Paint a Pretty Picture

May 2013Any time of the year is a great time to start and finish projects around the house. One of my own personal feng shui adjustments includes painting a room in my home. And, I must say that it has been awhile since I’ve been paint shopping. Selecting the right color and shade was grueling. It took a few weeks. (Wow, this process is much easier when I do it for clients.) What I didn’t realize was the process of picking out the quality of paint. When I was at Home Depot, I felt like I was at a Starbucks. “Do you want glossy finish, semi-glossy, flat, low VOC, no VOC, etc…?”

VOC stands for “Volatile Organic Compound,” which is a number of chemicals that turn into a vapor and then pollutes the air. It is not only found in paints. It’s also in varnishes, glues, and certain cleaning products. Formaldehyde is a VOC, and so is fish odor. To be environmentally conscious, no VOC is best.

Now, I would suggest that even if you’re not planning a painting project, go around your house and see what other toxics items you have. Do you have used old varnish cans in the hall closet? Do you know if any of your cleaning products are toxic? Yeah, it’s great if something can cut through grease, but what else is it doing to us? Where do you keep the bug spray?

Ideally, all of this should be out of your home. Unfortunately, many homes have attached garages, and that’s probably where all that stuff is. And, if you live in an apartment, space is always an issue. I can only hope that at least nothing is underneath your kitchen sink. If you can, get a shed, put it somewhere on your property, and store the products there. Hopefully, it won’t be too close to your neighbors. And, if you can’t do this, make sure no harmful products are in the kitchen, in the bedroom or near any place where you spend a lot of time. Just being aware where things are can be very helpful.

Pay attention to the products in your home. Read the ingredients. Look up words you don’t know. And, get rid of anything that is not healthy. Educating ourselves is a very powerful thing in order to have a healthy, picture-perfect home. And having a healthy home is having a healthy you.

Now, for me, I still have to figure out if I want a satin finish or not. Argh!