Volatile Organic Compounds. Big words here. In fact they are so big they could knock you over the head! And they often do. Simply stated, volatile organic compounds or VOC’s are chemical liquids that evaporate at room temperature. And most paint has them. They are the stink in your newly painted room and create the fumes in your headache. The paint literally “gasses off”.
Now I am not a chemist (but I play one on TV). As an architectural color consultant, my primary job is to specify color, usually in the form of applied paint. But I also care about your personal well being as well as the environment. And I am not alone - paint companies have responded to the “greening” of American consumers with products that are both friendly to humans and Mother Earth.
Be aware that there are paints with low VOC’s and paints with NO VOC’s. A no VOC paint is considered to have <5g/L of VOC, whereas a low VOC paint ranges from 50 g/L to as much as 250 g/L. One paint company that offers no VOC paints is Yolocolorhouse. They have a great website that informs and educates about VOC’s. Another is Stark Paint, a designer line with colors by British designer, David Oliver. Benjamin Moore’s environmentally friendly paint is “Natura” while Sherwin Williams’ touts their GreenSure label.
Then there are of course paints with low VOC’s. All the beautiful colors of C2 Paint can be had with their low VOC line “C2Lovo”. I have personally used this and have had great results. The paint dried quickly and was free of lingering odor.
So the next time you go to buy a can of paint, know that you have the option to spare the environment just a little bit. Think Green! After all...it is my favorite color.