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How to choose vegan paints

When making the choice of which paint to use in your home, it’s important to bear in mind a whole range of factors, such as fitness for purpose, colour, durability, environmentally preferable, and for many whether the paint is vegan.

Eco Choice

Choosing a vegan paint is easier than you may think. When it comes to paint, use of a waterborne paint and application with a synthetic brush or roller is likely to be the best option for a vegan to choose, which also handily provides the wellness and environmental benefits of reduced VOCs, solvents and lower odour.

For interiors this means you can choose popular products like Resene Zylone Sheen or Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen for walls, Resene SpaceCote Flat for ceilings and products like Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss and Resene Lumbersider low sheen waterborne paint for exteriors, all of which are vegan. For trim and joinery, Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss and Resene Enamacryl gloss are both popular options and vegan.

Q. What’s required to make a vegan paint? What can’t be used in a vegan paint?

A. A vegan paint is made like a normal paint, without the use of animal products or animal by-products and without being tested on animals.

Q. What are the basic differences between a conventional paint and vegan paint?

A. For Resene, most of our conventional paints are vegan paints. The main difference is that vegan paints avoid any use of animal products or animal by-products. Most conventional paints don’t have these as ingredients anyway.

Q. What are the basic differences between an eco-friendly paint and a vegan paint?

A. Most Resene waterborne paints are eco-friendly, with Environmental Choice approval, and are also vegan paints. However, it is possible to have an eco-friendly paint that is not a vegan paint, and the focus of each paint is different.

Eco-friendly paints focus on minimising toxicity, but this can mean some products could have animal products or by-products in them, such as something like beeswax that could be used as a final coat on cabinetry.

Vegan paints are not specifically focused on eco-toxicity like eco-friendly paints are but are focused on avoiding animal products and by-products.

Generally speaking, vegans need to take care choosing ‘natural’ paints as they many contain animal by-products. Instead look to waterborne paints, such as the Resene Environmental Choice paints range, that don’t contain animal products or by-products.

When considering art paints, Resene testpots contain waterborne paint with no animal products or by-products, so these are a good option for those wishing to use vegan paint. Some specialist art paints from specialist suppliers may have pigments that are non-vegan, so it’s best to check how those paints are tinted prior to purchase.

Q. Do you know of any health benefits derived from vegan paints?

A. If you are planning to decorate and are interested in paints that are better for wellness benefits, we would recommend choosing a product from the Environmental Choice approved range from Resene. These are low VOC or have no added VOCs, low odour and washable in water, which makes them easy to use with minimal disruption and without unwanted solvent odours. And as they don’t contain animal products or by-products, they are also vegan.

› For more information, view Architects Memo – animal, mineral or vegetable for more on Vegan paints.

Wall paint

Resene Zylone Sheen low sheen
Resene Zylone Sheen
low sheen

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Resene Zylone Sheen Zero low sheen
Resene Zylone Sheen Zero low sheen

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Resene SpaceCote low sheen
Resene SpaceCote low sheen waterborne enamel

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Resene SpaceCote low sheen kitchen & bathroom
Resene SpaceCote low sheen kitchen & bathroom

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Ceiling paint

Resene SpaceCote Flat
Resene SpaceCote Flat washable wall & ceiling

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Resene SpaceCote Flat kitchen & bathroom
Resene SpaceCote Flat kitchen & bathroom

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Exterior house paint

Resene Sonyx 101 - semi-gloss
Resene Sonyx 101

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Resene Sonyx 101 CoolColour - semi-gloss
Resene Sonyx 101 CoolColour™ semi-gloss

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Resene Lumbersider - low sheen
Resene Lumbersider
low sheen

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Resene Lumbersider CoolColour - low sheen
Resene Lumbersider CoolColour™ low sheen

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Trim and joinery paint

Resene Lustacryl - semi-gloss
Resene Lustacryl

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Resene Enamacryl - gloss
Resene Enamacryl

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Some products or services may not be offered in your area or country. Please check with your local Resene ColorShop for availability. Most products can be ordered on request though lead times and minimum order quantities may apply.

More on VOCs

In response to growing concerns over VOC emissions, the Eco Choice programme focuses on the need to reduce these emissions. Solventborne paints release significantly more VOCs per litre than waterborne paints, spurring Resene chemists to develop waterborne replacements for solventborne products. Today, less than 8% of the decorative paint sold by Resene is solventborne, while the average per litre VOC levels of Resene decorative paint sales have dropped by over 90% in the last two decades, clearly demonstrating Resene's commitment to proactively develop and launch environmentally preferable waterborne technologies to the market. Resene offers an extensive range of low VOC and no added VOC paints, coatings, stains/primers and sealers, including no added VOC tinters.

Environmentally responsible packaging

Resene metal packaging includes recycled material and is printed using U.V. inks and varnishes ensuring energy savings and no emissions. A selection of Resene product label artwork is available from this section and is provided as a handy reference. The label on a pack you purchase may differ depending on the age of the stock you are purchasing and when the pack changes over to the newer label artwork. Resene paper labels are printed on environmentally responsible paper, which complies with the requirements of environmental management systems EMAS and ISO14001, using vegetable inks. Resene prints brochures, flyers etc on sustainable paper stocks wherever possible. When you download some pdf files from this website they will refer to being printed on sustainable paper stock. This is because they are an electronic copy of what we distribute to our customers.


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