DecoArt Paint Review

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Every now and again, we get free products that companies want us to review for them. We call ’em blogger perks. We get so many offers to review things that we can’t handle them all, so we started pitching these freebies to review for us to our paying subscribers (people pitching in $5 or $10 a month to help support CleanTechnica’s journalism).

A month or two ago, I announced three such freebies to our subscribers for first come first serve, and the infrared camera was claimed 2 minutes after I sent the email, the home Level 2 EV charger amazingly took almost 5 minutes to get claimed, and the subject of this review got claimed shortly thereafter by two artists. This is the first one that is done and ready for publication. EV charger and IR camera reviews also coming soon, and if you wanna be notified of these review opportunities, we offer them first to our paying subscribers, and then if not claimed, we will do an article or a social media post to the general public.

From one reviewer:

I love painting and making art, but being creative has always felt a little… wasteful.

That’s why I appreciate being given the opportunity to try out eco friendly paints from DecoArt through CleanTechnica. I’d love to share my experience.

DecoArt is first reclaimed and recycled acrylic craft paint.

Paints have a thick, but smooth and easy-to-apply consistency. I was offered a variety of colors and shades, which are vibrant and rich. The color provided on the bottle is very similar to the color on canvas, so you can ensure to achieve the desired look.

Paints dry relatively quickly, typically within a few hours. After the painting was dry, I was happy the colors remained vibrant and didn’t fade away. The ability to retain color after drying really stood out to me.

The color of the paint when is wet is very close to the color after it dries too, providing consistency and reliability in my painting projects. This made it easier for me to match colors and achieve my creative vision.

Overall, DecoArt paints are an excellent choice for any artist seeking high-quality, eco-friendly acrylic paints with reliable performance in terms of application, color range, drying time, and color retention.

From our second reviewer:

It is real paint!

Full disclosure, I am not a professional visual artist by any stretch, but I do muck around with making stuff and my family and friends call me crafty. When the folks here at CleanTechnica said they wanted someone to do a review of DecoArt’s DecoEarth premium reclaimed acrylic paint, I volunteered.

Why does CleanTechnica care about these paints? Because, as the DecoArt website says, they are made with 70% reclaimed paint, helping to divert some of the 75 million gallons of unused house paint that goes into the waste stream in the US each year. DecoEARTH sorts through the old housepaint collected from various states across the country and sorts out all the damaged and hazardous paints. What is left is subjected to a proprietary process that eliminates impurities and adds premium materials. I guess that would be the other 30%. Even the bottles and lids are made from recycled plastic. The website also says that the paint is suitable for wood, canvas, terra cotta, paper, Styrofoam, unglazed ceramic, metal, and stone.

Before I get into the review, I will mention that DecoArt sent two packages of their DecoEarth bamboo-handled paint brushes along with the paint bottles. I enjoyed using them while I was playing with the paints. The paints come in the familiar 2 fl. oz. (59 ml) bottle with a flip-top lid and a small hole. The bottle will also tell you that the paints are intermixable, water based and have a light fast rating of 1 to 3 depending on the color. They are also described as having a matte finish and being “indoor/outdoor.”

The first thing I noticed when I broke the seal on the bottle was the lack of smell. I wouldn’t expect there to be any strong fumes with acrylic paint, but I thought the “reclaiming” process might have introduced something. Apparently, that is not the case. Don’t get me wrong, they are not entirely odorless, they just have a mild smell like any normal acrylic paint.

The texture is also what you would expect from a quality acrylic paint. It is thick and smooth with no lumps, grains, or inconsistencies of any kind. At least, having used a little bit out of several bottles and up to about a quarter of a few bottles I have not come across anything like that.

It may seem a bit odd, but what I have been most impressed with is the white. Maybe my experience with dollar store variety paints has colored (no pun intended) my expectations, but I am used to needing just the smallest drop of black in a big glob of white to make a medium gray. With DecoEARTH something close to a 50/50 mix (I was just eyeballing it) creates what I would call a good medium grey. As you would guess, using white to lighten the red, blue, and yellow yielded similar results. A little bit of white did a lot of lightning. Also, as you would expect, the paint dries a shade or two darker than it looks when it is wet, so you have to allow for that if you are touching up old projects.

The old project I touched up was a sunflower bee house that had been outside for a few years. It is made of plywood and was originally painted with exterior latex paint. The DecoEARTH stuck well to the old latex and covered some bare wood very well. I returned it to the great outdoors when the paint was dry and we have had a few rainy days since then which it survived.

That is not much of a test for the “outdoor” claim, but it is all the deadline for this review will allow. As for the other claim on the bottle, it is indeed matte when it is dry. The most unconventional thing I tried with these paints was to use that medium grey I mixed up as a wash. I tried diluting the paint on my pallet with a wet brush and applying that to paper. The paint doesn’t really work well like that. Despite using all the water I dared, I couldn’t get it to go down in a semitransparent layer. That is not really a weakness of the paint. It is kind of an endorsement of how well it covers in that even highly diluted it delivers a lot of pigment. It is just that if you were hoping to use this acrylic paint like a watercolor, you are out of luck. Conversely, despite its apparent “water resistance” it does clean out of the brushes easily with a little soap and water.

The bottom line is that DecoEarth does indeed deliver all that it says on the bottle. It is a true pleasure to work with and a win for the planet.

Photo courtesy of DecoArt

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Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is a serial eco-entrepreneur focused on making the world a better place for all its residents. Scott is the founder of CleanTechnica and was just smart enough to hire someone smarter than him to run it. He then started Pono Home, a service that greens homes, which has performed efficiency retrofits on more than 16,000 homes and small businesses, reducing carbon pollution by more than 27 million pounds a year and saving customers more than $6.3 million a year on their utilities. In a previous life, Scott was an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill) , and Green Living Ideas.

Scott Cooney has 160 posts and counting. See all posts by Scott Cooney