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Picking The Perfect VOC Free Paint

Horizontal photo of interior residential home accent wall painted green with large window and shade in background

Once you decide it’s time to add a new coat of paint to your walls the next step is to decide what paint you’re going to buy. With so many decisions to be made from brand, color and sheen it seems as though making the right decision isn’t so easy. Whatever you decide, it’s best to make sure you find a paint that is low VOC or VOC free. Not sure what VOCs are? At Tom Saint Painting, we’ll help you understand what exactly to look for when shopping for paint.

VOC is the abbreviation for volatile organic compounds. VOCs are solvents within the paint that get released as the paint dries. You may be familiar with other products that contain volatile organic compounds like cleaning supplies and some adhesives. Many companies are starting to make the switch to VOC free products because of rising consumer concerns.


So, what effects do VOCs have that make them a cause for concern? VOCs have been known to cause headaches or dizziness, but the long term effects are not fully known. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), some VOCs are suspected to be carcinogens.


Manufacturers are very aware of these concerns and have been mandated by the federal government to limit the amount of these solvents in paint. So, is there such a thing as a safe level of VOCs? Well, the regulations cap flat finishes at 250 grams per liter (g/l), and other finishes like low luster or semi-gloss at 380 g/l. To address the concerns of consumers in the marketplace, several manufacturers are offering options with lower levels than the federal government mandates, and others even sell VOC free paint.


In many cases additional solvents are added to paints that need to be mixed to color specifications, however the manufacturers of zero-VOC paint assure that their paint tints do not contain them. VOC-free paints are typically more expensive than standard paints, but many consumers are willing to expand their budget for this type of purchase.


So, what are the benefits of opting for VOC-free paint? The paint is typically of high quality, and with a zero VOC choice for your interior paint, you will also get peace of mind. At Tom Saint Painting we can advise you about VOCs, specific brands and products prior to your next painting project. To learn more call us or click here for a free quote.