How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Paint

May 1, 2018

As more and more families are opting to go green with their homes, our team of professional painters often gets asked about low-VOC paints. The term VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. Defined, VOCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air.  As paint dries, these harmful VOCs are released into the air at high levels, causing air pollution and potential health issues which can be problematic for people with breathing problems such as asthma or emphysema, pregnant women, or families with small children and animals.

Enter low-VOC and no-VOC paints, which are now widely available and sold by most major paint manufacturers. In addition to healthier air indoors, low-VOC paints also release less gas into the atmosphere, decreasing their carbon footprint.

Benefits of Low-Voc and Earth-friendly paints

A low-VOC paint that we recommend is Duration by Sherwin Williams. Duration is naturally resists mildew and for households with budding ‘artists’, most stains or marks wipe clean with mild soap and water.

For zero-VOC paint options, Porter Paints offers a line called Pure Performance, which is also naturally mildew-resistant and easy to clean.  Another zero-VOC option is the Harmony collection from Sherwin Williams, which is available in a wide range of textures, glosses and hues. Some colors are so natural they’re even made from safe and sustainable materials like soy and sunflower oil. Lastly, ProMar 200, is a  zero-VOC professional-quality interior latex paint by Sherwin Williams.

Advantages to Low and No-Voc Paint

The biggest advantage to low and no VOC paint is that they give off very little odor. They also tend to dry quickly, provide excellent coverage, and offer a durable finish, especially now that more and more options are being introduced. Also, they can be applied to many different surfaces. Best of all, they are easy to find and are available in a great variety of colors.

While low and no-VOC paints are better for the atmosphere, these paints can contain other solvents and additives that can be harmful. When purchasing paint, it’s important to understand everything that goes into the paint you’re buying. Look for paints that are labeled “non-toxic” or “natural.” Read the label to ensure they contain no extra solvents or additives and check for 5g/L or less of VOCs. Ask the retailer where you’re purchasing your paint, and do some research on your own about any brands you’re considering. If you’re still not sure about which brand is best, ask an expert at your local paint store.

More Eco-Friendly Paint Options

If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly paint, there are many to choose from. These include recycled paint, milk paint, and plant- or mineral-based paints. If eco-friendly paint is important to you, be sure to check out these alternatives before buying.

As consumers continue to demand more earth-friendly options, paint companies will continue to come up with safer, greener options for your home. If you’re interested in using low or zero-VOC paint for your next interior paint job, don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

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