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Best Low Voc Paints

Updated on January 5, 2010

Find the Best Low VOC Indoor Paints for Your Home or Business!

Mmm, that fresh paint smell. It signifies a fresh start and a brand new fresh color coating of paint on our home's walls. Ok, actually that strong smell is actually VOC, or volatile organic compounds, that can cause more than just a slight irritation, but dizziness, headaches, nausea, and unknown effects over long periods of time of exposure. To lower the risk of potential complications from VOC, this page was created to give you the best low VOC paints for your home or business. Read on to find which paints are truly low VOC, and which ones will leave your walls freshly painted with less chemicals!

Benjamin Moore Aura Low Voc Paints

Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Latex Paint Eggshell Base 4 1 Qt Low Voc
Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Latex Paint Eggshell Base 4 1 Qt Low Voc

These paints are not only incredible in quality, but the whole line of Benjamin Moore's Aura is low VOC. It's also water based, which is a nice change of pace from the traditional petroleum based paints. I've personally tried the Aura line of paints and was more than impressed with the color quality. The smell of the paint was slightly less than traditional paint, but more importantly, it has less emissions and less chemicals (so you won't breathe it in). The paint has held up well two years after painting, and we still don't need to repaint. It hasn't chipped, cracked, or faded, so overall I am impressed. with the quality. I'd recommend it!

Photo of paint by basykes on flickr under Creative Commons 2.0.
Photo of paint by basykes on flickr under Creative Commons 2.0.

More on Low VOC Paint

Not sure if low VOC paint is right for you? Here are some things you can do to lower your exposure to VOC when painting, even when using more environmentally unfriendly paints:

1. Open the windows. Open as many windows as possible when painting. The more ventilation, the better. If possible, plan to paint during the warmer months when you can have the windows open the entire time that you are painting.

2. Plan to paint before a vacation. If you paint the inside of your home right before you are about to go away, the majority of the VOC will dissipate while you are away on vacation.

3. Step outside for a breather. Get some fresh air often when you're painting, don't stay inside.

4. Use a fan to direct air outside of the home. Point the fan in the direction of outside to drag air out.

5. Seal up leftover paint and discard used rollers as soon as possible in an outside trash to eliminate the scent and lower VOC exposure.

What Does Low VOC Mean?

If a paint is low VOC, it means that the paint is low in formaldehyde and heavy metals. They are also water based as opposed to petroleum based, so it will have a slightly less strong paint scent compared to regular paint (and will have lower emissions).

AFM Low VOC All Purpose Exterior Satin Paint

AFM Low VOC All Purpose Exterior Satin Paint (Pastel Base) 1 quart
AFM Low VOC All Purpose Exterior Satin Paint (Pastel Base) 1 quart

1 quart of low VOC all purpose exterior satin paint. This is a great earth friendly choice to cover the outside.


Citri-Strip Low VOC Adhesive Remover

Citri-Strip QCAR30397 Low VOC Adhesive Remover, 1-Quart
Citri-Strip QCAR30397 Low VOC Adhesive Remover, 1-Quart

With Citristrip, you can safely remove layers of yesteryear from your furniture, cabinets, doors, and other painted surfaces. It's biodegradable. And it smells pretty nice too. Paint remover needs to stay wet to work. Citristrip stays wet for 24 hours. So you can cover and strip an entire dining room set in one go. If it's too wintery to strip your furniture outside, or if your furniture is nailed down inside, Citristrip is safe for indoor use. That's because it's made without methylene chloride. Citristrip smells like oranges instead of eye-watering chemicals. And its orange color helps the stripper gel stand out on a surface, so you know where you've applied it.


How to Paint Contrasting Stripes on Your Wall

Information on Low VOC Paint from EcoJunkie

How to Paint a Wall - It's Pretty Easy!

Do You Have any Suggestions on a Low VOC Paint, or Have You Used One?

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