Life & Style

Asian Paints gives India its first organic paint line with Nilaya Naturals

A snapshot from the collection

A snapshot from the collection   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Asian Paints’ new organic line features ingredients like soya bean, castor seeds and neem oil

Soya bean, whey protein and casein. Sounds like a protein shake? These natural components — along with castor seeds, calcium carbonate, neem oil and pigments (like yellow oxide) — feature in what Asian Paints claims to be India’s first line of organic paints. Nilaya Naturals, launched last September at the AD Design Show in Mumbai, are organic paints made using natural ingredients.

Protein in your paint

With rising concerns about lead and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paints leading to poor indoor air quality and health issues, several Indian companies such as Nippon Paints (with an air purifying variant), Berger Paints (Breathe Easy Emulsions with low VOC), Dulux India (water-based paints), and Nerolac (lead-free variants) forayed into the ‘natural’ paints segment a while ago. Even internationally, brands like The Real Milk Paint Co (paints with milk protein), BioShield (VOC-free), Benjamin Moore Natura (certified asthma and allergy-friendly) have made their mark in the race to being eco-friendly.

Asian Paints’ line was launched after close to two years of research. “It is not just paint — we have a full system comprising the paint, primer, putty (basecoat) and pigment,” says Srikanth SK, general manager of Asian Paints’ IDX (Innovation, Design, Digital, Customer Experience). Explaining what sets it apart, he says one of the biggest advantages is that the paints are odourless. “Even certain water-based variants emit odours that linger for weeks after the job is done. But with our range, people can live in the house when it is being painted – something that we’ve experimented with during the trials.”

Fact check
  • The UN Environment-recommended limit for lead content in paint is 90 particles per million (ppm). A 2018 study by New Delhi-based think tank, Toxics Link, tested 20 samples (collected from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur and Rajasthan) from Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) for the presence of lead. Barring three — Home Care glossy (white),Varlac Premium Satin Enamel (olive) and Varlac Premium Satin Enamel (cherry red) — all had lead content from 101 ppm to 1,30,797 ppm. Source: downtoearth.org

Colour theory

When architect and designer Rooshad Shroff spotted the range at the AD Design Show, he found them close to the look and feel that he wanted for his new project, a fashion boutique in Kala Ghoda called Beige (opening this week). “We need to be as sustainable and organic as possible,” says Shroff, who avoids materials like melamine at his work sites because of its toxicity. “Irrespective of the costs and the price points, it [melamine] is something that I don’t use because it harms the people who work with it. In that sense, an option like Nilaya is good,” he says, adding that not many people are aware of VOCs in paints.

The colours also appealed to Shroff. “[The paint] is very matte, which I always prefer. The colour palette is also sophisticated, especially in the beige and grey options — softer, more earthy and quite different from the ‘flat’ paint that you’d typically see on walls,” he says, adding that the earlier shade cards from Asian Paints, in spite of having a larger spectrum of colours, haven’t matched these.

Nilaya Naturals’ earthy palette features 35 hand-picked shades, each a custom blend, featuring colours such as Daydream in Blue, Shadows over the Maidan (grey) and Return to the Nilgiris (green). “These are provided in individual sachets, which can be mixed with the paint to create custom colours. For now, each one comes in three variations, adding up to a palette choice of 105 colours,” says Srikanth. Explaining their vintage-inspired matte finish, he adds: “People have appreciated the pastel shades as they lend a two-tone feel to a finished product. Unlike other paints, once a wall is painted, it looks natural and raw. The greys and whites are doing particularly well.”

A shade from the collection

A shade from the collection   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Keep them clean

Given the natural composition, will the surfaces stay free from fungal and bacterial growth? Srikanth assures that a special variant of neem oil offers the product anti-fungal properties. “The paint film that is formed is porous and breathable, which means that it allows free flow of air and moisture from in between its layers. This helps in reducing bacterial growth.” It is also important to note that these paints cannot be cleaned with a wet cloth, and in case of a stain, a touch up is required. “Since there are no chemicals, the paint is not washable. Ensure you only use a dry cloth to clean the surface.”

The interior-only paints, which come with a 10-year warranty, have already been used in over 40 sites across the country. At present, they can be accessed only via select architects and interior designers.

Details on nilaya.asianpaints.com

With inputs from Surya Praphulla Kumar

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 10:48:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/asian-paints-gives-india-its-first-organic-paint-line-with-nilaya-naturals/article30674195.ece

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