Paint photo by The Seattle Times

Low and No VOC Paint

In Exterior Painting, Homeowner Tips, Interior Painting by Jeff DupontLeave a Comment

Photo by The Seattle Times

Photo by The Seattle Times

Paint is the most visible thing in your home. You probably have spent many hours picking out just the right colors. But you should also think about what you don’t see in your home — that “new paint smell,” for example.

What you’re really smelling are VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, and the fewer of those you have in your paint, the better.

And then there are always those leftover cans of paint that disappear into the basement or garage, often forgotten for years.

By reducing toxins and waste as you adorn your walls with new colors, you’ll protect your family’s health and the environment.

You can also take advantage of the increasing variety and availability of eco-friendly paint to help save some of that green stuff in your wallet.

Follow these painting guidelines:

It’s the water

Try to use only water-based paint. This is commonly known as latex paint, even though it doesn’t actually contain any latex. You may need an oil-based (or alkyd) paint for a few situations, such as priming bare wood.

But today’s latex paints will meet most needs, interior or exterior. Latex paints have fewer VOCs than oil-based paints. Another advantage of latex paints is that you don’t need paint thinner or other toxic solvents to clean up with afterward.

Be less VOC-al

Over the years, manufacturers have eliminated toxins such as lead, mercury and chromium from nearly all consumer paints. But, as paint changes from a liquid to a solid when it goes on the wall, it still emits VOCs. These can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, and cause dizziness, headaches and other health problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For most people the effects won’t be long-term. But those who suffer from asthma and allergies, along with the very young and elderly, face a greater risk. VOCs also cause smog.

Every paint can should list its amount of VOCs, although it may be in fine print.

Read full article at the Seattle Times

This article may be several years old, but it still provides very valuable information about VOCs in paint.  As a responsible, environmentally conscious painting contractor, Sound Painting Solutions, LLC strives to use low or no VOC paint whenever possible.  No-VOC paints are especially attractive on interior jobs, where fumes can become trapped inside of a house and exacerbate the harmful effects of VOCs.  Click here to browse Green Promise® products by Benjamin Moore, Sound Painting Solutions’ preferred paint vendor.  All of the products listed have low or no VOCs.  Among our favorites are Natura, a no-VOC interior paint, and Aura, a low-VOC exterior paint.


The interior painting season is in full swing! Call us today for an estimate: (206) 258-6676, or use the form on the top righthand side.

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