Low VOC Paints

Why Choose Low VOC Paints?


As commercial painters in the Bay Area for over 30 years we have seen trends come and go in commercial painting industry. Low VOC paints or green options when it comes to exterior and interior paint options are here to stay because they are good for our health and good for the environment. Not only from an environmental standpoint, but also a health concern the production of low VOC paints for both interior and exterior applications is growing yearly.


What Creates VOC Emissions in Paint?


Paint contains three different types of chemicals: binders, pigments, and solvents. Binders allow paint to adhere to a variety of surfaces, pigments give  paint its vibrant color, and solvents keep the paint liquid until it is used for application. All types of interior and exterior paint contain these components, not all paint is the same. Lower-quality brands often contain high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause several harmful effects.


Why Low VOC Paint is the Smart Choice


Low VOC paints are a good option for your next commercial painting project for the following reasons:

  • Your HealthVolatile organic compounds or VOC’s are gases emitted by various solids or liquids, many of which have produce short- and long-term adverse health effects. Solvents in traditional paints often contain high quantities of VOCs. Paints that are low in VOCs improve indoor air quality and reduce urban smog. The beneficial characteristics of such paints include: low odor, clean air formula, safer technology, as well as excellent durability, and a washable finish.  Most VOCs in paint are found in the solvent. The solvent is designed to dry out after a short period of time, which means the solvent evaporates directly off the painted surface. When paint is applied to the interior of your home or commercial space, the VOCs can contaminate the indoor air, which may lead to respiratory problems and a variety of other health challenges. Low-VOC paints use alternative solvents, often with a water base, to reduce the concentration of the toxic chemicals.
  • Protect Your EnvironmentWhen you decide to have the exterior of your home or business painted, you should still choose low-VOC paints. Because the volume of paint used to cover a building’s exterior is much larger than the interior, using inferior paint can release many VOCs into the surrounding air. Not all toxic compounds evaporate when the paint dries, and high-VOC paints can continue leeching contaminants into the air for many years after their initial application. At Whit’s Painting we always take precautions not to have paint contaminate the watershed or ecosystem, but using a VOC alternative gives a higher level protection to your family, employees, tenants, and customers.


Low VOC PaintsLow-VOC paint types include: Latex (water based), recycled latex (water based), acrylic, and milk paint.

The labels of paint cans can be checked for the following information:

  • To be considered Low-VOC, the paint should consist of <50 grams per liter (g/l) of VOC.
  • To be considered Zero-VOC, the paint should consist of <5 g/l of VOC.
  • Solid content usually ranges from 25-45%, higher solid percentages ensures less VOC’s.

Whit’s Painting, Inc leads the way in using low VOC paint alternatives for both exterior and interior applications. Ask us about low VOC paint options for your next interior or exterior commercial paint job.


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