Eco-Friendly Painting: How to Incorporate Green Practices Into Your Next Paint Project

Jul 9, 2021

What does eco-friendly painting mean? Is it simply being mindful of less water usage and limiting waste disposal? If you’re looking to reduce your environmental footprint on your next paint project (DIY or with a contractor), consider more than just swapping out paints with high VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds that are chemicals emitted into the air from products).

Green initiatives have been popping up in just about every industry. For commercial painting and custom home painting, homeowners and painting companies alike are starting to lean towards more sustainable practices.

If you are thinking of tackling an interior painting project this summer, or are looking for a painting company that incorporates green practices – you’re in the right place! We want to help you make sustainable decisions, share what to look out for when it comes to eco-friendly paints, and what we do to incorporate green practices.


Vancouver Painting Companies Are Adapting Eco-Friendly Painting Practices

With Vancouver setting the bar as the third greenest city in the world, and with the increase of remote work in homeowners, the search for sustainable living practices has become a necessity. Throughout Greater and Metro Vancouver, painting companies have been continuously innovating to find greener ways of implementing paint practices. If you’re looking to modernize your home and add property value through an interior and exterior home repaint, start with adopting these eco-friendly practices and asking your painting contractor if they’re applying these to their work.

Limit Waste, Water Usage, Recycle and Repeat.

Rusty Paint Cans In a Bunch

Limiting waste

One of the most important aspects of eco-friendly painting is reducing waste, and the first step to limiting waste disposal is by calculating your needs.

At PLE, our crew is very intentional and efficient when it comes to the amount of paint and materials we buy. This has a lot to do with years under our belt that allows us the experience to pre-estimate the exact amount of paint and materials needed for a project, allowing us to reduce the number of materials we have to discard, and tools we need to wash.

We’ve also invested in painters backpacks where we store all of our necessary supplies in one backpack (shoutout to Purdy Painting Tools!) Our crew uses a lot of equipment per paint project. With an all-in-one carrier, we have everything we need, on the go, in one place for all painting jobs. It’s important to us to make sure every project is as efficient and smooth as possible, and our backpacks are an example of that.

Reducing water usage

When washing brushes and rollers, make sure you squeeze as much paint out before washing them. This will help to limit excess water usage when cleaning and prevent paint from going down the drain. Our water-saving trick is to reuse paint water for the first few times when washing paint brushes and rollers.

Another thing to note is that even if the paint is VOC-free, they still have chemicals that you don’t want leaking on the ground and into the storm drain. Paint water left on waterways, after rain can harm plants, animals and our water sources.

It is common in the painting industry to use an excess of water, so our team is always mindful to reduce the amount of water we use on-site by cleaning as many tools as possible in the same bucket of water.

Simple water-saving alternatives can save you money and divert less water from our rivers and creeks, keeping our environment healthy. That’s a win-win.


Did you know that the most recycled substance in the world is steel? If you’re wondering if you can recycle empty paint cans – the answer is yes.

 Not sure what to do with leftover paint after a project ends? Just ask your contractor to do the recycling or you can always drop it off at a local RONA or Home Depot. You can also consider dropping it off at a local Vancouver charity. When it’s time to recycle all used paint cans we drop ours off at our favourite local bottle depot Joe’s Bottle Depot located in Downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver. We’re passionate about supporting local businesses when we can while making moves to do good for the planet.

If you find yourself having to store leftover paint, the most important part is making sure your lid is tight and secure. Keep in mind to store paint in a dry cool place and off the ground to avoid rusting. (drop a couple of marbles in the paint can before sealing to make it easier to mix again.)

The concept of “going green” is more than just a “trend.” Being a green painter means you’re also trying to reduce your environmental footprint by considering water usage, paint waste, recycling methods, and eco-friendly paint options.


Choosing The Right Eco-Friendly Paint For Your Home.

Let’s start with what eco-friendly paint is. Did you know that it’s easy to distinguish between eco-friendly paint and traditional paint?  While the nostalgic paint smell marks the beginning of an exciting new project, this mix is also a sign of greenhouse gases and toxins that get released into the atmosphere when the paint is used.

Blue paint with a blue rolling brush on top of paint can

Eco-friendly and natural paint manufacturers like our partners Dulux and Sherwin-Williams offer our clients paints with low VOC’s and alternative ingredients that include milk proteins, clays, balsam, and other minerals as the base of their products. As our industry is progressively leaning towards healthier paints, we try to continuously educate our team on proper waste disposal and recycling. We recently attended a tour of the Dulux factory’s zero waste facility!

Whether you’re looking at little to no VOC, or 100% mineral-based paint, there’s no shortage of options, and as we’ve been working to provide a wider supply of environmentally friendly paints – our crew can answer any questions you may have.


Make sure to keep a lookout for the following during your search:

  • Ultra-low or zero VOC’s (less than 5g VOC)
  • Choose labels that say “non-toxic” or “no toxic solvent added”

If you’re getting your painting job done by painting professionals, it’s still beneficial to research and educate yourself on the paint selection process.


Do The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Paint Outweigh The Costs?

As eco-friendly paints are being termed as the green substitute for conventional paint, let’s weigh the pros and cons.

Minimal environmental impact

Eco-friendly paint utilizes water or alternative eco-friendly materials as a base, helping reduce your carbon footprint. Many are also biodegradable.

Low VOC content

Paint with lower VOC’s will be less harmful to the environment than traditional paints. When VOC’s are present, they leave behind an unpleasant odour and pollutants that can affect your home’s indoor air quality. We provide low VOC paint options from our partners Dulux and Sherwin-Williams, with a variety of shades, primers, and finishes to choose from.


When clients ask us for an environmentally friendly paint alternative for their home, the price point changes drastically. The reason low VOC/ natural paints cost more than traditional paints is due to the extra process likely involved in reducing the amount of VOC’s in the paint.

Natural materials

Some eco-friendly paints in the market are manufactured only with natural ingredients like seed oil, beeswax and lemon peel extract. During production, these paints produce no harmful emissions, leaving zero negative side effects on the environment. If you’re looking for natural paints we suggest looking into The Real Milk Paint Co. and ECOS Paints.

Eco-Friendly Painting Practices

Ready To Give Eco-Friendly Paints a Chance?

So, has this persuaded you to give eco-friendly paints a chance? Or maybe you’ve already made the switch. If you’re looking for a painting company that is knowledgeable in green practices – we can help in whatever stage of the journey you’re on.

Our crew strives to be the best painting company in Vancouver. We do this through continuous learning, leading by example in eco-friendly practices and applying our knowledge of the latest painting technologies. There can always be improvement in our practices, but we encourage everyone on the team to explore ways on how we can be more sustainable at work and in our daily lives.

We’re here to provide you peace of mind when choosing a more sustainable paint option and practices for your home. Start by chatting with a crew member today.