South Carolina couple develops earth-friendly paint line

A Johnston, S.C., couple has developed a line of environmentally friendly paint now sold nationwide.


Donna and Eric Schultz started CeCe Caldwell’s Paints last fall. In the past six months, the paint line has reached about 75 retail outlets throughout the United States and Canada, including The Antique Market in Augusta, Donna Schultz said.

The product is a clay- and mineral-based paint, which contains porcelain clay and standard clay. The paint has a matte, chalky feel when it dries and doesn’t require prepping or sanding. Its 36 colors are named after American cities, states and regions.

CeCe Caldwell’s Paints are designed for furniture but can also be used on walls, plastic and metal, she said.

“I was using another paint, but I was kind of concerned because I had a very young grandson that was around a good bit when I painted,” Schultz said. “There were chemicals in the paint and waxes I was using. I was concerned it could be affecting him.”

Schultz began looking for paint options. She said she finally found one that she liked, but decided to improve it by adding another ingredient. The company that manufactures the paint she liked mixes a paint batter and ships it to her. She then adds her final ingredient and colorants, which are imported from Finland.

“That is the only place that I can find zero VOC (volatile organic compound) colorants,” Schultz said.

The couple mixes all of the paint with a machine at a storefront in Johnston, which they have already outgrown. Then they pump the paint into recycled containers and package them to be shipped.

CeCe Caldwell’s Paints contain no solvents, acrylic, formaldehyde, ammonia, heavy metals or ethylene glycol. The wax finish is made from insect and plant sources, Schultz said.

The paint line is doing so well that Schultz will pursue it full time when she retires from her job today. The couple plans to come out with several new products before the end of the year, she said.



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