Do Non-VOC Paints Cost More than Paints with VOCs?

Our new kitchen color

Painting is a great way to give your home a fresh and appealing look. Whether your paint is wearing off indoors or out, or you just feel like a change, a new coat of paint is always a good idea. If it's time your home got a new paint job, consider the benefits of non-VOC paint.

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are toxins emitted into the air from certain types of paints. VOCs can cause short- and long-term damage to your health, as well as damage to the environment. If your paint contains VOCs, damaging compounds are released into the air both when the paint is applied to a surface as well as when it's stored. If you are pregnant, have small children, or are just painting indoors, it's a good idea to ask a reliable local painter about non- or low-VOC paint costs.

Non-VOC paint costs can be significantly greater than paint with high levels of VOC. A moderately-priced alternative to non-VOC paint is low-level VOC paint, which is not much more expensive than high-level VOC paint but much healthier. For example, a brand that sells a gallon of high-VOC paint for $20-$30, might sell a gallon of low-VOC paint for $40-$50, and a gallon of non-VOC paint for $50-$60.

Besides their health advantages, paints with low levels of VOC also dry faster and have less of an odor, enabling you to close your windows and return indoors sooner after painting. For outdoor paint jobs VOC paints will not be as damaging to your health as indoor painting, but they will still take a toll on the environment by releasing harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.

If you're already repainting, consider investing in the surrounding elements of your house as well. Does your yard match the new paint job? Will potential buyers not make it through the front door to see your newly painted home because the outside looks so poor? If so, consider contacting a local landscaper to liven up the exterior of your home as well.

If your home has lead paint that you would like to remove because of health risks, there's no logic in replacing it with high-VOC paint that is just as unhealthy. Instead, contact a local contractor and discuss your low- and non-VOC paint options. All houses built before 1978 may have toxic lead paint; so if you live in such a home it's important to have your home inspected by a professional.

When it comes to your wellbeing, the price shouldn't worry you as much as the damage that can be caused to your health. High VOC paint costs less as a rule, but is hazardous for you and those around you. Always try to get the lowest VOC level as possible for your own benefit and for the benefit of the environment.

Updated July 26, 2018.

Get Free Quotes

Looking for a Pro? Call us at (866) 441-6648

Get Free Quotes
  • Service Needed
  • Zip Code
Get quotes from qualified local contractors