Environmentally Friendly Painting

Regardless of your line of work, it is important we all pay attention to how our actions are affecting the environment around us. At PPC, this mindset is very important to us as we know how much damage painting could potentially have on the world around us if we did not apply special care to our projects. We have our own standards to uphold with every job, but we want to offer some tips that anyone could and should follow when painting for any type of project.

      1. Use latex-based or water-based paint When painting, you want to use latex-based or water-based paints. These release less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than lead and oil-based paints—which are never the environmentally-safe paint choice. Volatile organic compounds are carbon-based emissions. These compounds are dangerous to both your health and the environment, so it is best to minimize VOC emission whenever possible. You can read more about VOCs here, including where they’re found and their danger.

        All kinds of problems arise when lead-based paint is involved. Not only do the VOCs make it bad for the environment and your health, but the lead in the paint is extremely toxic. There is a whole range of safety precautions that need to be applied when you are doing anything involving lead paint, even simply removing it. Those safety precautions can be found here.

      2. Make sure all waste goes into hazardous waste, not in the dumpster 

        Always be sure all paint-related waste is disposed of by means of hazardous waste. Never throw it in your regular garbage. Allowing paint to air-dry or using absorbent materials to soak it up so it can be thrown away is never acceptable either. In many cases, such as in the state of California, throwing away paint and/or paint materials is always illegal.

      3. Use reusable canvas products instead of paper or plastic drop sheets 

        This tip falls in line with what most people already associate with “reuse and recycle”. In most instances, paper and plastic drop sheets cannot be reused, but if canvas drop sheets were used, they can be reused multiple times. This eliminates needless, excess waste.


      1. Use water-based or powder coatings 

Using either water-based or powder coatings has multiple advantages for the environment. There are less VOCs emitted and these coatings protect the paint job longer, so there is not a need for as many additional repainting jobs as when they are not used. In the case of powder coatings, the excess powder sprayed during the process can actually be collected and used again in future projects.

      1. When doing more industrial or technical jobs, a treatment called cataphoresis is optimal


Cataphoresis is an electro-chemical process where a piece of metal that needs to be painted is placed in demineralized water with resins, pigment, and other compounds. Voltage is then applied to the water and the compounds adhere themselves to the structure in the process. This type of painting creates an even coating, almost no VOC emission, protection against a wide array of damages, and even fire resistance. Zafer Makina offers a more in-depth technical explanation of cataphoresis treatment here.

While some of these tips apply to more technical jobs (cataphoresis), these are reminders and tips that should be utilized when doing any type of painting. Team PPC cares not only about maintaining the superior quality of our work but our positive impact on the world around us as well.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia by Tom Murphy VII.