Jill Fehrenbacher

AFM SAFECOAT: The Safest 'Eco' Paint Around

by , 08/02/08

AFM Safecoat: The safest ‘eco paint’ around, AFM Safecoat paint, Safe coat paint, doctor recommended paint, healthy paint, eco paint, green paint, low VOC paint, no VOC paint, no fume paint

There’s a lot of talk about indoor air quality and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) these days, and if you’ve been paying attention, you may know that paint can play a large part in contributing to poor indoor air quality. So what to do if you are moving or want to give your space a fresh coat of paint? The answer is to look for low or no-VOC paints. Almost every major paint brand produces ‘Low-VOC’ paints these days, but despite the wide variety of options available, not all ‘eco paints’ are created equal.


I recently moved into a new apartment and approached the move as a perfect opportunity to start with a clean green slate. In terms of making a new green beginning, paint is often the best place to start. Indoor air quality is often an afterthought for many people, but it plays an important role in personal health and comfort within a space. Poor indoor air quality can contribute to headaches, fatigue, depressed immune system, asthma and even more serious illnesses like cardiovascular disease and cancer.

So clearly, when undertaking a paint project, you want the healthiest and safest paint out there. However, its not always easy to to differentiate between the myriad ‘eco’ brands that have popped up recently. When faced with this dilemma myself I turned to the natural source for green building expertise in my local area: my friends over at Bettencourt Green Building Supply.

GREEN BUILDING EXPERTS RECOMMEND AFM SAFECOAT
I took an informal poll of about ten different green building experts that I knew on the best ‘eco paint’ available and to my surprise, I got the same response from almost everyone I talked to: AFM Safecoat. Apparently AFM Safecoat is widely known to be the safest and healthiest brand of no-VOC paint currently on the market. We’re not just talking ‘low-VOCs’ but NO VOCs, and no other toxins either. Apparently while most other “low VOC” products on the market are low in what the government regulates as Volatile Organic Compounds, they still contain a host of unregulated toxic ingredients (such as ammonia, acetone, exempt solvents and odor masking agents), which can be equally nasty on indoor air quality and your health.

After the unanimous recommendations for AFM Safecoat that I got, I was so convinced that I decided to give it a try. The odorific difference between Safecoat and traditional paints was immediately perceptible. To start, you can’t smell AFM Safecoat paint at all – even when it is wet and in the can. And I’m saying this as a heavily pregnant lady who has developed a superhero sense of smell overnight. The odor you can normally smell with most paints the scent of off-gassing VOCs. My apartment didn’t even smell while I was in the process of painting, and certainly not at all afterwards while the paint was drying. The color and tone of AFM Safecoat also excellent, and I didn’t notice any perceptible difference from almost any other kind of ‘regular’ stinky paint. The only difference is that AFM Safecoat is a bit more expensive than your average joe paint. But when it’s your health and the health of your loved ones at stake – isn’t a few extra dollars for a paint can worth it?

+ AFM Safecoat

+ Bettencourt Green Building Supply

$35 from Greenbuilding Supply

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10 Comments

  1. Chelsea Nicholas June 8, 2013 at 3:35 am

    I came to know about VOC a few days with a TV commercial. I always use the paints which confirms that it have got 0 VOC. Even painting needs to be healthy if you want to live healthy. http://www.colmetsb.com

  2. HealthMinded HealthMinded November 21, 2011 at 8:18 am

    (2yrs ago when I wrote previous comment username was lifesdream)
    We have found a very very safe paint company and when I received the update comment in my email about this article, I knew I had to come share it for anyone else looking for safe paints.

    This paint is so safe and non-toxic and NO VOC’s at all, that you can literally EAT IT!!! Please, I urge anyone to go to http://www.ecospaints.net to look at the products they have and order FREE samples if you like! I DID! I ordered about 10 different colors and they even ship the samples FREE too! So, there is NO reason not to try them out. They have a full color brochure online to choose from and if you want that sent in your sample order, which I highly recommend since computer screens can alter the true color a bit, include that in your order as well. I called and spoke with them because I had many questions having MCS and they were extremely friendly and helpful! They are a 20+ year old company from the UK and now have a place here in the USA in SC. They will even custom order colors for you and still NO VOC’s in the paint. I am not kidding you could eat it if you wanted to and it would not hurt you one bit! When people tell me their products are “mcs safe”, one of the first things I ask them is, “can you eat/drink/ingest it” and that shocks them, but it gets the point across that it must not be THAT safe if you can’t do that! To me SAFE means FOOD GRADE ingredients and ECOSPAINTS IS that company! I know I probably sound like a salesman from the company, but I assure you I am not. I just like to spread the word about great products that are MCS safe when I find them. I have recently started an MCS blog and am doing just that. God Bless and good luck to all with MCS and finding safe products to use whatever project you are doing. Nirvana Safe Haven is an excellent resource also for all types of MCS safe materials, beds, cleaners, etc. Great site with lots of info.

    Next time you need, stain, paint, varnishes, please turn to http://ecospaints.net and give them a try. You will not be disappointed and you will not be recovering from any toxic fumes.

  3. onlyarose November 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Paint is one the most toxic materials on the market. I say make your own judement BEFORE buying/using the paint if possible. I’m sure there are samples out there somewhere… Lowes, Home Depot.

    I’d make them open the can!

  4. lifesdream November 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Stay AWAY from AFM SAFECOAT POLYURESEAL BP if you have chemical sensitivities!!! It is NOT safe as they try to portray. I have MCS, my fiance has asthma and we specifically used this product so we would not have any problems when he refinished the floor with it.

    BAD IDEA!!! This stuff is WORSE than if he had used Minwax Water based polyurethane product. That only has a 3 day off-gassing period and then you are ok. SAFECOAT has been off-gassing for over a month now!!! We have rented this house and are unable to move in yet because of the off-gassing. Sucks to be paying rent and now can’t even move in!

    We have several 4lb pans of fresh dry coffee grounds in each room, 25 lbs of unscented adsorbable clay kitty litter divided up into pans in each room and now also 25 lbs of activated carbon divided up into pans for each room as well! After we put the carbon in, the smell has diminished ever so slightly. Still not safe enough to live in, that’s for sure! Now, trying to figure out what else we can do to speed up the process. He has asthma and had to wear a full face respirator the entire time while refinishing floors. I am not even able to go near the place.

    If you have MCS, please don’t think this is the answer, it’s NOT!!! Do yourselves a favor and use something else or tile or something. This product should be banned from the shelves and taken off the market! Shame on AFM for advertising this as safe. I wrote them a letter about our experience and that was 2 weeks ago. To this day, still have heard nothing from them. Not even an apology or a possible solution.

    Look up the safecoat complaints. There is another family complaining that they had this put on their new wood floors in their house and they are still unable to move in after 6 whole months!!! Yes, this is how bad this product is!!!

    I don’t think it will ever stop off-gassing. It’s just horrible, horrible stuff. Just wanted to let the rest of you out there know our experience. It has been a nightmare! I wouldn’t even recommend this for those who are not sensitive to chemicals as this very product could push your body over the edge and you could become just like myself and many others with MCS. All it takes is one exposure to a product like this and you could be among us fighting for safe products for all of us to use.

  5. Cayden May 18, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    The Fresh Aire Choice paint is also a really good option. It’s the first tinted paint to contain no VOCs. Check it out at FRESHAIREPAINT.COM

  6. aubrey March 17, 2009 at 1:04 am

    what colour orange is being painted on the wall above?

  7. ecopainting September 30, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    AFM has been around a long time, but there are far superior products on the market where coverage and durability are concerned, including some that are zero VOC as well: http://www.ecopainting.com

  8. lisetrise August 5, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    I have used AFM products in a former home and talk about them on my website about green building. People would be amazed at how many toxins are found in new construction materials and finishes!

    Safer is so much better – then you won’t find yourself needing to move out after you pain!

    Thanks for your comments.

  9. theokobox August 3, 2008 at 9:24 am

    I have major chemical sensativites and fresh toxic paints gives me seizures ! I have had places i lived painted with AFM safecoat though and I could go in the house the next day and didn’t even feel dizzy.
    I have heard milk paints are even better! I would love to make my own.

  10. Sue August 3, 2008 at 5:52 am

    That s very interesting – I never thought that there were healthy paints and its to bad i didn’t know about this a year ago when I painted 3 different apartments within 6 months….(pregnant and with newborn…)

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