Painting. In addition to fear of choosing the wrong color
there's fear of VOCs
. And fear of allergies to the VOCs.
Fortunately there are more and more good green paint options that are low- or no-VOC, including one that's been around since the time of cave painters: milk paint.
Old Fashioned Milk Paint is actually made from cow's milk and, like the drinkable kind, can spoil, so a partially-used can must be stored in the fridge. But because it's made from just milk protein, lime (which becomes inert when mixed with the acidic milk), clay, and earth pigments and is water-based, milk paint is considered safe for the environment and for people (including kids, aka, people who like to eat the environment).
It gives off little smell and dries to an odor-free, durable finish over wood, drywall or wallpaper. (On furniture you top it with a water-bourne acrylic sealant
Old Fashioned Milk Paint is sold in powder form in a Snow White base, and you mix up batches in the hue, thicknesses (stain vs. full cover coat, for instance) and quantities you need by adding pigment and water.
They sell 20 colors, but these are just a starting point, because the other beautiful thing about milk paint is that you can mix the pigments to create your own custom color.
Aesthetically, milk paint finishes are associated with Colonial, Shaker and reproduction furniture. But contemporary looks are all in the mix.
Available online and locally at Stumasa. (In Seattle: City People's Mercantile, and in Portland: Peabody's.)