Tartan Paints

Our paint is manufactured in Australia to provide healthier choice paint for the environment, for painters and for you. Components such as our Advanced Natural bacteria and mould control, sustainably sourced additives and our ultra-low VOC formulas (as low as 1 gram per Litre) provide unparalleled performance, durability, coverage, and adhesion.

Our company's core values

Here at Tartan Paints we take the health of people and the environment seriously. We manufacture quality paint which provides a healthier choice for the environment, painters and you.


There are several key contributors to the environmental footprint of household paint: the extraction and production of raw materials; the transporting of paint from factory to retail outlet and to your home; the toxicity of ingredients, and; how long the painted surface will last before it needs repainting (i.e. how durable the paint film is). As our aim is to provide a healthier choice for the environment, for painters and for the end user, we are constantly re-evaluating our processes. Below we explain some of the key areas where we have developed improvements so far.

Raw Materials

Many additives of paints are made from petroleum based products. Wherever we have been able to source vegetable based additives, this is what we use.


Many of the raw materials that we use in Tartan Paints are locally sourced and manufactured, reducing the carbon emissions associated with transport of ingredients. Our delivery vehicles consume very low levels of fuel, and our office car runs on battery power.


Tartan Paints do not contain:

  • Diuron,
  • Carbendazim,
  • Alkylphenol ethoxylates
  • Silica fume
  • Formalin

The above chemicals have been found or suspected through robust scientific investigation to be linked with serious health issues such as cancers, birth defects, allergic reactions or other irritations. In other countries, many of these chemicals are either banned, under investigation or labelled as extremely toxic to human health.

In particular, Diuron and Carbendazim are found in many paints. These two chemicals have been banned in Europe, the US and other countries due to its suspected link with cancer and damage to unborn children. Diuron is labelled as a "Class 3 carcinogen" in Europe. Carbendazim is similarly linked to human and environmental harm. These two chemicals are not yet banned in Australia, and although the popular paint companies are aware of the potential dangers, they continue to use both Diuron and Carbendazim in their products.


All paints have what are called ‘Volatile Organic Compounds’ (VOCs). These compounds are what gives paint that particular ‘freshly painted’ smell that we are all familiar with, but are actually a toxic form of off-gassing that is potentially harmful. When you breathe in that ‘freshly painted’ smell, you’re actually breathing in toxins that are harmful to your health. This impacts the health of those whose homes and workplaces have been recently painted, but imagine the impacts on professional painters, who spend every working hour breathing in those toxins!

Although every effort is made to remove VOCs through drying and purifying, there will inevitably be trace amounts in the finished raw materials that are used to make the paint and in tinting pastes that are needed for colouring. Therefore, there is no such thing as a truly 100% VOC-free or Zero VOC paint, as all paints will contain very small trace amounts of VOCs through their raw materials. You may see some paints advertised as Zero-VOC paint, however this is a loophole in Australian law that allows paints that are less than 5grams per litre to be advertised as VOC-free. Rather than using this loophole to claim zero-VOCs, we prefer to be transparent and advertise as Ultra Low-VOC paint. We have reduced the VOCs in Tartan Paints to what we believe is one of the lowest level of VOC paints available in Australia.

Fungicides and Biocides

Paints also contain toxic fungicides to prevent mildew growth, and biocides, which are used as preservatives to extend the shelf life of the product. Fungicides and biocides are necessarily harmful to fungus, plants and other organisms. Toxic biocides can be detected in the air five years after paint is applied. Like VOCs, fungicides and biocides contaminate both indoor and outdoor air. If paint is not disposed of properly, they can also seep into groundwater, with negative impacts on the environment.

Studies by CSIRO have demonstrated that people living in new Australian houses may be exposed to 20 times the maximum allowable limits of indoor airborne toxins for up to ten weeks after construction. 27 toxins, including known carcinogens were identified. Most of these are fungicides and biocides found in conventional paints.

While some applications require a level of fungicide and biocide, most large paint manufacturers add high levels of these toxins to all of their paint products. This results in unnecessarily excessive levels of toxins in the environment.

Rather than using inorganic fungicides and biocides, Tartan Paints has engineered an Advanced Natural bacteria and mould control to reduce the amount of fungicides and biocides necessary.


The less times you have to have your home painted, the less environmental impact painting will have. With this in mind, we have ensured that Tartan Paints are durable long-lasting paints, which are better for the environment.

Packaging & Processes

Tartan Paints are packaged in recycled and recyclable plastic tins. Australians are very good at separating our recyclable items for disposal, however, have you ever wondered what happens next? It is widely recognised that the weakest link in the recycling process is the use of recycled materials, which is why we have decided to use recycled materials wherever we can in our supply chain.

Our factories have low-waste production methods, and water conservation systems throughout. We reduce, reuse and recycle at every point possible. Even the labels on our paint tins have been reduced in size, with essential information being provided via a QR code rather than using ink and materials for labels.

Research & Development

We continue to research practices, processes and ingredients to make sure that we remain at the cutting edge of paints which are healthier for people and nature. We are currently developing a new ingredient in our paints which could significantly reduce the carbon emissions associated with paint.

Colour Matching

Simply tell us the name of the colour you want, and the original brand of paint, and we can tint your Tartan Paint order to match.

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