Disclaimer: Living Natural Today was given this product for the purpose of a review. I did not receive any monetary compensation to write this review. All opinions are 100% my own. I only recommend products I believe would be beneficial for you, my readers. This post also includes affiliate links.
My husband and I have been busy painting and unpacking during the past month. I’m so thankful to say that we are finally getting settled into our new home!
When we bought the condo, hardly any of the walls were painted a color other than off-white. I like off-white, but it was too much to have in every room. It looked too sterile. I needed color! I also wanted the pretty white molding throughout the home to stand out more, so I went to a local home improvement store and picked out the colors I wanted to use. We were planning to paint the entire place, so it took a little time to coordinate all of the colors.
Painting Can Be a Challenge with MCS
As someone who has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, I know that painting can be very difficult. When I was at my worst with severe symptoms, I wouldn’t have even considered new paint in the home, let alone be the one painting. Fortunately, I have gotten healthier during the past year and my symptoms aren’t as severe. Plus, if I do have symptoms, I can recover more quickly. Even knowing that I’m doing better, I was still a little leery of new paint. Fortunately, we were able to do some of the painting before we fully moved in, so I didn’t have to sleep in the freshly painted room.
I am thankful for some of the online “canary” groups which recommend safe products that they have used. I remembered seeing a post on the Canary Chat Facebook group that Angelique from Our Green Dreamhome heads up. They mentioned that ECOS Paints was a “safe” brand. I decided to give ECOS Paints a try.
ECOS Paints: A Safe Alternative
The first thing I did was scour through the ECOS website. Just the fact that they had a page dedicated to those of us with MCS called “MCS Safe” made me feel more comfortable with the brand. As those of you with MCS know, half the time people don’t know what you’re talking about when you say you have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or they act like they sort of understand, thinking that it’s just an allergy. Only if they knew what it really was.
I also noticed on their website that they had an Air Pure paint which has a “unique filtration capability that removes contaminants such as formaldehyde, acetone, glycol and benzene from the air”. My husband couldn’t believe how excited I was when I read that! It’s been a few weeks since we painted and I notice that it does help. We purchased a new piece of furniture that typically off gases. I sat it outside for about a week and then wiped it down with vinegar before bringing it into our family room. Doing those things help with the odors of the chemicals, but I usually still get reactions from the formaldehyde for some time. It’s a couple of weeks later and I can actually be in the same room as the piece of furniture. I believe it’s due to the air pure paint.
After going through their website, I then read through their reviews and decided to give them a call. The representatives at ECOS Paints were great to work with! They were there to answer any questions or concerns I had. They were also responsive afterwards via email.
The ECOS website says that their “products are free of pesticides, free of herbicides, free of fungicides, and entirely non-toxic”. They also say that their “paints are zero VOC and do not contain harmful solvents that off gas into the air. Safer for you, your family and the environment.” After using it, I agree!
Putting ECOS to the Test Against a Well Known Brand
Initially, I wanted to paint our entire home with ECOS Paints, but because of the cost I wasn’t able to. However, I was able to spread it out so that there is some ECOS paint in most rooms. In addition to ECOS Paints, I purchased Behr no VOC, low odor paint. It actually turned out to be a good test between the two brands.
Both paints had some odor the day of painting, but not bad. I wore a mask and kept the room ventilated. Fortunately, I didn’t get any major reactions while painting. While painting, I took some breaks and went outside for fresh air from time to time. After the rooms were painted, I was able to tolerate the rooms that I painted the majority with ECOS better in the days after than I was able to with the Behr brand. In the rooms that mainly had Behr paint, I got headaches for a few days later.
Tip: After painting, place plates with charcoal around the room to absorb fumes.
I liked the fact that ECOS ships all of your paint for a flat rate to a UPS store. This works great if you have a large order. In our instance, we were trying to paint before fully moving in. I also had family in town to help, so I was on a tight deadline. I was told by ECOS that they could accommodate my shipping timeline. Unfortunately, the paint shipment was delayed. They tried to remedy it, but it still arrived later then what was anticipated. In addition, 2 of the cans had spilled out some during the shipment. We didn’t lose a lot of paint, but it was a little messy.
Can the Same Color Have 2 Variations?
I gave both ECOS Paints and the store where I bought the Behr paint the identical color codes for one of the base colors I was using. There was a slight color difference between the two paints. It isn’t noticeable when they are on two different walls, but it is noticeable if I try to touch up using the different brand than what was originally used to paint.
On the picture below, we used ECOS Paints on the wall below the staircase and in the hallway. We used Behr on the wall above the staircase.
The paint seemed to go on similarly to other typical brands. For part of our paint job we hired professional painters. They had never used ECOS before, but they seemed to like it. The one painter even commented that he preferred it to other brands in regards to how it went on. ECOS mentions on their website that their coverage is up to 1.5 times that of traditional paints because it isn’t watered down with cheap fillers. I did notice that the paint seemed to be a little thicker than typical brands.
Overall, I would highly recommend ECOS Paints, especially for those of us with MCS! I am thankful that there are company’s like this who offer healthier, non-toxic alternatives!