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Sustainable Marketplace: Greener Products and Services

Identifying Greener Paints and Coatings


Paint can make a space beautiful and unique. There are many types of architectural paints and coatings on the market and this webpage provides some resources to help you choose a safer and greener option.

Sustainability Considerations*

  • Reduction/elimination of toxics (e.g., ammonia, formaldehyde, odor masking agents, fungicides) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Recycled-content
  • Salvaged excess paints (some vendors can remix into almost any color)
  • Alternative paints (lime, milk protein, clay, and earth-based pigments)
  • Durability
  • Manufacturer or retailer take-back and recycling options for unused paint

*Depending upon the performance requirements (e.g., interior or exterior), building occupants, project scope, and other considerations.

Additional Resources

  • GSA's Green Procurement Compilation (GPC) is a comprehensive green purchasing resource designed for federal contracting personnel and program managers.
  • EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) for consolidated and latex paint (federal purchasing requirements for recycled content).
  • Federal Green Construction Guide for SpecifiersExit. Institutional and Federal purchasers can use this model specification language for paints and coatings (Section 09 90 00), which provides federal agencies' requirements and other practices to consider when specifying paints and coatings. 
  • BuildingGreen.comExitprovides print and electronic resources to help in the design and building of construction projects from a whole-systems perspective, and are publishers of Environmental Building News and the GreenSpec®.