User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

Green Painting in Menlo Park, California and the Greater Peninsula

Is that house in need of a new paint job following the sun drenched summer or do you need that new interior look to "wow" a visiting sister?  If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are concerned about the environmental impact of your painting, I believe I have the right company for you.  Avi Decorative Painting, Inc., founded by Avi Lechner, is a painting company focused on sustainable and low-impact painting practices.  Continue reading to find out how this business was started and why it is Keen for Green. 

1. Why, how, and when did your business come about?

The family-owned, Menlo Park based, Avi Decorative Painting Inc., has been in business for over 23 years, providing a broad range of painting and home improvement services, repaint, new construction, and historical restorations. Range of services include Interior and Exterior, Venetian Plaster, Cabinets, Paper Hanging, and Faux Finishes. 

The company works with homeowners, contractors, architects, interior designers and business owners.  

Several years ago, our family became involved in environmental activism and gradually started greening our lives. At the same time, Avi Lenchner, principal and a California licensed contractor, started offering eco-friendly alternatives to the company’s broad range of painting and home improvement services. Our customers have a choice to Go Green or use the currently conventional materials. We do NOT charge more for Green workmanship.

We are extremely knowledgeable of Green and sustainable materials, workmanship, and techniques. The company is highly reputable and has an exceptional customer satisfaction rating: an A+ review on and Angie's List, the Palo Alto Weekly Best Painters 2009, and the Almanac (Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside) Readers' Choice Award.

2. What is the goal of your business?

Expand our customer base, offer financially compatible workmanship, increase property values, and offer better quality of life by helping building/home owners through reduced health risks associated with toxins.

Our job is to beautify homes and buildings and identify and solve problems on site. We strongly believe that our work is a wise investment in the future and it improves the resale value of the property. Our customers agree! (see,, Palo Alto Weekly and Almanac awards, and many more references.)

3. What projects have you recently done?

First, we have helped several customers transition from oil-based painted surfaces to non-toxic acrylic paints. We get many requests from home owners and businesses to treat oil painted surfaces. Our company has developed a proprietary technique to transition oil-painted surfaces that doesn't use additional VOC materials.

Second, we identified a severe case of mold in a customer’s home. In the master bathroom, we removed wallpaper and found mold which impacted the customer's chronic illness. There’s a misconception that mold may be found in bathrooms only. However, mold can be found in kitchens, un-aired closets, behind furniture (that are pushed against walls), bottom of single pane window, and more. Mold can be found on outer structures or outside walls, too.

Lastly, we have chemically neutralized lead-based paint from the exterior and interior of an older house on the Stanford campus. We used a new technique to convert lead paint into non-hazardous substance (approved by EPA, RCRA and more) and enabled the family to stay at home and lead their normal lives. Our method doesn’t disturb the existing harmful lead-paint layers. We don’t scrape, cut or sand the toxic surfaces. Our treatment is inexpensive versus the traditional costly lead removal processes.


4. Are you aligned with any green organizations?

The company funds and sponsors the non-profit educational venue Avi Green Now! that offers an eco-presentation series as a community service.  Avi Green Now! strives to educate and increase public awareness to living green, healthy homes, greener communities, and healing the planet.

Other Green activities & involvement:

  • Build It Green, California
  • Green Making For Silicon Valley (Building/Making homes Green)
  • Acterra, Palo Alto
  • Menlo Park GRCC – Green Ribbon Citizen Committee
  • Palo Alto CEAP - Community Environmental Action Partnership
  • Palo Alto YMCA, Green Committee, Leader
  • HomeTown Peninsula - Independent Business Alliance - Shop Local!
  • Other: Green/Sustainability committees -Town Of Portola Valley, LiveGreen, Atherton, Humanity for Habitat, Sam Mateo County RecycleWorks – Resources Conservation, Connexions, Sustainable Silicon Valley, Edible Gardens - Greening Up Withe Joneses MeetUp, more.

5. How does your organization's activity help the environment?

Before we answer this question let us give your readers some background facts showing how the health or the environment, customers and even their pets is all intertwined.

  • Indoor air can be up to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air (per EPA – The United States Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Children are particularly vulnerable - 40% will develop a respiratory disease, in part due to the pollution in their homes (per The New England Journal of Medicine)
  • One source of air-pollution is VOCs: they are vapors that are released from various building materials. Some people use the term off-gassing, however, it refers to the same issue: materials emitting toxic fumes that are hazardous to our health, especially for the chemically sensitive.

We promote sustainability by using quality materials and in utilizing professional techniques. We are committed to using paints and materials, which contain zero or low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). We dispose paints and materials according to city and state regulations. We employ safety standards in handling all materials and tools. Crew members are trained regularly and adhere to safety procedures. We use protective products and accessories such as gloves, masks, respirators and goggles. We use proper ventilation at the job site to minimize inhalation of toxic fumes, which are released into the air as a normal process of off-gassing.  We identify and solve many mold issues. Frequently, mold is not identified and may impact family members chronic respiratory illnesses. Mold can be found indoors and outdoors, in the crawl space, under/around decks, etc.

Even if you decide not to chose Avi Decorative Painting, Inc. we ask you to keep a few recommendations in mind when starting a painting job with any contractor or by yourself. 

  • Know the terminology, ask questions, read materials’ labels
  • Use of quality and the healthiest materials available
  • Employ quality, smart and knowledgeable workmanship
  • Utilize professional techniques; Licensed and trained workers
  • Use of the proper tools and the right materials per job
  • Sustainable surfaces can be achieved for the same or lower price
  • Dispose of products & materials according to city/state regulations
  • Use proper ventilation to reduce exposure to materials’ fumes
  • Use safety practices



Avi of "AVI DECORATIVE PAINTING" spent the better part of his life & work being green. He & his family are truly Green in  their everyday living & daily activities.

From my experience and that of many other homeowners I talked with - "AVI DECORATIVE PAINTING" is an honorable member of the Green Comunity.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.