Environmentally Friendly Painting – Low VOC Paint
Recently the painting industry has had a major overhaul in their products and services. And it was all for very good reason: preservation of the environment and the minimizing the emission of household toxins. The environment as we know it is in upheaval as we are trying to take drastic measures to preserve and protect it.
The most common eco-friendly products we use are called “low VOC” paints. VOC stands for “volatile organic compounds”. VOC’s are found in all paints and are basically carbon solvents that omit toxic elements. These carbon solvents are necessary, however, to make paint spreadable, keeping them from freezing, and to make it simply stick to the wall. The negative aspects of these carbon solvents are they evaporate into the atmosphere, and omit toxic elements not healthy for humans. The bottom line is low-VOC paints exist now without these toxic characteristics, as well as helping preserve against further destroying our environment.
Oil-based paints, which were once considered the paint of choice decades ago, are now being phased out completely from our paint product lines. This is a nation wide industry phenomenon, not just in paint stores in Toronto and the GTA. If you go to most paint stores in Toronto and the GTA, it will be hard to find oil-based paints. The reasoning is simply that oil paints omit much higher VOC than latex paints. And, with the new technology of paint, the latex paints of today are far superior in most ways than the traditionally older oil-based paints.
Some of these inherent advantages of latex paint are:
- a much faster drying time
- similar durability to oil-based paints
- similar covering ability
- easier cleanup
- less fading over time to elements such as the sun
- superior adhesion
- better surface breathability
- and exceptionally fewer VOC toxins being released into your house and the environment
In situations when oil products are unavoidable, low odour oil paints and primers are the preferred choice. Soon latex paints will be the only choice of paint in the near future. Furthermore, with the continual emphasis on eco-friendly products and concerns for the environment, low-VOC latex based paints will be much more common as the paint choice for the present and future.
At Home Painters Toronto, we take this very seriously and try to use low-VOC latex-based paints as much as possible. Most major paint companies all carry low-VOC latex-based paints. So the next time you are at the paint store buying paint, simply ask the sales rep if they carry any low-VOC paint products. The chances are they will have them.
We recommend Benjamin Moore: Natura Waterborne Interior Paint + Primer (511)
- Virtually odorless
- Zero VOC’s
- Quick return to service
- 100% Acrylic
- Exhibits excellent holdout properties
- Lowest Total Emissions
- Carries the Green Promise designation.
What to do with old paint or leftover paint in Toronto and the GTA?
If you have any leftover latex or oil paint, the best thing to do is do not dispose of them in your garbage bins. There are designated household hazardous waste (HHW) disposal locations amongst the Toronto and GTA. They are specifically made to dispose of these products properly so it does not destroy the environment. Click here to find out where you can go to dispose of your leftover paint or household hazardous waste products.