8 Best (And Cost-Effective) Eco-Friendly Paints To Buy Today

A paint roller applying blue eco-friendly paint to a white surface. Across the top of the image are the words, "8 Best (And Cost-Effective) Eco-Friendly Paints To Buy Today." In the bottom left is a green icon with the words "Eco Friendly" inside a circle with three stars in the top and two leaves at the bottom.

With the adverse impact of climate change already picking up momentum, the need to go green has become a defining aspect of consumerism today.

As a result, minimizing the use of plastic and equipment that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere or adversely impact air quality is expected.

One product is often overlooked for its ability to help save the planet, all while taking care of the health and well-being of you and your loved ones. This product is eco-friendly paint that results in zero VOC emissions.

Zero VOC paint is free of the chemicals and carcinogenic elements found in traditional paints that are toxic to human health. Conventional paint fumes also add to air pollution during manufacturing and application.

You may have often noticed your eyes burning or experienced an allergy flare-up while giving your kitchen drawers a new coat of paint. This irritation is inevitable because of the presence of harmful chemicals in paint.

Improved health and environmental impact are why eco-friendly paint is becoming the go-to product you can invest your time and money in.

It’s not just paint that can contain VOCs and other chemicals that can harm indoor air quality. You can read about how carpets can be sources of poor indoor air quality, and what you can do about this, in our article, “The Pros And Cons Of Eco-Friendly Carpeting (Why Consider).”

What Is Eco-Friendly Paint: The Breakdown

A wooden paintbrush applying white eco-friendly paint to a wall. In the bottom right of the image is a green house icon with two leaves nestled below.
Eco-friendly paint uses fewer toxic chemicals in its manufacture. Many eco-friendly paints are non-toxic and have zero VOCs.

Eco-friendly or environmentally-friendly paint is paint manufactured under certain environmental specifications (set by the Environmental Protection Agency or by voluntary agreement) and made using ingredients with a low carbon footprint obtained from the earth without causing a high ecological impact.

Most traditional oil-based paint is produced using minerals from the ground that have mainly been collected using highly intensive procedures that damage the ecosystem.

In addition, traditional oil-based paint has chemical components and pigments that are hazardous when inhaled. These elements include lead, cadmium, chromium, and even formaldehyde, consisting of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

They evaporate at room temperature—the so-called “smell” of paint left behind can harm indoor air quality and lead to eye irritation, headaches, and even kidney damage. On the other hand, green and eco-friendly colors are devoid of these elements, making eco-friendly paints an investment worth the money.

Environmentally Friendly Paint Benefits and Drawbacks

A paint roller painting green paint onto a formerly white wall. In the bottom left of the image, over the area already painted green, is a picture of the earth being supported by two green leaves.
Environmentally friendly paints are available in many colors and shades to suit any style. They have benefits and disadvantages, so ensure you choose one that meets your needs.

Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of purchasing eco-friendly paint. While the chemicals they contain are less of a cause for concern, being wary of them is essential.

The Pros

  • Eco-friendly paint is ideal for people who have pets and children, especially if respiratory illnesses are frequent in their homes. This is because eco-friendly paints are non-hazardous and help to preserve good indoor air quality.
  • They are known for their environmentally-friendly qualities due to the presence of low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Their manufacturing process has low chemical emissions.
  • These paints are low odor because they contain zero VOCs.
  • Many of these interior paints come with a richer hue due to natural pigments.
  • It can easily be disposed of without worrying so much about its adverse impact.
  • Eco-friendly paints come in tester pots as well, so you can do a patch test and see if they would work well with your home/room theme.

The Cons

  • Eco-friendly paints can take a long while to dry. But this is due to the minimal additives and chemicals in its formula.
  • These paints come in limited colors since they are derived from natural pigments. However, these colors are versatile and can blend well with any aesthetic.
  • They are a bit pricey but are worth it in the long run.
  • It can be challenging to find these products in stores due to the limited production capacity. Yet, you can buy them from renowned home decor stores in various US states or online through retailers’ websites.

Eight Cheap Zero VOC Paints and Eco-Friendly Paints (Brands and Prices)

Here are some of the top eco-friendly paints that can be found across the US.

They rank high in terms of durability, reliability, and affordability. As a result, these light-on-the-pocket paint products are all the rage today and can be used in homes and commercial properties.

If you’re looking for products to give your walls a fresh coat of non-toxic paint, the ones below are a good place to start.

BioShield Paint

A graphic of BioShield Paint being applied to a wall with a brush, and some of the company's swatches.
Image courtesy of BioShield Paint Company.

BioShield Paint is a water-based paint that is ideal for painting over bricks and textured walls. So, this paint would be the perfect fit if you have a brick wall inside your home or property.

The colors here are solvent-free and contain zero VOCs, and the ingredients used in making the paints are water, asbestos-free talc, and chalk. This is much more eco-friendly than oil-based paints.

One gallon of this paint will cover over 300 square feet. One gallon of BioShield Paint can cost you around $42, and you can order online.


Valspar’s water-based paints are one of a kind. If you see them on the shelf of a store or can have them shipped to your home, you should give them a try. There are over 2,000 colors available, and $50 can get you a gallon of this paint.

In addition, all you need is one coat of this product. Once the paint dries, your home will look bright and brand new. You can place an order for this paint at Lowe’s as well.


This paint brand makes water-based paint and is one of the few zero-VOC paints available on the market. In addition, it is certified by Greengard Gold, making it one of the most genuine and highly eco-friendly products on the market today.

A photo of four gallons of eco-friendly paints by Clare.
Image courtesy of Reactual.

The paint is also washable and has a self-primer included in its formula.

Thus, applying a layer of primer before applying this product is unnecessary, which will help you save on extra costs and time.

In addition, you can sleep soundly in your freshly painted room without fearing the potent smell of other interior paints giving you a headache.

The eco-friendly interior paints by Clare cost in the price range of between $40 and $60 and leave no odor behind.

Ecos Paint

The chalk interior water-based paint from Ecos Paint is quite durable. It dries quickly and is super resilient.

The best part is that, unlike oil-based paints, these paints are odorless as well because they contain zero VOCs. They are also washable and have a low sheen, which is perfect for those individuals who like a muted aesthetic in their homes.

So, get your hands on this nontoxic and water-based paint today! It’s produced in South Carolina and starts at a sample price of $3.95 for 2oz.


The eco-friendly paints at Behr are also Greenguard Gold-certified.

In addition, it has an emission rate of fewer than 0.5 grams per liter, making it a wise product to pick over most traditional paints containing VOCs.

A gallon of purple 'Marquee' by Behr, an eco-friendly paint.
Image courtesy of BEHR Process Corporation.

Moreover, these Behr paints come with a primer included.

These paints are also mold and mildew-resistant. Thus, helping you solve your mold outbreak problem once and for all! You will not experience any mold spores during periods with high humidity levels. 

Go Green World Products

The plant-based ingredients used in its production make this eco-friendly paint different.

Petroleum-based latex is not used in any of the colors manufactured by Go Green World Products. They are VOC-free and are 100% compliant with the EPA specifications and standards.

You can get a gallon of this paint for less than $50. 

In addition, Go Green has a wide range of other eco-friendly products, such as floor seals, wood stains, and coatings.

To browse through these products, head to its website to get started. You can place an online order and have your desired eco-friendly paint delivered to your doorstep in no time!

Dunn Edwards

The zero or low VOC interior paints at Dunn Edwards also have low VOC levels and have all the different types available, from interior paints to exterior paints and primers.

This paint manufacturer has been in the industry since 1925 and has long experience with the production of eco-friendly paints.

Two rows of Dunn Edwards "Everest" interior paint on the production line.
Image courtesy of Dunn-Edwards Corporation. Photo by Mark Skalny.

In addition, Dunn Edwards has improved its paint formula over the years to be affordable, reliable, and eco-friendly. 

One gallon of its paint costs less than $60, making it pocket-friendly. All you need is one coat of this product. 

Additionally, it’s easy to use. If you have young children who frequently draw on the walls, then investing in Dunn Edwards paints is the way to go—this paint is washable and free of any toxic smell and odor. 

AFM Safecoat

You can purchase a 2oz sample of AFM Safecoat paint for $6. The paints provided here are zero-VOC and are known for their smooth finish.

You can paint your walls, cabinets, furniture, and even your garage door with eco-friendly paints from Safecoat. Visit the website to learn more about the wide range of colors. 

What To Look For When Purchasing Eco-Friendly Paint Brands

A woman buying a container of pink paint in a large store. The clerk is dressed in blue coveralls and a blue baseball cap. Shelves of paint are visible in the background.
Always read the label on tins of eco-friendly paint to check they meet certification requirements. Remember to ask at the store if you’re unsure.

When making a paint purchase, you want to ensure that the product is 100% original. This is because it is easy to replicate eco-friendly paint using low-quality materials.

Hence, checking if it is genuine when buying eco-friendly paint is essential. Here are some ways to ensure this:

  • Make sure the factory label and seal are present on the paint can. If the seal is damaged or broken, chances are the paint has been used previously and filled again with a low-quality replacement.
  • Read the labels for certifications. These include the “Greenguard Gold Certified” or the “Greenguard Gold” label. These indicate the emissions a product can release and the amount of VOCs present per liter.
  • The declared designation identifies whether the paint meets the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) standard method. Be sure to give this a quick check as well.
  • When purchasing online, check the reviews and reliability of the vendor. Most scams regarding eco-friendly paints are done through online platforms.
  • Avoid buying used paint. Instead, always invest your time and money in a sealed can that comes with all the labels intact.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know everything about eco-friendly paints, you can start making your home more sustainable and protecting your indoor air quality.

All you have to do is get your hands on one of the low-VOC paints mentioned here, which are usually water-based paints, and transform your lifestyle into a more environmentally conscious one.

Look out for the Greenguard Gold Certification and any paints that have been Green Wise certified.

I expect you’ll be very happy with the results. From zero allergy flare-ups during and after paint application to a bright and eco-friendly home to walk into every day. It will help improve your home’s air quality and make it a healthier and happier place.

You can even share this article with a friend or family member who may be considering a home renovation project. Then, they can make the right decision and invest in these eco-friendly, low-VOC products.

We can help save our planet and resources for future generations by choosing paint with low VOCs. A prosperous and sustainable future lies in the choices we make, so let’s make the right one starting today!

For more information about using sustainable building materials, please read our article, “29 Sustainable Building Materials You Can Use Today.”

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