Paint safely
SA Home Owner|February 2022
From low to zero volatile organic compounds, Hasmita Amtha looks at eco-friendly interior paint solutions
By Hasmita Amtha, Photography by Paintsmiths, Simply Colour, Tjhoko Paint

There’s certainly nothing like a freshly painted interior – whether it’s a bold pop on a feature wall or a muted tone as the main colour.

Until recently, paint was largely toxic and far from eco-friendly. That’s now changing with paint manufacturers and retailers bringing out solutions that are not only environmentally safe, but are available in beautiful colours too.

We speak to local paint experts to share what’s on offer:


According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, volatile organic compound (VOC) paint contains harmful chemicals and carbon-containing substances that vaporise at room temperature and enter into the air. These gases have adverse health effects, triggering severe allergies and discomfort, and are bad for the environment.

To counteract this, low- to zero-VOC paints are fast becoming prevalent on our local market. Founder of Simply Colour Meg Shave, says: “Access to paint that is eco-friendly and non-toxic should not be a luxury that is not shared by all South Africans. Inhaling toxic paint fumes is not something that anyone should be subjected to, especially individuals who don’t have a choice to repaint their space.”

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