Who Put The Pain in Paint?

Who Put The Pain in Paint? - Joseph Homes

Paint. That thick, gloopy substance which brings such personality and colour to the walls of our homes. What’s not to like?

Well, quite a lot, as it turns out. Even when it’s out of the can and up on the walls, your average paint contains a cocktail of toxins that doesn’t bear thinking about.

The Hidden Dangers

It’s a little-known fact that most mass market paints contain nasty things called VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds. These health-endangering chemicals are found in glues, cigarettes, cleaning products and pesticides. They’re the source of that harsh, toxic smell that’s released when you’re supergluing the handle back onto your favourite mug or giving the walls a new lick of paint.

But even long after the paint has dried and the smell has faded, the VOCs continue to release harmful gases into your home, causing asthma, breathlessness, nausea, throat irritation, liver problems, kidney damage. The list goes on.

Time for Change

Needless to say, we decided enough was enough. These harmful chemicals weren’t going to play any part in our homes.

Determined to source a biodegradable, non-toxic paint, we set off up and down the country in search of a supplier doing things differently. We found ourselves in the sleepy coastal village of Heysham, Lancashire, where we met Ian West, founder of Lakeland Paints.

Along with his business partner, John Ashworth, Ian launched Lakeland back in 1989. The pair had backgrounds in material analysis and science consultation, and in the early ‘80s they received a large research grant to try and establish whether it was possible to make quality, odourless, VOC-free paint.

After six years of testing, they successfully produced a range of VOC-free, solvent-free paints, wood paints and varnishes. They submitted their research report, set up Lakeland Paints and put their products on the market. But the industry didn’t follow suit.

Most businesses were and still are quite happy to maintain the status quo and continue within legislated guidelines,” says Ian. “So unless any chemicals are actually banned by law, companies will continue to use them, even knowing their harmful health effects.

The Highest Standards

Despite the lack of legislation around paint toxicity, Lakeland are committed to maintaining the very highest standards. They have every one of their products independently accredited, ensuring their paints, sealants and finishes are all completely safe.

And the health benefits don’t go unnoticed. “We have customers telling us that their allergies, asthma, breathlessness and congestion have improved no end after using our paints,” says Ian. “It’s really rewarding for us to hear that.”

Though they’re only a small business, Lakeland have supplied paint for the walls of the Louvre, Westminster Abbey and Googleplex. And this isn’t just down to the fact that their products are toxin-free. They offer 180 colours of paint and 40 different paint types and finishes.

Most companies only have four or five different types of paint,” says Ian. “But our range is so comprehensive because we get asked for all sorts of paint types on a regular basis – eggshell, matt, satin, gloss, fire retardant, the whole lot.

So whoever put it in, Lakeland really are taking the pain out of paint, and they’re doing it without compromising on quality or choice.

It’s this commitment to doing things the right way, this belief in better, that sits at the heart of the Joseph Homes ethos. Which is why we’re proud to be working with Lakeland, who are helping us towards a better, healthier world, one lick of paint at a time.

Who Put The Pain in Paint? - Joseph Homes Who Put The Pain in Paint? - Joseph Homes
Who Put The Pain in Paint? - Joseph Homes Who Put The Pain in Paint? - Joseph Homes
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