Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lullaby Paints - Primer, Wall Paint and Wood Paint

Lullaby Paints' Wood Paint, Wall Paint and Wall Primer in its unique packaging

A few years ago, when we first bought our house, I went to one of the big home improvement chains to buy paint for our master closet.  The previous owner's kids had scribbled with marker all over the walls and we wanted a fresh coat of paint to cover their abstract art.

At the time, I was aware of VOCs and wanted to get a Zero VOC paint.  An employee in the paint department told me that there was no difference between Zero VOC paint and Low VOC paint.  Since the chain didn't carry any paint cans marked Zero VOC, I trusted her, and bought one of their Low VOC paints instead, (This same woman also convinced me that a dark brown paint was the only one that would cover marker on the walls and led to the creation of what our friends will forever call, "the poop closet," so clearly I have a lot to thank her for).

We hadn't moved into the house yet so I went there and diligently painted the walls the color of feces over several days.  Even with a mask on and a window open, letting in the crisp November air, my head was throbbing from the paint fumes and it took well over a month to dissipate.  I wasn't pregnant with my first child yet, and like I said, we weren't living in the house, so I take some solace in that when I look back on the toxin-filled experience.

Four years and two kids later, when it came time to paint our basement, I knew I wasn't going to be fooled again.  I did my research and found three companies offering Zero VOC paints.  Two were available locally and one was only available online in my state, and that was the paint for us: Lullaby Paints.

This Zero VOC paint has a smell to it but it isn't the normal VOC-filled fumes and it doesn't smell as strong as even Crayola paints.  And after application I didn't notice any smell from the primer, and just a slight smell, like I mentioned, less apparent than Crayola's acrylic paints, the day the walls and ceiling were painted but it was gone within a few hours and smelled nothing like the highly chemical smell of regular wall paint.

Here are the ingredients:

The word "vinyl" is in there, and I normally avoid anything vinyl because that generally means phthalates.  But according to this website, polyvinyl acetate dispensers do not contain phthalates.  And Lullaby Paint's blog post on how to choose safe nursery paints lists all the toxins normal paints contain that theirs do not, and phthalates are on that list as well.

"Conventional paints contain a host of VOCs, leading to indoor air pollution levels up to 1,000 times higher than outdoors. From carcinogens to neurotoxicants, here’s a roster of super-toxic nasties you’ll find: terpenes, formaldehyde, acrolein, phthalates, glycol, toluene, methylene chloride, styrene, trichloroethylene, xylenes, and benzene. None of these belong in a baby nursery!"

Lullaby Paints are just available in a few stores and none was in my area so we had to pick the colors online.  I was a little nervous about that but Lullaby Paints will send you paint color cards to find the color you want.  I'm glad we got that because the whites were very different on the color card than how they looked on my computer screen.  You can also order sample pouches for a few dollars.  We finally picked our colors, placed our large order of primer, wall paint, wood paint and chalkboard paint, and within a few days the paint was on our porch.

The paint does come in a lot of packaging.  Because it is in pouches instead of cans, (something that makes disposal way more eco-friendly), it arrived safely nestled in boxes inside of boxes that were filled with packaging peanuts.  I came up with a great way to upcycle the boxes though and will be posting that next week.

Our painters were totally taken aback by the fact that the paint was in pouches.  Lullaby Paints' website helps you figure out exactly how much to order, as a little can go a long way thanks to their industry leading coverage.

Our painters did complain that the paint was too thin.  Since I don't paint homes very often, I can't confirm or deny that gripe, and I don't know how well they followed the directions.  They did, however, thank me in the end.  They said they have been painting for years but had never ever used paint that had no smell to it.

Yes, it is more expensive than VOC paints.  But I wanted something as non-toxic as wall paint can get.  And the good news is, if you're painting a large area like we did, Lullaby Paints does offer a coupon code for orders over a certain amount. Just contact their customer service and they will give it to you if it hasn't expired.

In the end, I'm glad we went with this paint.  I only wish it was available in stores in all states so more people would be exposed to it, and so that the company could cut down on packaging because it wouldn't need to be shipped.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for posts on making a chalkboard wall with Lullaby Paints' Chalkboard Paint, making small chalkboards with their paint, how to make a chalkboard paint birch tree mural (pictured below), chalkboard stairs, other chalkboard paint crafts, (can you tell we liked their chalkboard paint?), and the upcycle project mentioned earlier with Lullaby Paints' boxes.

Check back every Monday and Thursday for new posts.  

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Our chalkboard wall and birch tree mural, using Lullaby Paints


  1. Hi Supriya , thanks for recommendation on wall paint. Have you found any safe crayola marker's alternative. Something child can use to draw on paper or white board ( besides my organic wax crayons )

  2. I haven't had any experience with a more natural marker but the first one listed here is made with mineral pigments.