Since its founding in 1989, Green Seal Inc. has certified thousands of products and services in almost 400 categories. Certification by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization involves an in-depth review of product data and manufacturing procedures, including an on-site audit of manufacturing facilities; as well as ongoing monitoring.

The organization has folded GS- 47 (Stains and Finishes) into GS-11 (Paints, Coatings, Stains, and Sealers) to produce a single standard that covers most types of architectural coatings on the market today.

The new, expanded GS-11 now includes clear and transparent floor coatings, concrete and masonry sealers, and fire-resistant coatings as well as paints, primers, anti-corrosive coatings, and reflective coatings.

It also:

  • Provides greater flexibility in assessing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aligns with VOC limits set by the California Air Resources Board.
    Addresses stains and finishes for wood and metal (previously covered under GS-47)
    Updates for clarity on certain criteria for chemical ingredients, reflecting the current market for leadership products.

GS-11 ensures that certified paints, coatings, stains, and sealers deliver satisfactory performance. Each product is tested for performance parameters applicable to the intended use of that product.

Green Seal redesigned the standard to restrict a comprehensive list of harmful chemicals, including heavy metals, certain phthalates, formaldehyde donors, carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, hazardous air pollutants, and ozone depleting compounds. Certain exceptions are made for titanium dioxide, carbon black, crystalline silica, and PCBTF because they are necessary for acceptable performance and feasible alternatives are currently lacking.

To download the revised standard, visit: