Green Rookie: Adding Color With Low-VOC Paint


When my honey and I bought our first home, painting topped the to-do list.

Armed with a few paint supplies and a bit of help, I knew I could take the dingy walls in our new house from drab to fab—in a weekend, without dropping a lot of cash. When you’re a first-time homeowner with a paltry budget, what more could you ask for?

Well, there is one thing.

I decided long before we threw down drop cloths that I wasn’t going to adorn our walls with regular paint. It was low- and no-VOC or no paint at all.

Why? Because standard paints offgas volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contaminate your home while you’re painting and stick around even after that nasty smell dissipates. Plus, VOCs have been linked to a slew of health problems, including respiratory, skin, and eye irritation; nausea; and more. (Learn more about why you’re better off without VOCs.)

That wasn’t exactly the fresh start I was looking for. That’s why I researched paint options and discovered Harmony Interior Latex, a line of zero-VOC, low-odor, silica-free paints offered by Sherwin-Williams. They cost a bit more than the standard paint at the store, but despite my tight budget, I was willing to fork over a few extra bucks to breathe easily.

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