Americans are in love with their pets, and some 68 percent of households, including Goshen, Indiana and Columbia City, Indiana have at least one. About half of them are dogs, according to a new 2017-2018 survey, while about 38 percent of people say their cats are part of the family. Our beloved pets are pampered too, with almost $70 billion spent on food, toys and more – but few people think about interior painting, staining and decorating to keep their homes safe and pet-friendly. At Matthews Painting, we have a few ideas on how life with pets can be more eco-friendly and easier too with low or 0 VOC paint.
We’ll start with the painting process itself! As painting professionals, we love all your furry friends but we won’t want to encounter them while painting or staining your trim, doors, cabinets or walls. That’s because paints often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and paint chemicals that may be toxic to animals, and they may still emit gases even after they’ve dried. Paints, solvents and other products help to make your home perfect, but it’s smart to plan for the dogs or the cat to spend a few days away so they can’t breathe the toxins or lick the surfaces. If you’re painting furniture, or any small piece that can be moved outside, always choose the option first.
Water-based paints may be a better option if you’re concerned about pet exposure, and there are low-VOC products available. Earthborn and Ecos Paints are two companies that make them, while milk paint is another option – although that can be trickier to mix and use, and has a short shelf life for getting the job done. Whatever paint products you decide to use, though, make sure that your sensitive and usually much smaller-than-you pets (and therefore more susceptible to toxic chemical exposure) are kept safe. You’ll be happy with a fresh look and confident that your family, including happy pets, will share the warmth.
Another question to consider when using traditional paint products is what finish will stay looking its best with active pets in the home. Some interior decorating teams suggest a semi-gloss that’s easy to wipe down, because pets – and dogs in particular – often smudge the walls or leave paw prints on the inside of the door. A washable paint makes keeping up with all the energy and excitement a bit easier.
What about your floors? Pet lovers often avoid the plush and pristine white carpeting for obvious reasons, and some opt for area rugs even with wall-to-wall carpeting because they hold up to the wear-and-tear but are much easier to replace when no longer looking their best. (Some designers suggest that if you have an heirloom or other high-value rug, treating it as wall art will integrate the piece into a room while offering it pride of place at the same time it stays off the floor.) Hardwood floors are an improvement, but keep in mind that dogs inevitably scratch and scuff the woods so re-staining and Floor Polyurethane maintenance will always be needed. Some designers recommend laminate floors or tile for the high-traffic paw patter.
Similar ideas for furniture and upholstery are welcome news to pet owners who want to keep their homes looking their best. One expert’s trick is to match colors to a pet’s fur, so the dog hair is less visible on rugs or chair cushions – and remember to groom often so there’s less hair in the first place! Avoid stains with careful fabric selection, just as you would when choosing a satin or semi-gloss paint for the same reason. In the end, your well-appointed home will stay clean and inviting, and your pets will be in a healthy environment shared with the people they love the most. Matthews Painting is now expanding our interior and exterior wall, ceiling, trim, door and cabinet painting and staining, wallpaper removal, drywall repair, deck staining and sealing and log Home staining and sealing into the Goshen, Indiana and Columbia City Indiana areas as well.