If you’re redecorating your home, be aware: paint is not always suitable for vegans. In fact, many wall paints – including some of the most popular brands – contain animal products. Things like casein, beeswax and even animal bones can make their way into the ingredients.
The good news is that, thanks to companies such as Auro, fully vegan wall paint does exist. However, it’s important to do your research, as it can be quite difficult to discern which products are suitable.
In this guide, we’ll explain what can make wall paint non-vegan, and discuss your options when it comes to plant-based paint.
Is Paint Vegan-Friendly?
The idea of paint being unsuitable for vegans may be a confusing idea to wrap your head around. However, there’s a lot more to being vegan than simply following a plant-based diet.
Ethical vegans do not purchase or use any products that contain animal-derived ingredients. This may include things like clothing, fabric conditioner and toothpaste as well as food. They also try to avoid products that have been tested on animals (e.g. cosmetics).
So, for paint to be considered vegan-friendly, it would have to be completely free from animal products and animal testing. Unfortunately, most brands of wall paint on the market do not fit this description, making them unsuitable for vegans.
Why Is Paint Not Vegan?
The main reason why some paints are not vegan comes down to the ingredients. Some of the most common non-vegan substances found in wall paint include:
- Casein – a protein derived from milk, often used as a binding agent
- Shellac – a type of resin secreted by the female lac bug, sometimes used in paint and primer as a sealant
- Beeswax – a wax produced by bees, often used as a stabiliser, to add shine or improve the texture of the paint
- Glycerin – a compound added to paint to prevent cracking, sometimes derived from animal fat (though it can also be vegetable-based)
- Bone char – a black pigment derived from animal bones
- Carmine – a red pigment made from crushed cochineal beetles
Unhelpfully, wall paint manufacturers are not legally required to highlight animal products on the ingredients list. This means it can be difficult to tell whether it is vegan-friendly.
There’s also the issue of animal testing. Paint manufactured in the UK is not tested on animals, but certain ingredients used to make the paint may be. And of course, paint made outside of the UK is not subject to our regulations.
Can You Get Vegan Wall Paint?
The good news is that vegan-friendly paint does exist! Due to the movement’s growing popularity, more and more decorating brands have started to produce vegan-friendly alternatives.
So, what is vegan paint made of? Vegan wall paint is usually made from a combination of non-animal-derived minerals and plant-based substances. For example, vegetable oils or cellulose may be used instead of beeswax to produce a glossy finish.
Bear in mind that vegan does not necessarily mean ‘natural’ or ‘non-toxic’. Vegan paints may still contain synthetic materials, chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), making them bad for the environment.
What Are the Best Vegan Wall Paint Brands?
If you’re in the market for vegan emulsion or plant-based paint, you’ll want to select a reputable brand. Look for natural vegan paint that is eco-friendly and sustainable, with low VOC levels. The paint itself should also be durable and easy to apply, with a professional-looking finish.
One of the best vegan paint brands is Auro: makers of arguably the most environmentally friendly paint available in the UK. Almost all Auro natural paints are made from 100% raw materials, low in VOCs and free from petrochemicals and plastics. Although some of their products contain animal ingredients, many of their most popular paints are suitable for vegans.
Which Auro Paints Are Vegan-Friendly?
Auro vegan paint is primarily made from water, mineral fillers, vegetable oils and natural additives such as cellulose. Their emulsion paints are formulated with Replebin®, a plant-based binding agent developed as an alternative to plastic polymers.
Some of the best vegan Auro paints include:
- Auro 331 Clay Paint – a high-grade, breathable paint with a luxurious matt finish, ideal for older properties and lime walls
- Auro 321 White Emulsion – a great all-round emulsion with good covering power, free from emissions and preservatives
- Auro 524 Premium White Emulsion – a superior white matt emulsion with a durable, washable finish, ideal for high-traffic and humid areas (e.g. bathrooms and kitchens)
- Auro 555 Premium Wipeable Emulsion – a gorgeous, highly durable matt finish paint available in 96 nature-inspired colours, mixed using natural mineral pigments
You should only need one or two coats of Auro paint to achieve a beautiful, opaque and even finish.
Where Can I Buy Vegan Wall Paint (UK)?
If you’re looking for vegan paint (UK), you’ll find a fantastic selection at Greenshop Paints. We specialise in sustainable, eco-friendly and plant-based decorating essentials including paint, varnishes, fillers, primers and more. We are proud to be Auro’s leading UK paint stockist. We also carry a range of vegan-friendly wall paints from other leading brands such as Earthborn.
Head to the Greenshop Paints online store today to browse our full range of natural paints and finishes. If you’d like to learn more about our Auro range, you can read our Auro FAQs here, or click here for our guide to Auro’s raw materials. If you have any questions about our products or website, feel free to contact us.
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