Low and No VOC paints have been known as the ecological alternative to traditional paints for quite some time now. Today we have even more options when it comes to selecting paints that are both environmentally friendly and safe for kids, pets, allergy sufferers, and you!
Here are a few things to look for when you are choosing environmentally friendly paints:
- Low VOC or No VOC – VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. There was a time when these compounds were necessary for paint to cure and last. VOCs are also partly responsible for the paint smell. Latex paint is considered Low VOC when its VOC level is 250 grams per liter or lower. If you use oil paints, look for 380 grams per liter or less.
- Low Biocides – Biocides are organisms added to paint to keep it from getting moldy. Along with VOCs, biocides add to air pollution, both inside and around your home, depending on where you are painting.
- Natural Pigments – there are some eco-friendly paint bases that allow you to add your own color. However, if the pigment is not also natural, it cancels out some of the factors you were looking for – like paints that don’t emit a lot of chemicals into the air. Check with your paint seller before they mix paint for you.
- Oil and solvent based paints have higher VOCs. If you or someone in your home is asthmatic or has severe allergies, you may consider avoiding these types of paint all together. (At Three Brothers Painting, we lean toward latex paints, unless asked to use something different.)
Milk paints are growing in popularity. They are No VOC paints. On the most basic level, they are a mixture of milk, lime and pigments. They come in a variety of colors and have opaque options as well as varieties that allow wood grain to show through. Some milk paints even have a make your own kit, where you purchase pigment powders and just add water. This allows you to adjust tint and tone to suit your taste. Creating your own is best for a smaller project, such as painting furniture. Trying to mix enough to paint an entire room can lead to inconsistent tint and coverage.
Fun fact about milk paints: both King Tut’s tomb and homes built during America’s Colonial Era were painted with milk paints.
If you prefer a latex paint, there a tons of options available, including more paint colors than ever before. Even primers have Low and No VOC options.
But don’t forget: even if you are using No VOC paints, always keep the room you are painting well ventilated.
Three Brothers Painting has Low VOC paint options and our estimators can answer any questions you have about the paints and the process. Call us today for more information!