December 3, 2008
Back to the VOC issue: There are questions about whether a paint retains its “Low VOC” label once colorant has been added. Paints that advertise themselves as a “low VOC” or “no VOC” might only be that in the base color. Some pigments may add VOCs, negating the benefits, BUT, I think it’s better to at least start with the low or no VOCs. Here’s the balancing act: No VOCs, but not a great paint, or some VOCs and great coverage (using less paint). Again it comes down to research and choices. We have found that Benjamin Moore’s low VOC, Aura paint goes on and covers very well; we often specify it. There are no VOC paints – Home Depot’s Freshaire that, as I understand, uses soy-based colorant, and locally owned YOLO found at EcoHaus (and other dealers) and also is Green Seal Certified (which qualifies it for LEED certified projects).