Environmentally Friendly Paints in India


Author – Arushi Prakash

Environmentally Friendly Paints in IndiaImage Source: earthride.com.au

The paints industry has developed myriad chemicals to enhance the product shelf life, color, texture and other properties. These paints are made from a few chemicals that are especially suited for this industry. Many of these are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which vaporize as soon as they are exposed to the atmosphere. They also contain heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and chromium. VOCs such as ethyl acetate, glycol ethers, and acetone are organic chemicals that are mainly used as solvents for conventional paints. Once they enter the air we inhale, they can go into our lungs and create a toxic effect on our bodies. The odor emanating from these paints can be quite suffocating.

These chemicals can cause a variety of harmful effects on people who are exposed to it, depending on exposure. These effects can be mild, like minor irritation in the eyes, throat, nose or skin, or could cause a major burning sensation. Since VOCs from these paints can linger in home interiors for a long time, they can cause headaches, nausea and dizziness from regular exposure to the chemicals in conventional paints. Some long-term effects include liver and kidney damage, respiratory issues and even cancer. These paints not only harm the human body, but also the environment. The by-products and waste of the synthetic chemical industry are highly detrimental to the environment and they leave an immense carbon footprint.

Eco-friendly Alternatives

The harmful health effects of these toxic paints have made paint companies reconsider the composition of their products. This has led to the development of a new range of non-toxic environmentally friendly paints. They aim to reinvent paints so that serious health and environmental problems can be prevented.

Eco-friendly paints available in India can be classified into three types:

  1. Zero-VOC paints: The level of VOCs in these paints is so low that they can be termed as ‘zero-VOC paints’. As per the EPA* standard, the total VOC content should be less than 5 grams per liter of paint.
  2. Low-VOC paints: As specified by the EPA, these paints can have VOC concentrations ranging from 5 to 200 grams per liter of paint.
  3. Natural paints: These paints are made of natural compounds such as tree resins, water, plant oil, essential oil and natural dyes. They do not contain any VOCs. Water-based paints do not have an odor, while oil-based paints have a smell.

*Since India does not have guidelines on such non-toxic paints, we have considered the standards formulated by the Green Seal Standard for Paints & Coatings and the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

It is important to note that most green certifications stand for VOC in the paint base. VOC in colouring agents in the paint, the biggest contributor of VOC, is often ignored. As a thumb rule, darker colours and glossier paints have more VOC. BIS has recently reduced the standard for lead in normal paints from 1,000 ppm to 90 ppm, following the example of the US and China. Paints in India can undergo testing for certification from the National Testing House too, like Nerolac Paints. You can check various eco-friendly acrylic paints available at ubuy india.

Tech Specs of Environmentally Friendly Paints

Technical comparison between conventional and low VOC paints:

ParametersConventional PaintsLow/Zero VOC Paints
VOC content (gram per liter)250-80050 for Low VOC / 5 for Zero VOC
Color rangesAll colorsLighter colors
TextureFlat or GlossyFlat only
BaseOil or LatexLatex (Oil in rare cases)
OdorSuffocatingLess or None
Cost per gallonINR720-3,000INR1,800-4,200
Performance over 20 years4-5 coats needed1 coat is enough
Source: EPA

Leading brands that sell eco-friendly and non-toxic paints in India:

Ecofriendly Paints - Asian PaintsAsian Paints

Asian Paints is India’s largest paint company that provides paint products for personal, industrial and automotive needs. Asian Paints began its journey into non-toxic paints by removing lead and heavy metals from its paints. The company has also substantially reduced the VOC content in its paints to comply with international standards, as specified by the Green Seal Standard for Paints & Coatings. For example, its Ace Exterior Emulsion (White) has 22.22 grams of VOC per liter of paint, which is substantially less than the international standard of 50 grams of VOC.

Berger Paints

Ecofriendly Paints - BergerBerger Paints is another leading paint company that has a broad customer base in India. Through its Green Horizon endeavor, the company seeks to protect the environment by producing better products. Berger Paints has removed lead, mercury and chromium from its paints, which are toxic to the human body. The company has also greatly reduced VOCs (8.4 gram per liter in its Breathe Easy Emulsions) and decreased the content of aromatics so that their products have zero negative health impact. Berger Paints has also diversified into water-based paints, custom-made for the pharmaceutical industry. Their Breathe Easy Emulsions are also water-based.

Dulux India

Ecofriendly Paints - DuluxDulux is a UK-based multinational company that has several production units in India. The company complies with the highest environmental standards on paints, especially in the area of VOC content. Dulux promotes water-based substitutes actively through its website and other promotional activities. The company offers a wide variety of water-based products such as Paint Mixing Kitchen, Endurance Silk, Magic White Silk, Quick Dry Gloss, Watershield Exterior Satin, and many more.

Kansai Nerolac

Ecofriendly Paints - NerolacNerolac is now the second largest player in the paints market in India. The company had switched to lead-free paints years ago due to the several health hazards associated with lead. All its manufacturing plants are ISO-14001 certified, which helps the company to achieve sound environmental performance. Recently, Kansai Nerolac launched a line of water-based, low-VOC paints that has the National Test House (NTH) certification.


LEINOS, a division of the German company Reincke Naturfarben GmbH, specializes in the production of natural and eco-friendly paints and wood-care products. The key products offered in the Indian market include Terrace Wood Oil 236, Premium Wood Varnish 260, Countertop Oil 280, and Interior Hardwax Oil 290. These products are distinguished by their unique combination of natural ingredients, including linseed oil, beeswax, dammar, carnauba wax, shellac, and clay. This rich composition not only provides a high level of protection but also enhances the durability and aesthetic appeal of treated surfaces. Each ingredient is carefully selected for its natural properties and ability to provide a long-lasting, eco-friendly finish. The products are priced in a range from mid to premium, reflecting their quality and environmental purity. LEINOS products in India can be found through various dealers, with a complete list available on the company website.


It is clear that eco-friendly and non-toxic varieties of paints come at a higher cost than regular paints, but they do last long. They also benefit you and your family’s health, as well as the environment.

The shift to low/zero-VOC paints is seen not only because of an environmentally conscious industry but with an industry that understands that consumers are increasingly buying green-labeled products. Thus, it is necessary that consumers understand what a green label means. Green Seal Certifications (International), EcoMark Scheme (in India) are standards prevalent in the market for green paints. The EcoMark, conferred by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), has the following standards for water-based coatings:

  • 5% or less VOC
  • Absence of metals like Mercury and its compounds, Lead, Cadmium, Chromium VI and their oxides
  • Less than 10 milligrams per kilogram of free formaldehyde
  • Absence of chemicals like halogenated solvents, benzene, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons and other aromatic hydrocarbons

Author Bio: This post was originally published by our content partner Green Clean Guide and it is republished here with permission

Avatar photo
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington, where I work with two fantastic advisors - Jagjeet and Janice Bindra Endowed Associate Professor Jim Pfaendtner at UW and Senior Scientist Christopher J. Mundy at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - and a wonderful research group. Right before heading UW in 2014, I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India.


  1. Dear Sir

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    Looking forward to hear positively from you.


  2. Dear Thiru,
    Thank you very much for your interest in promoting our innovative products. But this article showcases products from well established companies! so can you please specify which product are interested in?

    • Hi Sir,

      Any new Innovative Product. Bio Remedition Products as well as Start ups having innovative products and are looking for marketers.


  3. I am from kerala. Here my brother is going to starting marketing of a new paint, which is completely zero voc paint. We need all my friends support to this project.

    • Hi Abdulla,
      it’s great to see your enthusiasm to sell non-VOC paints, but please remember all the big brands are selling them in India already!

      • Hi Nithin, Please go to your nearest hardware shop and ask for zero VOC paints. All brands are now having them across india

  4. Hi sir. please suggest paint which is safe for birds. Even though birds swallow it should not effect. Krylon fusion is recommended but do not know whether it’s available in India or not. Kindly reply

    • HI Suganya,
      I have not heard of any bird swallowing paint! birds do not swallow anything that is not edible. are you talking about poultry or pet birds kept at home?

    • What do you mean by vegan friendly? do you plan to eat the paint? in that sense, no they are not

  5. hi , first my sincere thanks for this article it gives clear info about VOC , when i do google search “hazardous free paint ” i get to know this website, then i read understood some level.

    Could you pls suggest where i can buy the below mentioned “Natural Paints” , can i get some source or contact details to buy and use for my house which is under construction now. once again thank you.

    Natural paints: These paints are made of natural compounds such as tree resins, water, plant oil, essential oil and natural dyes. They do not contain any VOCs. Water-based paints do not have an odor, while oil-based paints have a smell.

  6. Can you suggest no voc or least low VOC wood finishes! And company or brand which i should go!! Is water based PU is totally toxic n VOC free after one month of applications??

    Learnt melamine finish is so prevelant in India though its been banned completely in most of countries!

  7. Hi, I am looking for Kansai Nerolac eco friendly or natural paints. I am unable to find a dealer in Hyderabad. Please can you suggest or advise the alternate options or another best company.

  8. Hello , We at Rhenocoll provide a wide range of eco friendly non toxic water based paints for wood ,glass and uPVC (with a warranty of 15 years on glass and uPVC paints and 5 years on wood ). All RAL shades – available as well.

  9. My daughter is suffering from asthma kindly suggest me an odor nil paint for my window and safety grills

  10. Hello , I am looking at safe paints/ dyes/ stains that can be applied on wood or wooden toys. Any suggestions where I can find in India.
    Thanks so much.

  11. Promotional umbrellas can be used on a regular basis by customers and employees alike. Every time a customer or an employee walks out with a customized umbrella bearing the brand logo, the company will receive significant exposure and advertising at a comparatively lesser investment than conventional methods of promotion.

    • Hi, we do not allow companies to promote their brands by posting weblinks and contacts in comments. please utilise our green directory where you can list your company

  12. hello,
    I am looking for a natural mineral paints that is manufactured in india.
    we manufacture vacoustic panels and have the application for the woodwool panel boards
    request you to kindly give the details as i require in bulk everymonth
    mail id ravi051161@gmail.com

  13. Hi there,
    I went through your article on non toxic paints in india.
    I am planning to use non toxic paints for the wooden toys. All paint products suggested in the article have only wall paints. Can you please suggest a non-toxic paint for wood.
    It will be of great help. Thanks and looking forward to your reply.

  14. Hi wanted to know if base preparations also we get ecfriendly products like putty and primer..?? Are they same for all

  15. Thank you for this very wonderful and informative article about environmentally friendly paints. This is a great idea that is well written.

  16. Hi
    Thanks for the great article. But it doesn’t say anything about Nippon Paint India. Are they not manufacturing eco friendly paints?

  17. I am looking for a natural mineral paints that is manufactured in india.
    we manufacture vacoustic panels and have the application for the woodwool panel boards
    request you to kindly give the details as i require in bulk everymonth.

  18. Hello , We at Rhenocoll provide a wide range of eco friendly non toxic water based paints for wood ,glass and uPVC (with a warranty of 15 years on glass and uPVC paints and 5 years on wood ). All RAL shades – available as well.


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