One of the simplest ways to revitalize your room, make a new house feel like home, or put the finishing touches on your efforts to prepare your Waterloo Region home for sale is to paint.
But you should consider the type of paint you're buying if you want to renovate your property in an environmentally responsible way. You can paint your house beautifully using low, no, or zero VOC, natural, and other eco-friendly paints while still being environmentally conscious.
There are several factors to take into account when selecting an eco-friendly paint option, regardless of whether you want to paint your entire house a new color or just touch up a few spots. To help you choose the best option for your home, let's look at what these paints mean and why you should use them.
What are VOCs?
VOCs," or volatile organic compounds, are gases that are released by some liquids and solids. VOCs can refer to a variety of substances, some of which may even have negative short- and long-term health effects.
As a result, the repeated release of VOCs can impact indoor air quality and may cause reactions like headaches, eye irritation, and nausea.
Many traditional paints include VOCs, meaning that your home is exposed to these gasses long after that new paint smell is gone. Increasingly, it's even something some homebuyers are concerned about and may ask about when viewing homes. Luckily, there are many low and zero VOC paint options out there that can help reduce the effects of conventional paints.
What is Low VOC Paint?
Low VOC paint is paint that has fewer VOCs than 50 grams per liter on average. However, this figure is different from brand to brand, so carefully check the labels. Low VOC paint still contains VOCs, so you might still be able to smell the fumes.
Unlike conventional oil-based paint, low VOC paint often has a latex base and a water-based formulation. Low VOC paints come in a variety of colors and are easy to find these days. Behr, Benjamin Moore, and Valspar are a few popular paint companies that have low VOC choices across most of their ranges.
What is No or Zero VOC Paint?
As you might have guessed, there are no VOCs with zero VOC paint. It is important to mention that some VOCs may be utilized throughout the paint tinting process. Therefore, paint is regarded as having no VOCs if it has less than 5 grams per liter. If you want to lessen your environmental impact, enhance the quality of your indoor air, or if you are particularly sensitive to paint fumes, zero VOC paints can be a terrific choice.
When selecting a no VOC paint, you may have fewer options for colors and finishes, but there are still many different brands to choose from. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Clare Paint, and Green Planet Paints are just a few companies that market zero VOC paints.
What Other 'Green' Paint Options Are Available?
Choosing natural paint is another choice that eliminates the uncertainty associated with locating VOC-free paints. These paints are made entirely of natural materials and are devoid of chemicals and heavy metals. Natural pigments, plant or essential oils, beeswax, milk paint, chalk, clay, and resins are all potential components of natural paints, which are frequently water-based.
Natural paints are usually more expensive and offer fewer hues. ECOS Paints and The Real Milk Paint Co. are two examples of big brands that offer them. Making your own natural paint at home is another option, although it is time-consuming and best only for smaller paint jobs.
Pros and Cons of Low and Zero VOC paints
Pros: Sustainability is the main benefit of picking a low VOC paint. Choosing eco-friendly paint can improve indoor air quality and reduce harmful emissions and air pollution. You'll also have less paint odor when painting.
As we mentioned earlier, as people become more aware of the fact that what is in their home can affect their health, and given that VOCs can stick around for a long time, being able to tell home buyers that you used a low or no VOC paint may help put them at ease about the issue when viewing your Waterloo Region home for sale.
Cons: The biggest con of choosing a low VOC or zero VOC paint option is the cost. They are often more expensive, which means you’ll have to factor the extra cost into your budget.
Additionally, some paints still include potentially harmful chemicals and additives. It’s important to understand what goes into your interior paint, regardless of what the label states. Whether you choose zero VOC paint or low VOC paint, having the proper ventilation is key to airing out any VOCs released into your home and helping the paint dry.