Non-VOC & Low VOC Paint

What is it?

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are toxins that are emitted into the air from certain types of interior paint and also found in certain household cleaners, personal care products, and tobacco smoke. The damaging compounds get released into the air when the interior paint is applied and even when it is stored. VOC’s are responsible for the strong “new paint” smell. In paint, the solvents containing VOC’s assist with the quality of paint application and drying, so that it does not streak on a surface. This means that non VOC paint may dry quicker than most standard paint.

Why is it harmful?

When inhaled, VOC’s can contribute to several health problems, including irritation to your airways, headaches, nausea, and even damage to the liver, kidneys, or central nervous system. VOC’s can cause damage to the environment as well. It is especially concerning to women who are pregnant and mothers with children. When thinking about interior painting of your child’s nursery or bedroom, you may want to consider a non-toxic or low VOC interior paint choice.

What paint can you buy?

The best thing to do if you are painting an enclosed space, are pregnant or have small children and pets would be to use a non-VOC paint. Since these can cost more than your standard interior paint, there are also low VOC paint options that can cost less. Low VOC paints have reduced amounts of volatile organic compounds, meaning they don’t off-gas as much as traditional paints. Take a look below at some brands that sell non-VOC and low VOC products:



  1. Behr Premium Plus Enamel | Low-VOC
  2. Benjamin Moore Natura/Aura | Non-VOC
  3. Sherwin Williams Harmony | Non-VOC
  4. Sherwin Williams EcoSelect | Non-VOC