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What is paint made up of?

Posted on 08 May 2023

We have in the past talked about how home painting effects the quality of your home, we also want to bring up another very important issue, Eco Friendly and Organic house paint which we’ll talk more about in the future.

Paint is typically made up of four main components:

Pigments: Pigments are finely ground particles that provide color to the paint. They can be natural or synthetic, and are usually mixed with other components to create the desired color.

Resins a.k.a. Binders: Binders are chemicals known as the spine or backbone that hold the pigment particles together and help them stick to the surface that is being painted. They also provide durability and resistance to fading, cracking, and peeling.

Solvents: Solvents are liquids that help to dissolve the binders and pigments and make the paint easier to apply and control drying cycle by evaporating.

Additives: Additives are additional chemicals that are added to the paint to provide specific properties and effects, such as improved flow and leveling, increased durability, or resistance to mildew and mold, refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus grow on anything such as cotton, linen, rayon, silk, wool, leather, wood and paper and in our case, walls and ceilings, kitchen cabinets etc.

The exact composition of paint vary depending on the specific type of paint and the manufacturer, all paint will contain some combination of these four main components.

several types of environmentally friendly paints are available for home use, some common types include:

Low-VOC paints: These paints have lower levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which contain chemicals that evaporate into the air in the form of breathable gases creating indoor air quality issues.

Natural paints: These paints are made from natural ingredients such as plant oils, resins, and natural pigments, they are biodegradable and free from harmful chemicals, natural paints are easy to find and cost more than conventional paint, can be found in variety of colors, dry faster and are very easy to clean up, soap and Water, if spilled, and do not emit pollutants and are odor free.

Recycled paint: This is paint that has been remanufactured from leftover paint, reducing waste and minimizing what we call “environmental impact”.

VOC paint contains Volatile Organic Compounds, which contain chemicals that evaporate into the air and create indoor “pollutants” and indoor poor air quality conditions.

VOC paints have a distinctive strong odor that is offensive and unpleasant due to the presence of VOCs, while no-VOC paint typically has little to no odor at all.

Exposure to VOCs may increase the risk of a variety of known health concerns, such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and respiratory issues, children, pregnant women and the elderly and people with respiratory issues such as asthma are particularly sensitive to VOCs.

No-VOC paint, as the name suggests, contains no volatile organic compounds. No-VOC paint is considered to be the safer choice for human health. For this reason, it is our number one reccomended choice at Toronto Painters. 

Best choice in paint is to use a paint that is either low in, or does not contain VOCs at all, paints that do not contain VOCs, are safer and are healthier environmentally than low-VOC paints.

Cost: Non-VOC paint may cost 30%-40% more due to low level VOC but you must consider how much safer and nontoxic they are.

Overall, choosing between VOC paint and no-VOC paint will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Oil based paints are known to be very toxic, Latex paints paint is now safer and is more commonly used in home painting.



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