Going to the big box home improvement store is often the most convenient and cheapest place to get paint. But, before you go, please think about the toxic quality in the paint you are going to use.
The standard paint is toxic and produces off-gassing that can cause headaches and various irritations. Everyone’s sensitivity is different but regardless, once it’s in the air, it affects you.
The acronym you must look for is V.O.C. – this stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. Look for paint that is either Low VOC or better yet, Zero VOC. You will be paying slightly more, but if these compounds have affect to your health for months after painting, it’s worth spending a few extra dollars.
I have tried Sherwin Williams Harmony paint, Zero VOC and Benjamin Moore’s Aura, which is a Low VOC. They also have a Zero VOC called Natura which I haven’t tried. Nowadays there are many more options and almost every paint company has a ‘green’ option. Don’t be afraid to ask the paint shop when you are not sure about the amount of VOC in their paint.
On the two that I’ve used, both don’t smell as bad as regular paint but please be aware they are not odor free. You must open windows and air out your space. do they do the job of covering the wall with new color? Yes, they covered well enough for my needs. And yes, you do need two coats of paint. Harmony, was a little thinner than Aura, but also dried a lot faster, so you could get that second coat on pretty quickly.
The Harmony paint is also certified from a third party called Green Guard, that means it can be used for children and in schools. For me, that means a lot. You see, when our youngest son was two years old, we moved into temporary housing, provided by the company. In these types of places, every time they get a new renter, they paint the place. Soon after we moved in, our little son got very, very sick and ended up in hospital. He was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. Six months later, we moved again to temporary housing, and the same thing happened and he ended up in hospital again. His chances of getting it twice was 2%, and I guess he was that 2%.
I really think the new paint got him sick. Now, I can’t prove this but, all I can tell you is that it really happened. At the time, our other two sons were four and seven. They were fine. The adults were fine. But, that was the only thing that we found to be connect the incidents. It’s probably a mother’s gut feeling, I don’t know. But, ever since then, I am very aware of the toxicity of paint.
Keep yourself and your love ones from breathing unnecessary toxins that are invisible, but could have lasting effects in ways we don’t really know.