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Buying Natural Paints

Our paint team are always happy to give advice over the phone, however please look through the FAQ's below to see if any of these offer you the desired solution to your query. Please also note that the colours viewed on your computer monitor may not be wholly accurate as every monitor is different, these are here as a guide only, please ask for our colour charts for AURO, Greenpaint, Earthborn Claypaint, Lime Earth Paint and additional information on all our wood finishes, which we can send out free of charge. We always recommend buying enough paint in the same batch to complete a job as some small variation may be apparent between different batches. Natural paint emulsions are applied exactly the same as petro-chemical paints so treat them the same, however wood surfaces may need to prepared a little bit more especially if previously painted with acrylics or PU varnish.

I am decorating my baby's bedroom which paints are safe?

All our paints are non toxic and those marked solvent free are minimal VOC (best E.U VOC level 0-0.29%). AURO offers the best range of durable emulsions with the lowest emissions; look at AURO woodwork paints and woodstains for cots, doors and window.

Do I need to treat bare plaster before I paint it?

Yes, we recommend adding about 10 - 20% water by volume to the paint; alternatively AURO 301 Plaster Primer will help. This helps it go on more smoothly as the plaster soaks up water very quickly.

I've got flaky/crumbly plaster what can I do?

You just can't paint on flaky or crumbly plaster it won't work and will peel off. Remove any loose material before you paint. You may need to re-plaster if the damage is extensive and you want a smooth finish. If you're after a more rustic look then a thick breathable paint could work well, for example Earthborn Claypaint or Lime Earth Paint.

Can I use your gloss paints on radiators?

AURO 257 is a special radiator paint designed to be long lasting on heated surfaces up to 70oC. Make sure radiators are off for at least 3 days after painting.

I'm repainting previously painted woodwork do I need to scrape back to bare wood?

Make sure all flaking, loose paint is removed. If the previous paint is in good condition then a light rub down with sandpaper to key it off is required. If using Greenpaint Semi Gloss on interiors wood the undercoat is required especially on acrylic or oil based previous coatings. If the wood external the options are more limited if they've been previously painted. AURO 250 Gloss can be used but  requires an undercoat; AURO 253 is recommended after keying back. 

Which paint lasts longest on window frames?

We find the best results come from using AURO 250 Gloss, prime bare wood as required using the suitable AURO primer. The wood finishes like those from OSMO Country Colour also last a long time and won't flake or peel, but generally these need to go on to bare wood.

What can be used to seal stone?

AURO 114 Brick Oil, AURO 126 Hard Oil, AURO 129 Oil/Wax Impregnation and OSMO Polyx Oil can be used on stone and unglazed tiles, stone, slate and cork. For interior use only though.

Why did my door/floor change colour after it was painted with a clear finish?

Many of our clear finishes are water based, this naturally raises the grain of the wood. Oak and other woods rich in tannins may need to be treated more carefully with special primers first. For example AURO 117 Special Primer or Osmo Extra Thin Oil is recommended for these woods and stops them going too orangey, due to the tannin, when painted with a clear finish. Oil based products naturally ‘fire' the wood and it's difficult to stop this. Always try a test area to ascertain the tone you will get.

I suffer badly from allergies. Can you advise on which paints to use?

This is sadly becoming a more and more frequently asked question. All our paint is non toxic and most are water based. AURO paint is the most natural and has all ingredients fully declared. However if you have allergies we highly recommend that you purchase a tester pot first and try it on the surface you plan to paint. Even if the paint is safe in itself it may combine with elements of the existing surface, for example old wallpaper, and cause an allergic reaction.

I'm mixing my own colour for painting my bathroom what should I use as a medium/binder for the pigment?

We recommend AURO 524 Premium Washable Emulsion. These paints are suitable for high humidity areas and powdered pigments can easily be added to them if mixing your own colour. Use no more 100g of pigmnet per litre of paint though.

A more traditional approach with pigment is to use Casein Powder, which works beautifully. Unfortunately Casein is not suitable for bathrooms or kitchens where there is a higher moisture content than other rooms. Much deeper shades can be achieved using casein though as a lot more pigment can be added per volume compared to the liquid paints above.

Always slake powdered pigments first by adding water and mix to a thick creamy consistency and leave to stand for a couple of hours before adding into a wet base paint.

What's the best wood finish for my kitchen/living room floor?

Our first choice is the AURO 123 Hard Oil for the best blend of economy and durability - it can be installed as either 2 coats of the oil or one coat of oil and one coat of wax; for a quick application the AURO 125 One Coat Oil-wax will offer a durable oil waxed finish in only one coat. Altrenatively Treatex Hard Oil offer a quicker drying option although this does contain a small amount of solvent.

I want an emulsion paint, how do I choose between Auro and Green Paint?

They both do the same thing it depends on how natural you want to be. For 5 litres of matt emulsion the price is similar. AURO has very good environmental credentials being carefully formulated and produced in an accredited CO2 neutral factory. However it is imported from Germany whilst Greenpaint is made in the UK. They vary in other ways too, the colour ranges are quite different, AURO being more muted and pastel using only plant and mineral pigments. Greenpaint have some non toxic synthetic pigments in them to ensure much deeper and more varied colours. Both are minimal VOC (volatile organic compounds).

Do you do colour matching?

No, I'm afraid not, because our paints use natural pigments we often cannot achieve the intensity of some paints using acrylic colourants.

I'm painting a wooden toy for a young child - which paints are safe to use?

All OSMO oils, Greenpaint Semi Gloss or AURO Gloss/Satin would all be safe. For natural wood finish use AURO water-based clear wood finishes or 160 woodstains (32 colours) if you want the grain to show.

My wooden floor is quite orange and I do not want it to go any darker, but want to use a wax or oil finish. What should I do?

OSMO make a white primer for Polyx Oil which gives a white limed effect to the surface. This is an ideal light base for a Polyx Oil top coat. Similarly AURO's 126-90 White Hard Oil finished with their 171 Hard Wax is an excellent solution. If you simply want to neutralise out the effect of ‘firing' but don't want a limed white effect then AURO's 109-90 is just the ticket.

Whats the best way for me to measure my room to order the right quantity of paint?

For floors and ceilings measure left to right and front to back and multiply one figure by the other to get the "square" area. Add 10 percent to that figure for safety. 

For walls measure the length of each wall to be painted and add the figures together to give you the perimeter of the room. Measure the height of the room and multiply the two figures together to give you the total area. When calculating the total area of a room, bear in mind that you don't need to include the space taken up by kitchen units, tiling, doors and windows etc.

You often list special offers - are these available online or in store?

We try to bring you a special deal every month often as a result of special terms we've negotiated for a set period; we only offer these deals for orders placed via the online webshop although orders can be marked for collection from our store.

Inside the greenshop:

Our natural range has been chosen because it is gentle on your body and kind to the planet. Whether you are looking for simple paraben free bodycare or an indulgent luxurious organic product our enticing collection is just right for you.
Books and DVDs
If you are just beginning to scratch the surface or want in-depth specialist information, our books are carefully chosen and thoroughly researched. There is inspiration and information for all ages, from eco building and architecture, energy and gardening to arts and crafts.
Make a positive choice for yourself and the environment by choosing cleaning products that are both natural and biodegradable, but at the same time comparable to conventional synthetics. Our range includes not only the classic green cleaners but also some unique products.
Energy and Recycling
A lot of people are now waking up to the idea of renewable energy and recycling. If you are concerned about the carbon footprint then take a look at our extensive range of innovative energy saving products: from light bulbs to electricity saving kits, from natural insulation to Sunpipes.
If you are thinking about giving but want to make sure your impact on the planet is nothing but good then why not buy green presents from the Greenshop as we have researched thoroughly the ethics of all the products and their suppliers. We have a lovely range of eco presents for friends and family of all ages from toys, gadgets and clothing to books and toiletries, which include being Fair Trade, organic, sustainable or recycled. You don't even have to leave the house, all you need do is sit back, relax and buy from us online.
Home and Garden
If you are concerned about the environment or simply want less chemicals and more natural products in your home we can help you make a difference. In the long run this can make a positive contribution to your daily life and also to others. Take a natural approach by choosing an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Natural Paint
The Green Shop offers the widest selection of natural and eco paints available in the UK and we have specialist knowledge built over 15 years sales to allow an easy transition into the world of natural and organic paints. Please note that colours may appear differently on your computer, we would always recommend trying tester pots before making a big decision. As with all natural paints we recommend ordering enough paint to complete a job to ensure consistent batch numbers, subtle differences may occur between batches.
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