New: eco-friendly graphene paint

Graphene is essentially a thin layer of pure carbon and it's hailed as a wonder material. So cue great excitement about a new natural paint from Spain that contains graphene


Graphene is the wonder material derived from carbon, discovered at Manchester University and launched in 2004. Graphene has been incorporated into a range of natural paints made by Graphenstone and it's available in the UK through London-based The Graphene Company, headed up by Patrick Folkes. The paints have been tested to show they are more hard-wearing than conventional paints, they contain no petrochemical-derived ingredients and they're VOC-free.

The first commercially-available graphene-infused paints are now on sale in the UK and they'll appeal to people who want paints that contain no petro-chemical ingredients and are super hard-wearing yet breathable.

Sourced from pure carbon, graphene is the strongest material known to science. Discovered in 2004 by two Nobel Prize winners at Manchester University, it's a highly inert, innocuous and non-toxic. Graphene’s inclusion in paints, coatings and other building materials enhances hardness, durability, compression, tensile strength, elasticity and coverage.

Graphenstone offers more than 1,000 colours of sustainable and eco-friendly coatings for both indoor and exterior use and it's suitable for restoration projects as well as new builds. Graphenstone has achieved industry accolades and certifications including C2C Gold for its pure white Biosphere Premium lime-based paint. 


The merits of graphene

Graphene fibres are:

 *highly inert, so corrosion resistant

200 times stronger than structural steel

*1,000 times more conductive than copper

Graphene fibres form a transparent nanolevel mesh which is fully encapsulated within Graphenstone paint. The graphene mesh makes the paint finish extremely long-lasting while the paint remains a natural paint - ie it's free of petrochemical ingredients. The graphene also makes the paint very easy to apply, and you should get  two x 8m2 coats of paint per litre on average. And as graphene is a conductive material, the paint will improve a building's thermal regulation, which means less heating/air conditioning could be needed.


Lime base

Graphenstone paints are derived from raw natural mineral limestone (calcium carbonate (CaCO3)) processed through a traditional artisanal and carbon neutral lime cycle process. First quicklime (calcium oxide (CaO)) is extracted from the limestone through a calcination process. Pure natural water (H2O) is then used to hydrate the quicklime, converting it into calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2), an extremely pure and active lime with over 98 per cent whiteness. Once applied to a substrate, the calcium hydroxide in the Graphenstone paint absorbs CO2 as it cures so it returns to calcium carbonate with the same inert properties of raw natural mineral limestone, thus closing the lime cycle.


The porous nature of Graphenstone’s lime and graphene-infused coatings ensures that walls can still breathe. This improves air quality, reduces room humidity, acts against moisture collection and condensation, and contributes to safe and healthy environments. Microorganisms and microbial growth of bacteria and fungi are deterred from rooms where Graphenstone paints are applied due to the high alkaline pH of the lime and the paints’ ventilating properties.

Patrick Folkes, who's bringing the paints to the UK, says the low odour and non-harmful characteristics of Graphenstone paint mean rooms can be occupied within a few hours of application, reiterating that the paints offer peace of mind because they're free from VOCs, formaldehyde, heavy metals, toxic substances, carcinogens and harmful agents such as biocides or plasticizers.


Graphenstone paint is certified by Germany's independent eco-INSTITUT laboratory as being free from substances that degrade the environment. It is also carbon neutral – as the paint cures and over its lifetime each square metre of Graphenstone paint absorbs 120 grams of CO2 from the local environment  where it’s applied. To date Graphenstone is the only paint in the world to meet the Cradle to Cradle Gold Standard. Products are made from natural elements rather than chemicals and packaging is derived from recycled materials


Folkes says he's confident the UK will welcome these paints because of the health and environmental benefits they offer: 'I've been inspired by the excitement about graphene as a wonder material, but Graphenstone’s paints, coverings and materials are one of the first applications of graphene to be fully project-proven at scale around the world, and supported by certifications backing up the manufacturer's claims. Graphenstone will contribute to more sustainable and healthier environments in the UK.'