07 June, 2009

Low VOC paint – PROS & CONS

As I mentioned in this article low VOC paints are a great product. I strongly believe that in a close future majority of paints will be low VOC. But being a relatively new section of an industry VOCs paints are not perfect. Below are the main pros and cons of low VOC paints:


1. Non toxic & non allergic
With allergies and asthma being so common low VOCs provides a healthy solution.
2. Minimal smell
Sniffing paint is not usually a pleasant sensation. Low VOC paint has minimal smell.
3. Safety during project
Significantly quicker drying time and recoating means unit doors will be opened for much less period of time.
4. Easy touch up
Water-based enamels are non-yellowing (unlike conventional enamels). Left-over paint can be used to touch ups for years. Brushes are easy to clean up with water.


1. Paint tint contains VOC
This is the most upsetting part. The darker the colour – the more tint you need and the more VOC it gets. So for better benefit stay with white or off-white colours.
2. Poorer coverage
You will need more coats of paint to change a colour and this may blow off the budget. If you stay with the same colour – you are safe.
3. Higher price
Add about 50% extra for material coats. But from Ol’ Painting experience the extra cost per unit usually under $100.
4. Environmental
'Low-VOC' label does not necessarily mean it is environmentally preferable. We have to consider the entire manufacturing process and its' environmental impact.

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