Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK

Give your walls a new coat of paint that’s better for the planet – and better for you


Graphenstone is a Business Reporter client.

The new paint tech that renders toxic ingredients as obsolete – without compromising on performance

The world of paint has witnessed a surge in captivating colour names in recent times. But, tones and shades aside, what are these paints actually made of?

Water-based paints now represent over 80 per cent of market share. Easy to use and quick to dry, they don’t require chemical thinners or cleaners. Nevertheless, they’re made using a mix of acrylics, vinyls and petroleum-derived polymers (plastics, in other words) to bind the paint coating together. Microbeads and microplastics are often added to provide greater durability or resistance.

According to the World Economic Forum, the volume of microplastics from paint on steel surfaces alone that enter the ocean every year could be as high as 1.5-2.25 million tonnes, equivalent to 150-225 billion empty plastic bottles.

Paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemical additives to aid flow, drying and curing. Many VOCs are harmless – however, some are known carcinogens. Chemicals are released into the air after application and can pose significant health risks and negatively affect indoor air quality.

Even then, products labelled as “low VOC” may not be as safe as they seem, potentially harbouring as much as 30 grams of these compounds per litre. Off-gassing of these potentially harmful additives can leach out for many months after application, impacting on the health of those inhabiting the space. These are the concerns that discerning consumers and businesses ought to address.

Enter Graphenstone, a trailblazing paint range that seamlessly blends ancient, non-toxic ingredients with cutting-edge 21st century carbon technology. Established in Spain in 2013, Graphenstone was conceived to revolutionise the stagnant paints industry. Today, the brand has already made its mark across 30 countries worldwide. Prestigious customers already attracted to its offerings include giants such as Facebook, Google, Grosvenor Estates, Zara and Mango, as well as co-branded ranges with Ashmolean Oxford, the world’s oldest public museum, and Victoria and David Beckham’s highly influential interior designer, the remarkable Rose Uniacke.

The planet - and you - will be happy with your new walls

The core mission behind Graphenstone is to replace oil-based coatings with trusted natural minerals such as lime, chalk, clay and silicate, which have stood the test of time. To enhance the paint’s capabilities, pure inert carbon in the form of graphene, the planet’s mightiest material, is incorporated. Graphene’s discovery at Manchester University in 2004 earned two scientists the prestigious Nobel Prize, underlining its tremendous potential.

Graphenstone UK’s CEO, Patrick Folkes, explains the brand’s differentiating factor: “By combining time-honoured, long-trusted minerals such as lime and silicate with state-of-the-art graphene technology, our range stands head and shoulders above the competition. We offer eco-friendly, sustainable paints that exude strength and durability, while also prioritising the health and wellbeing of occupants.” Graphenstone’s paints proudly steer clear of toxic synthetic chemicals and additives. Additionally, their VOC content is only trace-level, clocking in at less than 0.1 per cent.

Unlike conventional synthetic trade paints, which can be rife with toxicity, this contemporary, sustainable alternative boasts unparalleled endurance for a mineral “clean-tech” paint and delivers a captivating, deeply pigmented finish. Minerals absorb and reflect surrounding colours and have a vibrancy and beauty that transcends traditional plastic-based systems.

With one of the lowest embedded carbon footprints, there are also significant relative carbon savings to be made, with the pure lime paints reabsorbing a significant amount of CO2 in the 30-day curing process. They also benefit from a much lower carbon-emitting production process, using, for example, the pips from local olive oil harvesting in the kilns, when slaking the lime to minimise impact.

What further sets Graphenstone apart is its standing as one of the world’s foremost independently certified, sustainable and ecological mineral paint brands. It has been bestowed with certifications from the Cradle to Cradle Institute, including prestigious Gold, Silver and Bronze accolades spanning its entire paints range. Graphenstone has also earned numerous other highly regarded evaluations globally, such as Global Green Tag and Eurofins, solidifying its position as a leader in technology, ecological consciousness and health within the paints industry. It’s these independent, respected product evaluation agencies that set the brand apart from all those who might shout about sustainability and ecology but are typically just another synthetic paint brand lacking any real integrity with their product claims.

More than words: Unlike many, Graphenstone don’t just shout about sustainability, but follow it up with the integrity of their products

The brand’s extensive line-up includes Ambient Pro+, a remarkable lime-based photocatalytic paint, able to eliminate airborne pollutants by up to 55 per cent (as tested by University of East London) every day, post-application. Ecosphere, a 98 per cent pure white lime paint, with its ability to absorb CO2, offers an exquisite matt finish for interior application. GrafClean caters to versatile use, indoors and outdoors, while GrafClean Eggshell adds a touch of elegance to woodwork and trim. GCS, a range of vapour open lime and silicate paints specifically designed for heritage and listed buildings, offers unrivalled durability while enabling the natural substrates to breathe. To further cater to diverse needs, Graphenstone presents Nevada Ultra. This low-cost mineral-based emulsion emits trace-level VOC only, and is designed for trade applications that can also serve as a cost-effective mist or first coat.

While colour selection has always been a potent tool for captivating buyers, Graphenstone transcends mere aesthetics, boasting a palette of more than 1,000 rich hues. Nonetheless, amid the backdrop of a climate crisis, the brand urges buyers to delve deeper into critical considerations through its distinctive Beyond Colour™ concept, which encourages a holistic approach.

Graphenstone’s environmentally friendly paints align with sustainability goals, ticking all the right boxes for responsible consumers. Moreover, they represent the epitome of the Best of British Business, showcasing excellence and innovation within the United Kingdom’s entrepreneurial landscape. By choosing Graphenstone, consumers demonstrate their support for a leading British enterprise that embodies ingenuity, commitment to sustainability and unmatched quality.

Choose your colour!

GRAPHENSTONE, Speedwell Way, Border Valley, Harleston, Norwich IP20 9EH

+44(0)1379 772940

Patrick Folkes, Director, Graphenstone
— (Graphenstone)
Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.