Paint for floors is notoriously higher in VOCs than wall paints.
These three paint options for wood and concrete floors are durable enough to withstand daily traffic and yet are low and zero-VOC formulations.
These are all water-based options. All three options on this list are excellent in terms of both indoor air quality impact and overall quality. The brands are all highly respected.
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1. ECOS Paints Floor Paint is formulated for wood and concrete floors. If you want a paint for wooden floors this is the top pick.
Their Porch & Floor Paint, which is more durable, is made for exterior and interior concrete floors (not wood!)
I really like ECOS Paints and it’s always the top pick for chemically sensitive folks. I’ve sampled or used most of their products including these two, and they are the best in the acrylic paint category in my opinion.
Their paints are all zero-VOC and of good quality.
Buy through the ECOS website.
2. AFM Safecoat Concrete Floor Paint – This is an acrylic paint with PVA. It’s mostly used on concrete floors, but there are some conditions in which you can use it on wood.
AFM is another favorite brand amongst the chemically sensitive that has been around for a long time.
This is a low VOC formula.
Buy through Green Design Center.
3. Farrow and Ball makes a floor primer. Their Modern Eggshell line is then used on top of that. This works on wood and concrete floors. You can find more info on substrate prep on their website.
Farrow and Ball paints and primers are PVA based which makes them very low in odor when wet.
Buy through the Farrow and Ball website.
4. Linseed Oil Paint is a durable paint that can be used on floors. This is a natural oil-based paint. The binder is linseed oil. Brands that I have tested include Allback and Earth+Flax.
If you are looking for a list of all-natural floor finishes (that are not necessarily paint), I have a post on that topic.
Corinne Segura is a Building Biologist Practitioner with 8 years of experience helping others create healthy homes.
Thanks for you research. If ECOS paints contains the preservative Pyrithione (w/out zinc), is it safe for people and small pets to have dermal contact with it, like walking on it? It seems like you and others like ECOS the best so that’s the brand I’m leaning towards, but since I’m painting my concrete floor I’m concerned about the health effects it could have through dermal contact. What are your thoughts?
Yes that will be fine once it’s in solid form. SDS sheets for dermal contact will be referencing it wet. I don’t worry about the small preservatives that are in all paints but if you do want to get into the weeds, ECOS has the safest one. You might also consider linseed oil paint for a totally natural finish.
Hello! I need durable floor paint, and can order only a few European brands (F&B \ ECOS \ etc – not available). Do you think Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Lacquer Gloss\Matt is toxic?
I need not toxic floor paint (durable too).
You have mentioned Annie Sloan’ Wax (not lacquer), quote: “I didn’t tolerate the wax by Annie Sloan as it was high in odor.”.
Wax is not as durable as Lacquer. And site recommends Lacquer over Wax for floor.
In the video https://www.anniesloan.com/techniques/how-to-use-chalk-paint-lacquer/ I see, quote:
“Although Chalk Paint™ Lacquer can feel touch dry within hours, it will take up to 2 weeks to reach its full hardness. Keep your furniture relatively protected until then”.
– I.e. potentially I need 2 weeks to not live in my room to fully drying\curing?! I can leave my room for a few days.
I have checked SDS of Lacquer – in short, it is toxic,
Signal word – Warning
Hazard statements – H317 May cause an allergic skin reaction.
P102 Keep out of reach of children.
P261 Avoid breathing vapour/ spray.
P272 Contaminated work clothing should not be allowed out of the workplace.
P280 Wear protective gloves/ protective clothing/ eye protection/ face protection.
P302+P352 IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of water.
P321 Specific treatment (see medical advice on this label).
P333+P313 If skin irritation or rash occurs: Get medical advice/ attention.
P362+P364 Take off contaminated clothing and wash it before reuse.
P501 Dispose of contents/ container in accordance with national regulations.
Contains preservatives CMIT:MIT (3:1), MIT and BIT to prevent microbial deterioration.
1,2-Benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one, 2-Methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-one, Reaction mass of: 5-Chloro-2-
methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one [EC no. 247-500-7] and 2-Methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one [EC no.
2.3. Other hazards
This product does not contain any substances classified as PBT or vPvB.
I would not use Annie Sloan with a protective coating on the floor, look for a paint that does not require a top coat. Lakeland might have one, F&B is a European company, and the linseed oil paints can be found in Europe too.