Made in Vermont — always better! Hardwick-based Vermont Natural Coatings produces a line of interior and exterior stains and finishes for both residential and commercial applications that is red-list free, containing no carcinogens, mutagens or reprotoxins.

The company achieves these standards using a patented ingredient it calls PolyWhey. It’s a technology that uses whey protein, a recycled and renewable byproduct of the cheese-making process, of all things, to replace the toxic ingredients found in typical wood finishes. The protein-rich whey also adds durability.

The company’s products far surpass the highest standards for volatile organic compounds — the gasses that are given off as compounds break down over time — and are approved for use in the strictest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum-certified constructions.

Vermont Natural Coatings was started by the same folks who founded artisan tofu company Vermont Soy, also based in Hardwick, and in its own way is an agriculture product. A far cry from the pungent petroleum-smelling stains you might be used to, the factory smells pleasant, vaguely like a food producer.

The product has become popular with schools, as contractors and campus grounds crews have started thinking more about the off-gassing associated with more industrial-scaled stains and paints.

My professional career involved specifying, estimating and supervising the installation of coatings, waterproofing and repairs around the United States. Hence, my tendency is to be critical of products, even more so when it is my own home, so that’s where I gave Vermont Natural Coatings a try.

The first step was to prepare the surface by sanding down the high-wear areas with a dustless grinder and vacuum system. The rest of the surface was thoroughly cleaned with Vermont Natural Coatings professional wood floor cleaner and then I hand-applied the EasyWhey floor color until all surface color was the same.

The easy part was applying the PolyWhey 3500 Wood Floor Finish, which because of the small areas, was applied with a 9-inch roller. You can actually watch the coating “break” or cure with great consistency where you just applied the product.

After a cure time of 90 minutes, the second coat was applied and then the third coat. Trust me when I say these are incredible products. Info:

David Jamieson is a Realtor broker with Pall Spera Co. Realtors. He is a seventh-generation Vermonter and lives with his wife, Sue, in Worcester.

Tommy Gardner contributed to this report.

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