Should You Ask Your Painter to Use Non-VOC Paints?

Should You Ask Your Painter to Use Non-VOC Paints?

Painting your home is a great way to spruce it up and give it a new and fresh look. If you’re hiring a professional painter to do it, you need to ask them a few questions first. One thing that’s on many people’s minds these days is eco-friendly products. Unfortunately, many paints are not so friendly to the environment or to people.

Volatile Compounds

There are typically a lot of chemicals that go into making paints. Volatile Organic Compounds – VOC for short – are chemicals that are added to paint. The problem is that these compounds can actually be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. 

If you’ve ever smelled fresh paint, that strong smell is actually the volatile compounds out-gassing into the environment. Unfortunately, these compounds can cause allergic reactions in some people and are certainly harmful when dumped into the environment.

What About Your Painter?

The good news is that lately, companies have been moving further and further away from such volatile chemicals in their paints. In fact, there are now a number of brands that specialize in low and non-VOC paint formulations. So, should you ask your painter about non-VOC paints for your home?

If you suffer from allergies, you should seriously consider asking your painting professional about non-VOC paint formulations. If you have had symptoms in the past related to strong chemical smells or you don’t want to take the risk of those chemical gasses affecting you or anyone else in the home, you should ask about non-VOC paint brands.

Some Things to Consider

If you’re about to have your home painted and you’ve asked about non-VOC [paints, there are a few things to bear in mind. While non-VOC paints do exist, they are not chemical free. Indeed, they still contain harmful chemicals, but they don’t contain known chemicals that out-gas. 

The other thing to remember is that even non-VOC paints can have volatile organic compounds added to them during the tinting process. So, if you happen to like a certain shade of red, for example, the tinting process can add some volatile organic compounds to the mix.

The other option is low-VOC paints. As the name suggests, these paint formulations contain reduced levels of volatile organic compounds. This may sound like a good idea, but you also need to remember that the low-VOC paints are simply lower in such compounds when compared to some other brands. Given that there is no actual standard in place for VOC levels in paints, even the low VOC paints may still contain too many chemical compounds.


Both low and non-VOC paints are a great choice because they are not only less harmful in general, but also don’t give off the strong odor that many people have a problem with. Just remember that even low and non-VOC paints may still have chemical compounds added to them during the tinting process that make them more harmful.

Having said that, it’s still a good choice to ask your professional painter to recommend a paint brand that is known to be formulated without volatile organic compounds or with far fewer such compounds.

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