VOC-Free Paint Reviews

Updated on August 9, 2018
Matt G. profile image

Matt is a professional painter sharing house-painting tips, related product reviews, and his experience in the trade.

What Is Zero VOC Paint?

Every major paint company now sells VOC free paint, and the price difference usually isn't much more than regular paint, but is the paint worth buying? I work with paint year round, so having the ability to work with less toxic products is great. But even for a homeowner painting their house one time, purchasing paint that's less toxic is a no-brainer.

Regular house paints contain higher levels of VOC's (volatile organic compounds), which are pretty bad for your health, even when dry. Most of the paints I use are either zero VOC, or low. Long-term exposure to paint fumes can cause health problems including kidney and liver damage, memory loss, mental illness, and even cancer.

Paint is most harmful when wet, obviously, but even dry paint releases harmful fumes several years after application, with about 50% occurring in the first year. If you are painting a room for your children, absolutely paint the walls with this paint. Regular paint can cause asthma and even brain damage in young children.

Latex paints are less harmful than alkyd paints, but both include nasty chemical compounds. Oil-based paints are probably the worst because these coating dry slower, prolonging exposure to the fumes. Latex paints contain ethylene glycol, a component of anti-freeze, which can cause liver damage.

Is VOC-Free Paint Really Zero VOC?

All paints contain volatile organic compounds, but these eco-friendly paints contain the lowest amount typically. According to the EPA, zero VOC paint is 5 g/L, or less, and low VOC paint is no greater than 250 g/L.

Keep in mind too that while these paints have the lower levels of organic compounds, the tint the paint store uses does not, so when you tint your paint colors at the store, you're increasing these levels. Additionally, satin, enamel and semi-gloss paint contain higher levels than flat paint.

Natural Paint

There are paints that are totally natural and virtually chemical-free, but these products are usually available only through special ordering online. Most major home improvement stores don't carry them.

Natural paint is formulated using raw ingredients like plant oil, water, bee's wax, clay, milk protein, and natural minerals. Bio Shield and Livos are two companies who sell organic paints that are safe and contain natural ingredients.

ProMar 200 Zero VOC Interior Paint

ProMar 200 is a Sherwin Williams paint I've used a lot. The paint is very affordable, but still offers advantages of pricier paints.

ProMar covers exceptionally well, and the paint doesn't have a strong odor. The paint also dries fast, so you can apply the second coat no more than one hour after applying the first coat. This product won't give you the durability of more premium Sherwin Williams paints like Duration, but it's still a decent product.

Harmony Interior Paint

Harmony is another good choice from Sherwin Williams. I've mostly used ProMar 200, but I've used Harmony quite a few times too and found it to be a very good paint. The paint has less odor than many other "odorless paints" on the market I've tried.

The main advantage of Harmony, other than minimizing fumes, is the durability of the paint finish. After painting two coats, the surface of the paint is very smooth and easy to wash without causing damage. Harmony is a good paint to use for walls in a children's nursery or bedroom.

Benjamin Moore Natura

Natura is a popular zero VOC paint manufactured and sold by Benjamin Moore. I haven't personally used this product before, but based on what I've read, I don't recommend buying it. Natura paint gets mixed reviews and complaints from consumers who claim the paint smells horrible after application. There was even a recent lawsuit relating to the same complaint. Natura is sold as a premium paint that is supposed to resist fading and staining, and contains zero VOC's.

As an alternative, I recommend Duration Home from Sherwin Williams, a low VOC paint I use a lot. The fumes go away shortly after the paint dries, and stains wipe from the surface easily without the paint rubbing off.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)