Sherwin Williams Harmony (No VOCs) Odor Free Paint Review

The Sherwin Williams Harmony paint with zero VOCs has worked out really well in the house. When painting, there was not a need to open the windows and step our of the room to prevent headaches from the odors most paints have. The additional few dollars was worth the expense when considering an eco friendly interior latex paint for the house and I would not go back to regular paint in the future.

Why use paint with zero VOCs?

VOCs (Variable Organic Compounds) are present in many products and are compounds that harm the environment by breaking down and causing ozone.  The EPA states that VOCs have “short-term and long-tern health effects”. Do you get a headache from the fumes when painting? That headache is caused by the VOCs. The harmful effects of VOCs include nausea and headaches as well as damage to internal organs. Lean more at the EPA website. Paint with low or no VOC content is ideal for children’s rooms and can be used in your entire home.

Sherwin Williams Harmony odor-free paint

Sherwin Williams Harmony® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint is available in the basic interior paint types (primer, flat, eg-shel and semi-gloss) to address all of your interior paint needs. I have been happy with the quality of the Harmony® semi-gloss we used in the interior walls of the living room. There is a price difference between the Harmony eco-friendly paint and the other interior paints Sherwin Williams offers, but the peace of mind that it is a product less-harmful to your health is worth the few extra dollars. It also is anti-microbial and prevents the growth of mildew and mold. The paint did have slight odor, but it was not noticeable and did was not bothersome like most paints. Sherwin Williams paints have a a lifetime warranty.

The Harmony® low odor has the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval and the Green Sure® designation from Sherwin Williams. The Green Sure® seal and indicates that the product was made with reduced harmful effects to the environment. Sherwin Williams offers other products with the Green Sure® mark and they include:

  • Sealants
  • Brushes
  • Rollers
  • Paint trays
  • Duration Home Interior Acrylic Latex Paint

How to Choose a low VOC odor-free paint

Other odor free or environmentally friendly home paints are available and if you are not at a Sherwin Williams store, check out there other products:

  • YOLO paint is a line of eco-friendly products and is sold at Home Depot and other locations. Find a location that sells YOLO near you. YOLO is Green Seal Certified.
  • Benjamin Moore offers Natura paint and you find a store near you at the Benjamin Moore website here.
  • American Paint is Green Wise certified and offers a washable finish. Find a location that sells American Paint here.

When shopping for an eco-friendly, low odor paint, remember to explore the certifications that the products advertise as having obtained. If you are very concerned about the level of VOCs and the manufacturing processes, take a moment to explore the qualifications of the certifications that the paint has earned.

Different certifying agencies may test different components of the product or consider steps in the manufacturing process that qualify the material as eco-friendly. For example, Green Wise indicates that the VOC content is equal to or less than 50 g/L for flat paints and equal to or less than 100 g/L for non-flat paints. For the Green Seal certification some paints boast, the standard for the test is less than or equal to 150 g/L VOC content for non-flat paints and less than or equal to 50 g/L for flat paints.

Chances are that a product certified by a reputable agency will have a lower VOC content than the standard industry paints, but by how much? Doing research on most of the products you buy that advertise themselves as 'eco-friendly' or 'safe' will help you determine how you want to send your money as a consumer.

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Comments 2 comments

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Ellen_C 5 years ago Author

Frank- good info thanks for sharing. For my walls I was more concerned about the odor than the quality in the particular room I was painting. I have little experience painting and it is nice that you are able to share this with people who also may be looking similar benefits in paint as you are.


Frank 5 years ago

I purchased a can of this Harmony paint last weekend to paint a bedroom, and in a nutshell, unless the can I had was defective, this paint is absolute garbage. I have been painting for 25 years and have never had so much trouble with a paint. I was painting an off-white color onto a perfectly primed bedroom. This paint flashed, came out uneven, left roller marks, required umpteen coats and still looked horrible. I can not say enough negative things about this paint. I went back to Sherwin Willams, purchased a can of regular paint and the job was done in 1/3 time I spent messing with this "Green" garbage. On a side note, the counter person at Sherwin Williams handed me this paint when I asked for a good premium paint that would cover quickly and with no mess: he obviously had no idea what he was selling. When I went back, he admitted that this was a paint for professionals and took at least two coats, and that other people had complained about the "flashing" (which means it basically does not absorb into wall evenly). To add insult to injury, when I finally painted the room with regular paint, it was like painting onto a sponge, and I needed two cans of regular paint to finish the room.

On a positive note, the room looks great, and I was only out $50 for the paint, a day of messing with it, two trips to the store to replace it, and a few clumps of my precious hair.

Stay away from this paint if you value your time and money and have some moderate quality standards for the appearance of the paint on your walls.

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