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Interior Design
How Cover Story’s plastic-free interior paints disrupts the industry
Synthetic paints are known as one of the most significant sources of marine microplastics and there has been hardly anything happening in the world of paints during the last 100 years. Then, at the beginning of this year, Cover Story entered the market, aiming to do things differently.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
27 Oct 2021

The brand, founder Anssi Jokinen explains, was born out of a real problem.

— We all know that the world has changed. Cars run on electricity, food is ordered through mobile phones, favourite TV shows are watched on-demand, and milk is not from a cow anymore. But interior wall and ceiling paints are still sold exactly like they were 50 years ago. We think painting needs a makeover. And that is why we are making painting easier, more inspiring, and better for nature.

How?

— We differ from the traditional paint brands in our way of understanding painting. We believe that the shade of the walls is the most important element of the interior and finding the perfect one is demanding, but we offer 38 shades and we believe that painting should be simple, straightforward, and inspiring. That’s why we sell our A4-sized adhesive samples, paints, and painting supplies online. So everything you need for painting arrives at your home door with just a few clicks.

— And, as we want to give painting a fresh start, we want to do it sustainably. Our paint is 100% plastic-free, water-based, and VOC-free (Volatile organic compounds, common ground-water contaminants, Ed’s note). Our high-quality and recyclable painting supplies are designed to last — and, as they are made of Danish beech and metal, you might not even want to throw them away.

How come that you decided to go for plastic-free paint? And what are the main advantages and challenges doing that? 

— For us, plastic-free is a fundamental choice. In most paints, plastics are used in the paint binder to bind the ingredients together and attach the paint to its substrate. We didn’t want plastic — instead, we use renewable natural oil as a binder. In practice, being plastic-free means that the paint does not form a plastic film on the surface that you paint but allows the structure to breathe, Jokinen tells. He continues:

— However, going plastic-free isn’t only about breathability. We don’t want to use plastic unnecessarily. Our paint works like plastic paints when painting, but in the end, no plastic ends up in nature. Our production process also doesn’t require the production of any new plastic. We want to be at the forefront of the change. There is already enough plastic in the world. Of course, we also face challenges as a small company operating in an old-fashioned industry. But the biggest challenge we face is the prejudice that plastic-free paint creates. Our situation now is the same as it was for oat milk five years ago. Today, it is only natural to drink oat milk with your morning coffee.

Founded in January this year, the company delivers to a bunch of countries through their e-com. They also just opened their first space, ”Paint Studio” (pictured above), in the heart of Helsinki. It’s designed by one of Finland’s leading interior architects, Linda Bergroth, who’s also created their first capsule collection.

— It consists of six shades that complement each other and can be used to paint an entire apartment. When Linda Bergroth designed our Paint Studio, we renovated and restored the apartment of a Finnish art deco house to its former glory and deconstructed unnecessary layers. The walls and ceilings were then painted with the color combination Linda chose. For instance, rose-beige walls are paired with a deep brown ceiling and green-grey enjoys the company of soft warm beige. It’s not just a store, but a source of inspiration. The rest of the decoration follows the metallic minimalism of our packaging. We rely on our brand’s storytelling and carefully curated colors — I believe that the experience will be the same whether you buy the paint online or visit us in Helsinki, Jokinen concludes.