: ‘Green Labels’ Confuse Me!

‘Green Labels’ Confuse Me!


‘Green Labels’ Confuse Me!


You’ve decided a painting project will help you get through the dreary days of winter.


Simple right?  Not if you’re trying to be environmentally responsible.  Interior paints are not all environmentally equal.


There are five ‘green designations’ for paint…and they don’t all test for the same things!


Greenguard Logo


Greenguard:  Measures VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) levels, and only allows trace amounts.  Manufacturers measure the paint during drying and pay $3000 or more to Greenguard for testing and logo use.



Green Seal Logo



Green Seal:  Measures VOC’s, some hazardous and rates performance.  Manufacturers pay $2500 to $9500 for Green Seal testing and logo use.




Green Wise Logo




Green Wise:  Limits VOC’s and odors.  Part of the membership fee that companies pay is used for product testing by the Coating Research Group, an industry organization.



GreenSure Logo



GreenSure:  Sherwin Williams created and self-regulated.





Green Promise

Green Promise:  Benjamin Moore created regulating VOC’s in the base paint and colorants.




If you’re planning some painting this winter (especially with the windows sealed against the Jersey Shore’s wintery wind) do some research first.    







Comment balloon 17 commentsLaura Giannotta • February 05 2012 06:25AM


I understand people wanting to go green but ultimately it's the choice of the homeowner.  As long as it isn't some old paint that contains lead base just close your eyes pick one out and move on.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 7 years ago

Good morning, Laura.....I've always made sure my painters used Benjamin Moore..... I guess a promise is better than nothing....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 7 years ago

James-I came upon this when getting ready for my winter painting safari.

Barbara-From my research, I think Benjamin Moore is the only one that measures of additives to the colorant.  If you're using a dark color, that can be substantial.

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 7 years ago

Sounds like if you pay enough...you can be as green as you wish....ahhh yes...paying for designations/certifications...and in the end...it sounds like something to attract consumers...but what are they getting ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 7 years ago

Sally & David...you're giving me another blog idea!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 7 years ago

GOOD MORNING LAURA!  Hmmm...I'm looking at repainting the outside of our home and this gives me something to think about when buying paint!

Posted by Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind, Broker/Owner (KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Gabrielle...it's so you can't do anything any more without studying!  LOL

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 7 years ago

laura...The green labels are great, but whatif I want to paint a room Blue?  ;-)

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 7 years ago

Laura, this is great information. I had no idea that there were so many different labels.

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) about 7 years ago

Chuckling William!

Connie-When I checked back issues of Consumer Reports, there were only 3 designation in 2009!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 7 years ago

Laura, when I was much younger I had a painting company with a couple of good friends.  We never used to think too much about paint vapors although sometimes our lungs would feel like they were burning at times...of course with the oil based paints we knew enough to get as much ventilation as possible....so far we are all ok after all theses years, but maybe that depends on who you talk to. 

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) about 7 years ago

There's always something new to learn about green products.  I'm getting ready to paint my master bedroom.  I've chosen a color, but hadn't even considered green designated paint.  I'm going to rethink that!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 7 years ago

now you have made me think.. there are many more choices than I thought!!

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 7 years ago

Dear Laura,

This is a great post and I liked it so much I have re-blogged it. Its very timely for me because we are updating our kitchen and paint is one of the things we are doing! Thank you a bunch!!


Posted by Betina Foreman, Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY (WJK Realty) about 7 years ago

Thanks Laura - Winter is when I have a little time for painting, so it's good to know which paints are safest with the doors and windows closed.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 7 years ago

Thanks for the post Laura, I had no idea that there were so many designations. I'll be doing some painting soon and this will help. BTW, always been a Benjamin Moore fan, it just seemed to cover better than others.

Posted by Nancy Laswick, Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun (United Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Laura, thank you for this post-Kathy Strieb referred to it and I will be looking for these designations now that I know about them.

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) about 7 years ago