All things bright and breathable @Earthbornpaints

Not long ago, most commercially available paints for domestic use were full of nasty chemicals with high VOC content, giving off horrible paint fumes and being generally unpleasant to use. It was considered one of those things that homeowners and decorators had to put up with.

VOC legislation for the UK paint market didn’t truly come into force until around 2010, when it was recognised that the carbon compounds given out by most paints were contributing to global warming and being potentially harmful to health.

But, for many years ‘eco paint’ remained a niche market, considered by many to have poor coverage and a limited range of wishy-washy colours. Earthborn’s goal was to create a healthier, more environmentally friendly paint that stood out from the crowd, performing even better than conventional paints.

Earthborn’s first product was Claypaint, which maximises the natural properties of clay to create a high performance, highly breathable emulsion that covers exceptionally well and gives a distinctive, ultra matt finish.

Made from around 35% natural clay with no added VOCs and no smell, it’s thick, creamy, pleasant to use, oil and acrylic free. Perfect for older properties and lime plaster because it is so highly breathable, it is also favoured by those who suffer with allergies, as it is free from harmful emissions and safe for children’s bedrooms and nurseries.

But specifying breathable, eco paints needn’t limit the colour palette.

Earthborn’s Claypaint is available in 72 shades from soft neutrals to bold, rich tones – and they’ve recently launched seven new shades that meet the current trend for overstated colour.

Colin Jones, Earthborn Technical Sales Adviser, says: “Even in historic buildings there’s scope to use contemporary colours. That’s why we keep our colour palette up to date while continuing to deliver the optimum breathability and environmental performance for which we are well known.

“Our new colours give fresh takes on blue, grey, green, coral, burgundy and white. And bespoke colours can be developed through our stockists nationwide.”

Earthborn’s silicate masonry paint brings breathability to exterior masonry and the Ecopro emulsion and eggshell for the trade are available in the full range of BS4800 colours. Earthborn’s paints have never and will never contain any added VOCs, and they are proud to be the first UK licence holder for the EU Ecolabel for paints and varnishes. This independent accreditation ensures a very tight control on the ingredients and all paints have to undergo rigorous testing.


Coming to terms with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is never going to be easy. But one thing Steve Hudson and his wife Barbara agreed on early was that they would need to move into a house enabling ease of movement for Steve’s wheelchair.

The search took several years; very few properties are fully wheelchair friendly. Eventually, the couple found a rural property for demolition to make room for a new, purpose-designed home.

The specification for Overhill Cottage, in Cheshire, included high levels of insulation, an air source heat pump, underfloor heating and several types of Earthborn breathable paint.

Steve and Barbara specified Earthborn Claypaint for most walls, except those in the sitting room and hall for which they chose Lifestyle emulsion. And on all the woodwork they used white Eggshell.

Barbara said: “The Earthborn colour palette is fabulous. It inspired us to use around 15 different shades. Most rooms have their own colour theme, such as Sunday Stroll in the sitting room, to complement the landscape views from the patio doors.”

Steve added: “It’s the texture of Claypaint that’s particularly appealing. The experienced painters were very impressed with Claypaint’s covering power and the texture was quite a talking point with them.”

Aside from the aesthetics of Earthborn paints, their formulation benefits Barbara’s health. She developed skin allergies a few years ago and wanted a paint that would not trigger them off.

Earthborn paints are made without oils or acrylics, so they are virtually VOC free. That means they do not give off any toxic emissions and are much better for the health of building occupants as well as the environment.

It also means there are none of the strong smells associated with oil based paints, so Steve and Barbara could move into their new home more quickly after painting.


Claypaint was specified for the refurbishment of Grade II listed St James’s Church. Previously, its lime plastered walls had been redecorated with acrylic based paints but they prevented the walls from breathing and caused damage. Vicar Phil White said: “I know from other churches that conventional paints can lead to expensive problems with historic walls. It’s worth investing in breathable paint to safeguard the fabric of a building for future generations.”