Which interior paint is best for the health of your family?


Before you embark on an interior paint project make sure you know what’s in the paint that will be covering the walls of your home. As paint dries volatile organic compounds (or VOC’s) escape into the air and can negatively impact the air quality in your house. These chemicals can cause headaches and dizziness and the long-term effects of exposure are not yet known.

Choosing non-toxic paint for your living quarters will have positive health benefits for years to come. Low or no VOC paints are the best choice for an eco-friendly home. Over the last several years paint companies have introduced many options, we will highlight six options below. If you decide to hire a qualified professional to take care of your painting job be sure that they are using low or no VOC paint products.

  1. Sherman Williams Enhanced Harmony- This paint was introduced a few years ago with several unique properties. This line of paint claims to be no VOC and resistant to mold and microbes. According to Sherman Williams, “The formula was then enhanced with Odor Eliminating Technology, which helps reduce ambient odors from organic sources. From smoke to garlic to wet dog, common odors dissipate in spaces painted with Harmony Paint.”

In addition to all this, the Harmony line also claims to reduce the VOCs released into the air by common household items like carpets, cabinetry, and curtains. To ensure that no VOCs are added to their paints during the tinting process Sherman Williams has created Colorcast Ecotoner colorants.  You can get your paint tinted to any Sherman Williams color with the knowledge that none of their color tints contain harmful chemicals. This paint could potentially be a link in the chain of making your space a place full of clean air.    

  1. ECOS paint- This paint also claims to be a no VOC option. ECOs has their own zero VOC pigments so that you can be sure that when color is added to your paint, it’s done without any added chemicals. When the paint is applied there is no paint or polyurethane odor so it’s safe for pregnant mothers and newborns. This paint may be a good choice for people with allergies as it contains no fungicides, pesticides, or herbicides.

  2. Yolo Colorhouse-  From their eco-friendly packaging to their paint recycling program Yolo Colorhouse seeks to have a low ecological footprint. Their paints are no VOC but the company admits that VOC’s may be added during the tinting process. Yolo contains an antimicrobial formula that makes the paint mold resistant and it is low odor.

  3. Real Milk Co.- Made from all natural ingredients and in the tradition of paints made from lime, curdled milk or cottage cheese, and pigments from the earth, this modern version of milk paint is more durable than its predecessors. This non-toxic paint is great for children and can be used on children’s toys, walls and furniture with no fear of exposure. The paint contains no VOC’s and is so safe you can pour it out onto your compost pile. Milk paint comes in over 27 colors so that can be mixed together for any look you want to achieve.

  4. Benjamin Moore Natura/Aura- Benjamin Moore has two paint lines that claim zero VOC emissions, the Natura line and the Aura line. They are low odor paints which makes them a safer option for pregnant mothers and they come in thousands of colors. Both Aura and Natura paint are mildew resistant, which works well in climates that are wet many months in the year.

  5. Behr’s Premium Plus Interior- Behr’s zero VOC paint is an affordable option that is sold exclusively at Home Depot. Like many of the paints above Behr Premium Plus is low odor and mildew resistant. It’s also strong enough to be cleaned with soap and water.

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