Holliston LEED House

This is the story of a family who built the first LEED "green" house in Holliston, Massachusetts. We were trying to spend no more than it would take to build an ordinary house,and maybe even succeeded. The dust is still settling.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Paint and primer

Benjamin Moore has a "green" product they call Aura. It is expensive, but it is also called "self priming." Here is our experience: I loved not having to prime the master bath, but noticed as I moved the ladder around that it ding-ed easily, even after two coats. When I consulted my painter friend, David Stoffregen, he said "paint's paint and primer's primer." His point is, I think, that primer is designed to soak into plaster and seal, while paint is designed to cover easily—in other words, to sit on the surface.

On raw wood, this is not as big an issue. But on plaster, which sucks moisture from the paint, it doesn't wear as well as painting over plaster. My new experiment is using the self-priming on the trim (except those places with knot holes, which will bleed through), and using the same paint on primed walls.

The LEED points you will get for low-VOC paints is minimal; I believe you can get a half point or something comparable. Why you would wish to continue with low-VOC is for it's ability to age without "off-gassing," or leaving pollutants in the air.



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