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VOC free paint VS VOC paint

Posted by Victoria Yardley on

voc free paint

Choosing a wall paint when decorating your home can be difficult, for example you have to decide which colour and what brand? On top of that, the challenge of finding a good quality paint that is safe for your family makes it all the more difficult.

As more and more people are becoming aware of our social responsibility, paint has been highlighted as an area of concern. For those who don’t know, your standard wall paint contains toxic chemicals called VOCs which stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. This article will explore the key differences between VOC paint and VOC free paint. The aim of this is to help raise awareness and increase understanding of the risks associated with VOC paints. 

The difference between VOC free paint and VOC paint 

VOC paint is generally any standard wall paint. Typically these standard wall paints contain volatile organic compounds. But what is meant by VOC free? Well, put simply, it is paints that don't contain those nasty chemicals, or at least contain only minimal amounts.

The reason why VOCs exist in paint in the first place is because they act as the medium to transfer the paint from its tin in liquid form to its final surface. Ultimately VOCs increase the paint's flow. VOCs also help to preserve the paint whilst it's in the tin to prevent spoilage. That begs the question, does paint that is VOC free flow as well and last as long? In short yes, although typically paint without VOCs can dry quicker giving it less open time.

Victory Colours makes water-based paints that stringently avoid toxins including solvents, heavy metals and VOCs. Although our products are technically not VOC free, the amount they contain is negligible. This is because there will always be trace elements of VOCs that manage to sneak their way back into our paints. Here at Victory Colours we do what we can to eliminate them in every step of the production process.

VOC paint or VOC free paint?

Now we have discussed what VOC is and what VOC free paint is, we wanted to highlight the key pros and cons of each. Volatile organic compounds have some incredibly negative side effects for our health but also on the planet.

VOCs contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming. Effectively VOCs pollute the air, damaging the indoor air quality in our homes. To put it into perspective, VOCs can be found in not just paint, but surprisingly in car fumes and cleaning products. When you think of it like that, it's surprising but also concerning that these chemicals are being released into our homes as the chemicals evaporate from our walls. You may be all too familiar with some of the side effects of a fresh lick of paint, such as:

  • Nasty odours
  • Throat, nose and eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Nausea 

All of these side effects are a result of inhaling the VOCs that are released from your paint as it dries on your wall. Even more concerning is these chemicals continue to be released long after the paint dries and the smell disappears. 

This is where low VOC paint comes in. By eliminating these chemicals from your paint, you also get to eliminate the nasty side effects. Here are some of the benefits of Victory Colours ultra low VOC paint: 

VOC free or low VOC paints are a great way to avoid the harmful side effects associated with paints. Using them is a great way to keep a toxic free home which is safer for your family, your pets and for the environment.

Where else are VOCs found?

We have explored the negative effects of VOCs on humans and how paint that is virtually VOC free can help to eliminate these issues. We have also explained that they contribute to greenhouse gases. Now we are going to explore an eye opening list of other sources of VOCs that also have an effect on our planet:

  • Wood preservatives
  • Deodorant sprays
  • Air fresheners 
  • Pesticides
  • Fuel
  • Disinfection & cleaning products
  • Glue
  • Marker pens
  • Furnishings i.e carpet, vinyl flooring, upholstery

Summary of VOC free paint VS VOC paint

So, there you have it. VOC free paint VS VOC paint. There are pros and cons of both, but ultimately the pros of VOC free paint outweigh VOC paint completely. This article has aimed to help demonstrate the realities of VOCs and how these chemicals can affect our health and the environment.

Making a small change to VOC free or low VOC paint is a small step in the right direction to becoming a more sustainable, eco friendly society. Check out Victory Colours paints now and discover our beautiful range of virtually VOC free colours, you can even order some hand painted sample panels to see what our products would look like in your home.


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