Even in this day and age, paint is one of the few products that aren’t automatically considered cruelty-free. As a result, finding the best cruelty-free paint might seem like a difficult task. Thankfully, several brands are already working to shed the toxic stigma while providing vegan and eco-friendly options to consumers.
What are the best cruelty-free wall paints?
While there are several cruelty-free options in terms of wall paint, most of the brands that make it are only available in the U.S. and the U.K. That said, this is still a digital world, so we imagine that you can find ways to order most of these if you search hard enough.
Lakeland Paints is a U.K.-based paint supplier that specializes in organic, cruelty-free paints that contain no heavy metals and no volatile organic compounds (VOC) of any kind. The company itself is eco-certified and dedicated to delivering products that are more sustainable than the average paint manufacturers.
Kreidezeit wall paints are completely organic and cruelty-free. Originally only available in the U.K., Kreidezeit has since moved into North America under the new brand name Unearthed Paint. Kreidezeit paint is unique because it is powder-based paint, which makes it easier to transport, thereby reducing transport costs and environmental impact.
The Organic Natural Paint Co.
The Organic Natural Paint Co. manufactures a host of wall paints, wood paints, and emulsion paints. But while all of its products are considered cruelty-free, not all of them are considered purely vegan. This is because some of those paints still contain casein protein, which comes from dairy. Still, the company is pretty transparent about the natural and organic ingredients of its paints, one of which is graphene, a type of carbon that is not derived from animal products.
All KILZ paint and primers are vegan-friendly, which means that none of its products contain animal products. None of its paints or products are tested on animals, either. According to the company website, all ingredients in its latex paints are from synthetic sources procured through sustainable chemical industry suppliers. These paints also contain plant derivatives and mined minerals for thickening and pigment, respectively.
Why paint might not be cruelty-free:
There are obviously many other paint brands on the market, but very few of them would be considered vegan, cruelty-free, or even eco-friendly in most cases. Many major paint brands are not transparent, and do not have information out there about animal testing or using animal ingredients.
Despite the assumptions that many might make regarding the contents of a can of paint, the actual contents can be quite surprising. Conventional paints can contain dairy products like milk protein, which acts as a binder. They can also contain beeswax. Paint testing on animals involves putting the paint on the animal’s skin and/or forcing the animal to eat or drink the paint to see what happens.
What makes paint cruelty-free?
Cruelty-free paint is any paint that doesn't contain any animal products and is not tested on animals. According to Better Homes & Gardens, the best vegan paints use natural plant-based binding agents like casein or legumin, instead of any animal products. These compounds often make for a less-toxic type of wall paint than the ingredients used in some paints.
Is Benjamin Moore paint cruelty-free?
Blog VeganFAQs cites a 2011 blog post claiming that Benjamin Moore paints are cruelty-free — apparently, 10 years ago, someone named Bob in the Development department told the blogger, “We do not test our paint on animals whatsoever.”
However, as of 2021, there is no evidence that Benjamin Moore is a cruelty-free company. If you search either "vegan" or "cruelty-free" on Benjamin Moore's site, there are no results, so it's safe to say that Benjamin Moore is not cruelty-free, unfortunately.