Green Diva Style: Decorating with Non-Toxic Paint

We are moving Green Diva Headquarters (which also happens to be my home!) in two weeks. Very exciting stuff, if not exhausting! We started painting this week. We’ve been researching this for a couple of months. We started back when we did a Sleeping Naked is Green segment with Chris Murphy of Smart Little House, who talked to us about the difference between low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound), non-VOC, and non-toxic paints.

What we learned back then was that the VOCs that impact our health are not regulated – WHAT?!? Only the ones that are harmful to the ozone are regulated.  There are a lot of other chemicals in house paint that are NOT researched or regulated. So, while the big paint companies are busy lowering if not removing some VOCs from their paints, there are a lot of other VOCs and hazardous compounds that have not been well researched or regulated. Many of these are suspected to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic, hormone disrupting, and can cause asthma and illness to humans and animals as well as generally bad for the environment. ICK!

For this reason, my husband and I have chosen to go with Mythic Paint, which they call  ”zero-toxic.” According to Chris Murphy, we can paint with the windows all shut and we won’t smell it, and even a very chemically sensitive person can be in the room with no ill effects. Psyched to try it! I’ll definitely report back in. So far, Chris is NOT exaggerating – the paint is benign on the nose and looks gorgeous on the walls!

So, I got to chat with GD Lisa who is traveling and is in Austin, TX right now, and here’s a brief video with more details on this topic as we play with paints and get ready to move out here in NJ!

Our very own Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D) from NJ is sponsoring a the Safe Chemicals Act to regulate not only new chemicals coming into the market, but existing ones that are suspected to be toxic and tend to be pervasive in a variety of products, including household paints. I will vote for Frank again! Please read up on the act and if you agree with its intentions, please contact your own senators to help gather support for the Safe Chemicals Act!

About the Author

The Green Divas share low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green through a weekly radio show, podcasts, videos and blog posts. Working with talented partners and credible sources like myEARTH360 the Green Divas produce content on a variety of topics relating to a healthy green lifestyle. Visit The Green Divas website to learn more, and check out The Green Divas on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter too!
  • Monica

    We’ve got asthma and allergies, so we tried the Mythic Paint and was very disappointed. It still had odor that lasted for weeks and the quality was less than I expected, especially for the high price. We re-painted the room using Freshaire Paint (http://freshairechoice.com/) and loved it. It had no odor, covered great, looked great, and was really impressed with the high quality.

    • Lynn

      Finally someone who had the same experience with Mythic Paint that I am having. My husband painted several bedrooms in our home with Mythic Paint. Long story short, we have been living and sleeping in our living room for the past 8 weeks. I had a terrible initial reaction to the paint… my throat swelled and I could not breathe. I can still smell the paint and cannot got to the back of my house. We have tried everything from putting baking soda, vinegar and charcoal in the room to absorb the smell. Nothing works! We are running a dehumidifier day and night and using box fans in the windows to draw out the smell. I called the company and they claimed that the paint should be cured and finished off gassing after 60 days but it has not! I am beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to go into my bedroom again. I am beyond disappointed at $50 a gallon. I do not believe Mythic’s claims and I hate that I ever purchased and used this product. By the way, I purchased the white semi-gloss, thank God I didn’t choose a color…no telling how much worse the smell would have been.

      • wow. i’m so sorry you had such a disappointing experience. seriously – i just painted the whole house and it doesn’t smell at all, our painter, who has never worked w/ anything but benjamin moore or sherwin williams was really impressed by its performance and we used less because it covered some very dark colors better than the other stuff. seriously, i am not being paid by mythic, didn’t get ANY discounts or anything on the paint, and i’ve had nothing but a good experience so far. i’m also highly chemically sensitive and i’ve not had any problems at all.

  • Art

    Meg,

    It’s tough to know who is who on the internet. Even a well-written take-down of a product could have been written by a competitor.

    My experience with Mythic so far has been like yours: Virtually no odor. And none of my usual physiological allergy-like reactions. I am extremely chemically sensitive — I react quickly to everything from pthalates to essential oils to plasticizers to solvents — and I have zero reaction to this paint — none. The New York Times reviewed it and reached a very similar conclusion. The critiques posted above don’t resemble anybody else’s experience I have read about, and I’ve scoured the internet looking for critiques.

    I am not a 100% fan of the product. I think its coverage is a bit weak, its workability not quite optimal, and I object very strongly to the parent company’s failure to fully disclose ingredients. (I consider full disclosure an ethical/moral obligation in any company marketing its products as non-toxic. It’s not required by law, but it *is* required by ethics, in my opinion!). We are only using Mythic because we can’t find a reasonable alternative that doesn’t cause my chemically-sensitized sinuses to sting, my lungs to burn, my eyes to water, and my face to turn red.

    I certainly am not working for Mythic or any of its sister/parent companies. I’m just a homeowner. I decided to comment here only because it strains credulity to hear this particular paint described as producing noxious fumes. That seemed just so very implausible.

  • Home Improvement Company

    We had some clients request that we use special paint as they are sensitive to or allergic to the materials in the paint and the smell of it. There are companies that specialize in this industry and you need to find out if there are any special chemicals in the paint that are NOT included in the paint manufacturers description. I would also suggest buying and paying for the paint yourself when hiring a painting company to ensure that you are getting the kind of paint that you want.

  • Rose

    It’s sad to see others have had the same experience with Mythic paint as us. The Mythic semi-gloss we just used on our living room wall has a horrible plastic odor. It is still horrible after having the windows open during application and since. We got mythic because it was on sale. I plan to order AFM primer to get rid of the Myhtic odor and repaint with Biosheild which is what we have used in the past with great results.