Use Natural Varnish

By now, you all know how much Martin and I think about the environment in our day-to-day.  It’s part of the reason we like to bike everywhere.  So when we ran across this little Berlin shop, we knew we were in heaven.


This shop is a Natur am Bau or natural building supplies store where we buy all of our varnish.

Natural varnish isn’t filled with all the nasty products that release off gases that are toxic to our health like standard varnish. All those fumes that come with varnish and give you pounding headaches?  Yep.  That’s the pretty nasty stuff hurting your short term and long term health.  So we didn’t even have to do the math on this one.  Spending a little extra money on natural varnish meant we could keep living in our house during our kitchen remodel.   We didn’t have to stay in a hotel, and we didn’t have to worry about future off gassing.

natural building store

Of course, I’m all about saving time, too. There’s nothing worse than spending five minutes cleaning your brush in a bucket of toxic solvent after you’ve varnished.  As luck would have it, natural varnish is water based.

All I had to do was stick my brush under the sink with a little soap, and it was as good as new; the stuff going down the sink was in the clear.  With as many times as I had to sand/varnish/sand/varnish (whew!) and then flip the doors and shelves over to sand/varnish… you get the idea… let’s just say I was beyond ecstatic about my easy-wash brushes.  The stuff dried in 15 minutes.

I want to call it my liquid miracle, but that’s a little salesman-like, no?  All we know is this:  regular old varnish no more.


We’ve got one more kitchen varnish project in the works for you.  I just had to get more varnish!

So what about you?  Anyone else have experience with natural varnishes and paint?  Then again, can you even find natural products in your community?