Q&A

Low VOC paints: What are the color choices and quality like?

Q.

I’ve heard of low VOC paints and that they’re better for the environment. But how are the color choices and the quality of those paints? Is there a particular brand of low VOC paint that is recommended for commercial spaces like salons?

A.

The major paint companies have so many different types of environmentally friendly paint — some are categorized as low VOC (volatile organic compound) and some have no VOC. Low VOC paint is pretty common, widely available, and the color choices are endless. I like Sherwin-Williams, and its best low VOC paint is the ProGreen 200 Interior Latex. This low VOC paint is available in many different bases, so any paint color is available. If budget allows, this is my favorite paint for durability, environmental qualities, and color impact. This paint can be applied in occupied areas too, which can make operations less of a hassle and increases profitability to the owner.

The most environmental paint is a zero VOC paint. Harmony is the name of this paint type for Sherwin-Williams. Not all bases are available so vivid and vibrant colors are not an option in this line.

Low odor/low VOC paint is pretty common among the major paint companies. Even paint that is not classified as “low VOC” could still be a low VOC/low odor option. — Katie Clements is a material and trend specialist at brand and design firm Chute Gerdeman.

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