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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Default Low and no VOC paints

    I am preparing to paint most of the interior of our house. It seems the right time to investigate low and no VOC paints, especially for semi-gloss trim paint. From what I have read, it's not clear to me how they compare in performance to "regular" paint. This is not an allergy or sensitivity issue for us. Any experience, thoughts, ratings, websites not related to the paint companies?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    Default Re: Low and no VOC paints

    Ajznn,

    Consumers Reports is about as good a review as any, however, to gain access to all their reports you have to subscribe to their service. It is available ******.

    Home Depot handles the Fresh Air line of paints by Glidden. It is no VOC. They accomplish this by not tinting with universal colors, but by tinting via dry color packets added to the paint.
    I have gotten positive feed back on this product as to how it covers and works. Also, many people love their color palette although it is somewhat limited. Fresh Air does bring a cost premium though.

    In later years, the Feds have taken much of the VOC's out of both latex and oil paints. Many painters have countered the degrading of the workability of oil paints by adding the solvents and Penetrol back in! Many latex paints advertise themselves as no VOC, but the hooker is that the universal colorants in the mixing machines are loaded with VOC's.

    In short, unless you have to avoid the VOC's for allergy reasons or you are just your generic "tree hugger", I wouldn't bother with them.

    I am still biased towards oil paints for fine woodwork. It flows out better leaving less brush marks and dries to a hard ,durable surface. Both oil paints and lacquers can be sprayed to give a furniture like finish. Latexes can be sprayed to give a fine looking finish too, but even a professional can only give a passible result when brushing it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Smile Re: Low and no VOC paints

    12345678910
    Last edited by coyotegyrl; 10-16-2008 at 06:32 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,817

    Default Re: Low and no VOC paints

    Coyotegrl,

    Yes, you have used low VOC paints in later years, The Federal Government has mandated that! The odors that are in many paints are not neccessarily coming from the VOC's. Also, as stated, unless your paint manufacturer is using dry tinting pigments or colorants in a water solution, you are probably still getting VOC's. Universal colorants are loaded with volatiles, its liquid base being similar to automotive anti-freeze. As to off gasing, they are called "volatils" for a purpose. They are volatile and flash to the atmosphere, the great majority disappearing by the time the paint has dried and cured overnight.

    As stated also, these low VOC paints carry a signicant premium cost wise. It is your choice, but my advice to "ajznn" still stands.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Low and no VOC paints

    Hi Guys,

    We're a C2 retailer.

    Their new "LOVO" (Low VOC) line is well-received here.
    The C2 Premium & LOVO series are in the low-to-mid-$40's/gal.
    VOC's are in the 0-50g/L range, so legally it can be labled as "Low VOC".

    Per their senior chemist..."VOC's and a paints perceived odor have nothing to do with each other".

    With the new higher-end paints, the resins start setting-up pretty quickly! Your "brush-out" time is literally 1 min. or less. This can be increased with a new additive by XIM called Latex X-tender.
    * This is a no-voc additive.
    * It doesn't affect the color like Floetrol can, & you don't need as much of it.
    * It may beneficial for use on woodwork, etc., since it helps the paint "level" better.
    * A working-time of 10 minutes isn't unheard of!

    Faron

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,592

    Default Re: Low and no VOC paints

    Without stepping onto a soapbox, are you equally concerned about your carpets, d****s, and upholsteries as you are about VOC in paints? Do you use Teflon cookware? Do you realize that Teflon releases it's chemical components not only to the air but into the food that is cooking in it? Do you use plastic water bottles, soda bottles, etc? The plastic generally used in these items is of the highest off-gassing type, again, releasing it's chemical composition into whatever is stored in them. Do you have a cabinet with Tupperware or other plastic storage containers? Ever open the doors and notice that "plastic" odor? What do you think that is, or where those gases go when you put food in the container?

    The point is, there are far more things within your daily environment that are equally, if not more, toxic than the VOC levels in most paints.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    3

    Default Re: Low and no VOC paints

    I fear this conversation is veering away from my intended question.

    Can anyone speak to the performance of low/no VOC paints as compared to regular paints? By which I mean coverage, ease of use, visible brush strokes, sagging, variable sheen, drying time, etc.

    I have visited Consumer Reports. VOC level was not one of their descriptors and not all paints were tested, so it's a bit hard to tease out a comparison. I have found only anecdotal information elsewhere.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Low and no VOC paints

    I work for Devine Color paint and we have a great 99.9 percent VOC-free paint that performs really well. It's about forty bucks a gallon but usually goes on in one coat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Low and no VOC paints

    This may be a bit late in the conversation, but I have used the Sherman Williams Harmony paint and I love it. Very little smell and covers nicely. It's about $40/gallon.

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