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I asked my contractor to use low VOC paint. I have a toddler and we will be moving in about 2 or 3 weeks after painting. My contractor has said that low VOC is just a way for paint companies to charge more for watered down paint and that using a standard water based paint is all we need to do. I''m not sure if this is true or if he is just trying to persuade me not to go with it because it wil cost him more to buy and may require an additional coat. Anyone have any expertise in this?
This is true. Any chemicals from the paint will have dissipated within two weeks. Your precious snowflake is more likely to be poisoned from the off-gassing of the dyes in the clothes he's wearing, the bedding he's sleeping on, your floor coverings, your furnishings, and more importantly, the computer you're typing on right now than anything he could possibly breathe in from the paint.
Our painter told us the same thing, but for the nursery my wife still insisted and we used Natura. The color was good and there was no odor detectable at all, which was nice. It was substantially more and the paint store did not offer him his normal discount on it.
We used Benjamin Aura and it covered really well and looks great.
The irony of people who spend extra for VOC paint, but continue to use modern televisions, computers, and other equipment in their homes that off gas hundreds, if not thousands of times more toxic chemicals ...
Farrow and Ball gets my vote. Amazing paint. No odor. All natural. Look it up. Also, if you have toddlers amazing for wiping down messes like food and hand prints.
just use regular paint your child will be fine.
Matt, exactly what are you saying? What chemicals come out of your television or computer?
Hey! If your worried about toxic paints, check out this article: http://ownyourhome.streeteasy.com/clean-paint/ on StreetEasy's new blog, Own Your Home. Mitch Kidd, a highly experienced local contractor, offers insightful and accurate advice on the topic and provides insider tips on how to safely paint your space.
And be sure to out the rest of Own Your Home for expert advice from local professionals on the ins and outs of living and owning in NYC.
Low-VOC and Zero-VOC are a little different -- most good-quality paints from reputable manufacturers satisfy a Low-VOC definition (look to the SCAQMD for the grams/L VOC levels that are acceptable; there may be other good third-party standards but SCAQMD is the one referenced by LEED). But a Low-VOC paint should not cost more, be difficult to obtain or apply, etc.
Zero-VOC is of course even better from the indoor environmental quality perspective but may incur some cost or have differences in proper application process or performance; it is a newer market segment and there are clearer differences between good products and mediocre ones.
And let me counter Matt's points briefly -- the goal here is to minimize exposure with the commercially-available choices I have. If I want a TV, I have to accept that all TVs have circuit boards that offgas a bit in the early stages of their life. When I want to paint my apartment, I have Zero-VOC choices, so I want to take advantage -- it's always good to reduce some exposure. Reasonable people know they're not going to get to zero, but can still value improvement.
Just did a nursery with Benjamin Moore Natura - finish is very nice and there wasn't much odor. Happy with result.
go for zero voc, guranatee you will not regret it