Issue 92 is out now
Leanne Patrick

By Leanne Patrick

24th February 2014

We recently went through a house move and, naturally, the first room in the house to be decorated was the childrens’ bedroom. I spent many months before the move designing layouts, fawning over colour schemes and wiling away hours upon hours on Pinterest. I had big plans. My eldest child, however, had different plans and decided on her own colour scheme. As I came to terms with her interesting ideas, I got to thinking... we’d be using a lot of pain in her bedroom and wouldn’t have the opportunity to paint before moving or air the room out fully even for one night. I quickly began to worry about the harmful chemicals and fumes.

Leanne Patrick

By Leanne Patrick

24th February 2014

Leanne Patrick

By Leanne Patrick

24th February 2014

I have spent a great deal of time researching natural products for my family, from natural toothpaste to family cloth and every crunchy detail in between. You won’t catch me washing my children’s hair with shampoo or using skin stripping soaps – no sir! But every now and then I realise I’ve forgotten about something. Maybe it’s that I sleep on a flame retardant chemical coated mattress every night… or maybe it’s that we all still wear non-organic clothes.

This time, it occurred to me that there might be a safe and natural alternative to emulsion and I quickly became quite excited about the idea.
I looked at a wide variety of paints and, ultimately, settled on quite a few different brands for each room of the house. My absolute favourite, however, is the paint we used in our daughters’ bedroom: Eicó Helmatt paint. Solvent and NFEO free, Eicó Helmatt is extremely low in VOC and even complies with the Swedish Asthma and Allergy foundation’s standards. It is extremely environmentally friendly and completely safe for use in a child’s bedroom. The range of colours offered are also incredibly bright, diverse and absolutely perfect for a child’s bedroom.

My daughter decided to go for their Summer Plum colour which, admittedly, is a little more purple looking online than it is on our walls. However, it is a wonderfully deep, rich colour that my children absolutely adore. For two large walls, with the use of a high quality roller set, we were able to use just 2 coats (3 in some places due to the texture of the wallpaper… woodchip!) and only 2.5L of paint. A little certainly goes a long way and whilst the first coat had me a little nervous with how low the coverage appeared, another coat was plenty for most of the room with just a few little patches needing touching up with a third coat here and there. Compared with other paints we used, such as B&Q’s naturals range and Farrow and Ball’s low VOC paints, the coverage and ease of use with this paint was excellent.

I was so happy with the safety and environment ratings that my eldest daughter was able to get stuck in and help (along with a few of her little friends) to paint her bedroom which she is still proud of to this day. It helped enormously with settling her into her new home and in making her feel like a an equal part of the moving process which I appreciated tremendously, since we take great care to treat our children as equals. It was a really special experience for the whole family, and let’s face it… how often can you say that about painting woodchip walls?!

Overall, I have been incredibly impressed. Whilst Summer Plum might not be everyone’s colour choice, it is well loved here and is just one of over 170 colours/shades available for the very reasonable price of £31.50 (less than I paid for any other natural/low VOC paint).

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