Review Week: Battle of the Eco-Friendly Paints Pt. 3: Olympic Paint (+Giveaway)

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part three in a series of reviews of three eco-friendly paint options. Lots of companies are now making paint like this. Some are from companies that make traditional paint, but have added a low-VOC line. Others are from companies that were founded on the principles of sustainability. Either way, what you really want to know is how well they perform. How many coats does it take to get good coverage? Read on to find out how Olympic did.

Olympic Premium Zero-VOC Paint

Olympic developed a zero-VOC paint, and it is apparently standard, as opposed to a separate line. In other words, their standard premium interior paint is now zero-VOC and low odor before colorant is added. My color of choice was interior flat in “First Light,” a very pale blue. The colorant did contain VOCs, so the resulting paint was low-VOC instead of zero. When we moved to Tennessee, we painted three walls in our bedroom this color.

Coverage

Olympic Zero-VOC paint We had a gallon of paint to work with and three walls to cover. The color in the can was a beautiful pale blue and perfect match to the color of the swatch I selected it from. When we began painting, however, it looked almost white. It was hard to tell there was any blue in it at all. It did dry darker, so while the blue is still paler than I would have liked, it isn’t almost white. This is a good example of why you should always try to get a paint sample and put it on your wall before you make a final decision on your color. If I had done that, I would have gone a few shades darker. The coverage was excellent, however. After a coat of primer, it required only one coat and a few touchups. We went over it in a couple of places more than once simply because the color was so light when wet that it was hard to tell which parts were well-covered. Even after painting all three walls, we still had a little less than a half-gallon of paint left. Although the room was small, I was still impressed that the gallon went as far as it did.

Odor

I was very impressed by the almost non-existent smell of the Olympic paint. Even with a colorant that contains VOCs, the smell was minimal at best. We closed the window in room as we were painting when night fell and the room started to get cold. It was no problem at all. There was almost no smell — no gagging, no gasping for air, no covering our noses. The same was true for the Olympic primer. It was awesome! An added bonus? The paint and primer are also Green Seal certified.

Colors

The paint is available in all 1,200 of Olympic’s colors, so selection is not an issue. I received a color book from which to select my color, and I had a tough time only because there were so many colors to choose from. Again, I would recommend trying a paint sample on your walls to see how it will look once it dries, no matter what paint you use.

Availability & Price

Lowe’s carries Olympic paint, and as one of the largest home improvement chains in the nation, that means it should be pretty easy to find. This is a plus, in my opinion. Although buying paint online is an option, buying paint in person is a better idea. Colors are often not the same on-screen as they are in person, so an up-close inspection is your best bet at getting accurate color. Olympic paint is also very affordable at between $16 and $25 a gallon depending on finish.

Overall Performance

I really liked Olympic paint. It went on the walls well, offered great coverage and had almost no smell. In fact, I liked it so much that when I needed an accent color for my daughter’s room, I headed straight to the nearest Lowe’s to pick up a pint of Olympic, and I also wound up buying a gallon of semi-gloss to paint some furniture. It offers awesome performance for the price, and it was easy to find. I’d definitely use it again.

UPDATE: We liked this paint (and it’s great price point) so much that we’ve used it in several room and projects since. See it in the dining room of our last apartment and my daughter’s vibrant, eco-friendly bedroom (on the accent wall AND the low pink dresser). We’ve used it elsewhere too, but I don’t have pics!

Why It’s Green:

  • Contains no-VOCs (without colorant)
  • Very low odor
  • Carries a Class A Green Seal certification

Price: $16-25/gallon

More Paint Reviews:

WANT TO WIN?

Olympic Zero-VOC Paint Olympic Paint is offering one gallon of zero-VOC paint and primer in your color and finish of choice to one lucky reader of Green Your Decor. If you want to start the new year with a new look in your home, this would be a great, eco-friendly start. So how do you win? Visit the Olympic website, then come back here and leave a comment about something you liked or learned about the company and what color you would choose if you won. Comments that do not answer both of these questions will be deleted. And don’t worry — you can change your mind about the color if you win. Do this by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 14, 2009, to enter.

Want to enter more than once? Boost your chances of winning by completing one or more of the tasks on this list. Please leave a separate comment for each entry:

  1. If you haven’t already, sign up for Green Your Decor’s email updates by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 14, 2009. You must verify your email subscription to be eligible. After you sign up, FeedBurner will send you a verification email. Please do not ignore it — your entry will be invalid if you do not verify. From now on, subscribers will no longer be entered automatically. This will help me avoid choosing a winner who is a subscriber, but who doesn’t necessarily want a specific prize. If you are an email subscriber and you want to be entered, please leave a comment saying that you are an email subscriber and interested in this giveaway.
  2. If you’d prefer to receive your updates via RSS, sign up for the GYD feed. Then please leave a comment letting me know that you’ve done so, and be sure to include your email address. RSS subscribers are anonymous otherwise. This will let me know that you want to be entered in this giveaway.
  3. Blog about GreenYourDecor.com and post a link to your blog entry here.
  4. Stumble or give a thumbs up to any page at GreenYourDecor.com via StumbleUpon and post a link to your SU profile to verify your thumbs up.
  5. Fave Green Your Decor on Technorati. Then come back here and leave a comment with your Technorati user name so I can verify it.

So that means every participant can receive up to 6 entries. You have until 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 14, 2009, to enter. U.S. mailing addresses only! A winner will be chosen via Random.org and contacted via email. Good luck everyone!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Avatar Carolyn G January 7, 2009, 5:28 pm

    I subscribe

  • Avatar Stephanie V January 7, 2009, 5:55 pm

    Their paints carry green seal certification class A — very nice! Color I might choose is red gumball.

  • Avatar Stephanie V January 7, 2009, 5:56 pm

    I am a subscriber

  • Avatar Carey January 7, 2009, 6:10 pm

    I like the colors shown in a touch of pure romance. The ballerina color is soft, very pretty.
    I love the fact that you can try the colors on the walls on their website. It gives you a great idea of how the colors look.
    I like the fact that their going green products have no lingering odor.

    Careys last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  • Avatar Carey January 7, 2009, 6:12 pm

    Im signed up for your RSS.

    Careys last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  • Avatar Nancy J January 7, 2009, 6:14 pm

    The paints meet the strictest environmental requirements.
    I would select the Ceiling paint in white

    Nancy Js last blog post..dkMommy Spot ~Giveaway

  • Avatar Nancy J January 7, 2009, 6:14 pm

    I’m subscribed to email
    nanja[at]comcast[dot]net

    Nancy Js last blog post..dkMommy Spot ~Giveaway

  • Avatar Carey January 7, 2009, 6:15 pm

    Im also an email subscriber.

    Careys last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  • Avatar Nancy J January 7, 2009, 6:15 pm

    stumbled
    http://nanja46.stumbleupon.com/

    Nancy Js last blog post..dkMommy Spot ~Giveaway

  • Avatar Nancy J January 7, 2009, 6:17 pm

    faved on Technorati username nanja

    Nancy Js last blog post..dkMommy Spot ~Giveaway

  • Avatar Celia January 7, 2009, 6:27 pm

    I like that Olympia has so many eco-friendly products. I didn’t even know what VOCs are before reading their webpage.

    If I win, I would like the interior paint in Moonlit Snow C40-3.

  • Avatar Celia January 7, 2009, 6:28 pm

    I suscribe by email.

  • Avatar Ellen Ring January 7, 2009, 7:20 pm

    I subscribe by email

  • Avatar Ellen Ring January 7, 2009, 7:21 pm

    I loved that they are commited to green & they have low odor paints. I’ld love light blue to use in our bathroom.

  • Avatar Valerie M January 7, 2009, 7:24 pm

    Premium interior paints are environmentally friendly and dry with no lingering odor.
    color – a basic off white-ish color

    Valerie Ms last blog post..MudpiesMaryJanes GloMate Giveaway 1/16/09

  • Avatar Valerie M January 7, 2009, 7:25 pm

    email subscriber

    Valerie Ms last blog post..MudpiesMaryJanes GloMate Giveaway 1/16/09

  • Avatar Valerie M January 7, 2009, 7:26 pm

    technorati faved
    valerie2350

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  • Avatar bethyb January 7, 2009, 8:00 pm

    not only is olympic paint green seal certified because its low/no VOC, but the whole process of making to product is green – from raw materials to disposal.
    i would pick earthy ocher for my bedroom, and we’re buying a new house in a month so i hope i win!!

  • Avatar Cindi January 7, 2009, 9:07 pm

    What a wonderful giveaway drawing! Our walls still have the same paint the house was built with. It is definitely time to update these drab walls!
    I like the Stormy Weather color very much. It is very calm looking.
    Olympic Premium Interior Paint was awarded the Home Safety’s Commendation Awards for Product Innovation for Consumer Safety. That is very reassuring to me. Thanks, Cindi

  • Avatar Cindi January 7, 2009, 9:07 pm

    I am subscribed to your site via your feed and email. Many thanks, Cindi

  • Avatar Zoe Lee January 7, 2009, 9:18 pm

    I love that: Excellent stain resistance …we need to repaint our entire house..and this would be a good start. I couldnt get the color chart pdf to open…there was an error, but we are painting the bedroom a pale green..to go with pink floral curtains… thanks for the contest.

    Zoe Lees last blog post..Happy Holidays 🙂

  • Avatar Zoe Lee January 7, 2009, 9:20 pm

    I get your email updates.

    Zoe Lees last blog post..Happy Holidays 🙂

  • Avatar Zoe Lee January 7, 2009, 9:21 pm

    I have faved you on technorati

    Zoe Lees last blog post..Happy Holidays 🙂

  • Avatar Kelly Rae January 7, 2009, 9:49 pm

    I am an e-mail subscriber!

  • Avatar Kelly Rae January 7, 2009, 10:13 pm

    I found that their products are Green Seal certified. It was great to learn from their website exactly what Green Seal certified products mean.

    I would pick their Butter color… nice and neutral, but it would still brighten the room with a hint of yellow!

  • Avatar Noreen January 7, 2009, 11:51 pm

    I like calabash A11-4
    I learned that when doing touch ups later it is important to use the same applicator not just the same paint

    Noreens last blog post..Making Her Sister ‘Extra’ Pretty

  • Avatar Noreen January 7, 2009, 11:51 pm

    email subscriber

    Noreens last blog post..Making Her Sister ‘Extra’ Pretty

  • Avatar silverhartgirl January 8, 2009, 12:12 am

    their paint has low odors
    i love the color harbor sky

    silverhartgirls last blog post..Read With Me DVD giveaway

  • Avatar Michelle January 8, 2009, 12:21 am

    I like the fact that you don’t need to open all the windows when you’re using Olympic paints; there’s no lingering odor either. The last room my husband painted gave me a headache after only an hour of smelling the paint fumes. Olympic environmentally preferred paints also carry the Green Seal Certification of “Class A” meaning they meet the strictest environmental requirements.

    I’d love to repaint my ancient bathroom that hasn’t seen a coat of paint in the 20 years I’ve lived here. I suspect the walls were tan at one time and I’m dying to go with a dark blue like Olympic’s “Calvary” blue for the walls with a white for the trim.

  • Avatar Michelle January 8, 2009, 12:21 am

    I receive your email updates.

  • Avatar Michelle January 8, 2009, 12:23 am

    I stumbled your post:
    http://auntiethesis.stumbleupon.com/

  • Avatar Michelle January 8, 2009, 12:25 am

    I have you fav’d on Technorati (username:auntiethesis)
    http://www.technorati.com/faves/auntiethesis

  • Avatar Michelle January 8, 2009, 12:37 am
  • Avatar Peggy Gorman January 8, 2009, 12:59 am

    I love the Lazy Lilac,its such a pretty color.I would love this in my bathroom Thanks for the awesome contest

  • Avatar Peggy Gorman January 8, 2009, 12:59 am

    I subscribe

  • Avatar Vickie Couturier January 8, 2009, 5:48 am

    I like in the yellow family the color pure, an what I learned was
    Olympic Premium Interior Paint was awarded the Home Safety’s Commendation Awards for Product Innovation for Consumer Safety

  • Avatar Vickie Couturier January 8, 2009, 5:49 am

    I am a subscriber an to be honest I dont remember if it was RSS feed or not,but I get the newsletter,thanks

  • Avatar sito January 8, 2009, 5:54 am

    I like their pallette collections that show colors not just for paint for fabrics and accent pieces. I would choose the Blue Willow shade.

  • Avatar sito January 8, 2009, 5:54 am

    I am an e-mail subscriber.

  • Avatar CrystalGB January 8, 2009, 7:10 am

    Their paints carry green seal certification class A ensuring that they meet the strictest environmental requirements. I ike the color Laurel Wreath.

  • Avatar CrystalGB January 8, 2009, 7:10 am

    I am an email subscriber.

  • Avatar sharon January 8, 2009, 8:31 am

    love the low odor and how eco friendly these paints are!

    I think the lilac or blue willow is so pretty.

  • Avatar judy brittle January 8, 2009, 8:59 am

    I love the idea of low odor. I would choose Holland Tile what a nice color. Thank you!

  • Avatar judy brittle January 8, 2009, 8:59 am

    I’m subscribed to your feed.

  • Avatar judy brittle January 8, 2009, 9:00 am

    I’m subscribed by email.

  • Avatar stefany gary January 8, 2009, 9:51 am

    I love the rigorous scientific testing that Olympia has agreed to in order to put the green seal on their products. If I were to choose a color I would choose the kitchen and bath paint in Lemongrass. It is gorgeous!

  • Avatar Dan January 8, 2009, 10:57 am

    I like that the Olympic Premium interior paint products combine an outstanding quality Zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) formula that is better for the environment. Which means it probably doesn’t stink so bad. I would choose Delicate White (C43-1)

  • Avatar sandra kao January 8, 2009, 1:23 pm

    i like the easy navigation of the website. i might choose moonshine

  • Avatar Jennifer January 8, 2009, 2:08 pm

    I loved the brass mesh color and how easy it was to chose colors on the website

  • Avatar Vicki Wurgler January 8, 2009, 2:12 pm

    the paints carry green seal certification class A and I like the low odor
    I like the Moroccan moonlight color

  • Avatar Margie S. January 8, 2009, 3:00 pm

    I like that Olympic has a project calculator right on their website (something I tend to forget to do until I’m inside the store), and I love the color moonshine. Thanks for the chance!

  • Avatar Margie S. January 8, 2009, 3:01 pm

    I subscribed to the email list and would love another chance to win!

  • Avatar Tamara B. January 8, 2009, 7:23 pm

    I am a subscriber.

  • Avatar allie January 9, 2009, 12:48 am

    i’m really sensitive to smell and i love that Olympic’s paints are low-odor! if I won, i’d choose Moss Point Green.

  • Avatar allie January 9, 2009, 12:49 am

    i’m an email subscriber

  • Avatar allie January 9, 2009, 12:49 am

    i also subscribe to your RSS feed

  • Avatar allie January 9, 2009, 12:53 am
  • Avatar allie January 9, 2009, 12:55 am

    i faved you on technorati (aplotaxisamomum)

  • Avatar Andrea January 9, 2009, 3:42 am

    I learned that VOCs contribute to indoor air pollution. This is a paint I’d feel safe using in our nursery. I’d pick leap frog.

  • Avatar barbarabaker January 9, 2009, 11:28 am

    I love the fact that there is hardly any smell to it and that their are so very many colors to chose from (being a very indecisive person that I am) …

    Would really love to win and would definitely do a touch up on painting all through the house. That or I’d just entirely repaint my girls room with a pretty violet color (mauve magic to be precise)!!!!

    What a wonderful giveaway, please count me in!!!

  • Avatar barbarabaker January 9, 2009, 11:28 am

    I’m subscribed to your newsletter and RSS via email!!!!! 🙂

    barbarabakers last blog post..GOOD Linking

  • Avatar sheila k. January 9, 2009, 6:28 pm

    Low odor is a big plus for me since I have a plethora of autoimmune disorders and chemical sensitivities.

  • Avatar Marisa M January 9, 2009, 11:07 pm

    I’m a subscriber- please enter me! Thanks.

    Marisa Ms last blog post..#36 Green Remodeling?— Reuse what you can.

  • Avatar cathy b January 9, 2009, 11:26 pm

    well, what a great site. Being in the process of repainting the condo, I have been trying to convince the contractor of the value of no-voc or low voc paints… he doesn’t want to spend the extra money… I will definitely send him to this site. One fo the great things is that this company has so many colors to choose from. I am stuck between honey beige and sunbeam. But viewing the colors for the last half hour, I have decided I definitely need to take a trip to Lowes in the next few days and bring home some color swatches!!! Such perfect timing for this article. I also learned that they carry great paints for renewing furniture also , and they have one that I could use instead of a Kilz primer. (to cover the smoke from previous owners… they didnt use a primer that killed the smoke and all the walls have to be redone now!) thanks for the review.

  • Avatar cathy b January 9, 2009, 11:28 pm

    Am an email subscriber and would like to be entered into the giveaway! thanks.
    project hope 7 at g mail dot com

  • Avatar cathy b January 9, 2009, 11:28 pm

    subscribed to your rss feed. please enter me into the great giveaway!
    project hope 7 at g mail dot com

  • Avatar Kelly January 10, 2009, 11:21 pm

    I’m woefully uneducated when it comes to handyman stuff around the house, so I didn’t know that you need to prime before painting over water stains. Good thing I do now! (We had a small but annoying roof leak a couple months ago, need to repaint the bathroom and master bedroom). We’d go with a boring 😉 shade of white and I’d have to buy some primer too, I guess!

  • Avatar Donna H January 11, 2009, 4:08 am

    I really like their Acapulco and Bermuda colors in the blue line, and I really like their durability and the low smell factor of these paint. Anything that I can scrub dirt from without removing the paint is a good thing… especially for baseboards and moldings (which always collect dust).

    I re-did this entry because I forgot the colors the first time.

  • Avatar Donna H January 11, 2009, 4:12 am

    Blogged/Tweeted contest here http://twitter.com/one6ylady/status/1110745037

  • Avatar Donna H January 11, 2009, 4:13 am

    I subscribe via email as one6ylady(at)aol(dot)com

  • Avatar Donna H January 11, 2009, 4:13 am

    I subscribe to the feed on Google Reader and Blogger.com as one6ylady

  • Avatar Carol G January 11, 2009, 12:46 pm

    I like that the whole process of making the product is green – from raw materials to disposal. I did know that Olympic was a very good line of paint though! I would pick something like Delicate White, since I want my walls to be a backdrop, not overwhelming in color.

  • Avatar Carol G January 11, 2009, 12:46 pm

    I am a subscriber.

  • Avatar Deirdre January 11, 2009, 3:26 pm

    I like that the Green Seal Certification means Class A which means they have met the strictest environmental requirements!

  • Avatar Deirdre January 11, 2009, 3:27 pm

    I am an email subscriber

  • Avatar Deirdre January 11, 2009, 3:27 pm

    I subscribe to your RSS feed

  • Avatar Kara January 11, 2009, 5:06 pm

    I’m pregnant and looking for a safe way to paint the nursery, so i was thrilled to happen upon your review! After checking out the Olympic website, i was impressed with their color range and their strict adherence to safety and environmental friendliness.

    I would choose Bimini Blue. 🙂

  • Avatar Cheryl F. January 11, 2009, 7:48 pm

    I like Olympic’s commitment to green – and I would choose Blue Thistle 🙂 *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  • Avatar Cheryl F. January 11, 2009, 7:49 pm

    I subscribe to your feed in Google Reader 🙂

  • Avatar Cheryl F. January 11, 2009, 7:49 pm
  • Avatar Cheryl F. January 11, 2009, 7:49 pm
  • Avatar Cheryl F. January 11, 2009, 7:50 pm

    You’re in my Technorati favorites:
    http://www.technorati.com/faves/MoonMaiden?show=blogs

  • Avatar Peter January 12, 2009, 7:39 am

    I subscribed to the Technorati site. My ID is pduthoy. Thanks.

  • Avatar Nancy January 12, 2009, 10:31 am

    I would love to try Eco-Friendly Olympic paint. I need to do a lot of painting this year and love the idea that this company is comitted to providing a choice in going green. We all need to do more and I hope to help.

  • Avatar Melissa January 12, 2009, 4:37 pm

    If I were to win I would choose either a white or green because we have the paint in mind for project…we are building my daughter a kitchen and those are the colors we are doing. I love that the have the Green Seal Certification class A.

  • Avatar Rebecca C January 12, 2009, 10:17 pm

    I am a subscriber via RSS!

    Rebecca Cs last blog post..Giveaways 1/12

  • Avatar Rebecca C January 12, 2009, 10:18 pm

    I stumbled your giveaway

    Username: wastebasketsa

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  • Avatar Rebecca C January 12, 2009, 10:18 pm

    I have you favved on my Technorati!

    Username: wastebasket

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  • Avatar Kim McCollum January 13, 2009, 7:18 am

    I am an e-mail subscriber and have learned lots thru your web-site. I didn’t realize how affordable this “green” paint could be. Personally, I liked the “cedar chest” color. Thanks for the give-away op!

  • Avatar Kim January 13, 2009, 10:29 am

    oh, i didn’t know that one should dilute paint by 25% before retouching… good to know (learned that in the tips section). and, sooo many beautiful colors! i’d love to paint my bath Oyster Shell D14-4. thanks for the opportunity to win!

    Kims last blog post..Valentines

  • Avatar Nancy January 14, 2009, 4:58 pm

    I’m a new subscriber interested in the giveaway. Thanks!

  • Avatar Nancy January 14, 2009, 5:00 pm

    #1: Olympic Premium Interior Paint has a 25 year warranty! Impressive!

    #2: I would choose the pale yellow Chickadee A 13-4 as a color.
    There are so many lovely colors that it is hard to choose!

  • Avatar Michelle January 14, 2009, 9:14 pm

    I subscribed, please enter me in the free gallon giveaway! Thanks!

  • Avatar Sherry January 14, 2009, 10:37 pm

    Olympic premium interior paint was awarded the Home Safety Council’s Commendation awards for product innovation for consumer safety.

    I would pick Deep Desire.

    Sherrys last blog post..Jillie Willie Zipper Bottom Bag Giveaway

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