemed to work the best.
Ok, that’s my cleaning regimen for now. I want to hear from you guys! What do you use? Leave me a comment!
Sharing my favorite natural cleaning products on the blog.