I should start off by explaining what VOC’s are, and how the EPA regulates the painting market to reduce them in coatings. The EPA defines VOC’s as the following.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.
Benjamin Moore is a leader in low VOC coatings, and Eco Spec WB is a 0 VOC paint. As you can imagine these paints perform differently than what painters are familiar with. This week I was able to test out the performance and application characteristics of Eco Spec in flat white on smooth GWB ceilings.
The first thing I noticed was the smell, or lack there of. It really didn’t have any noticeable odor you would associate with paint. This is a great feature when painting in occupied homes.
The second was the consistency of the paint. I found it tended to bubble, which is a drawback. When applying I had to ensure that stops and starts didn’t leave small air bubbles trapped in the film. You can see from the photo below these trapped bubbles in the paint.
The paint did spread very well, and I didn’t have any trouble getting a nice even coat on these ceilings. Spatter wasn’t a severe issue, but there was more than with other paints I am familiar with.
Coverage and hide was excellent for this contractor grade paint, and I was very pleased with that. These ceilings had a single coat of Super Hide flat as a primer with a single topcoat of Eco spec. As you can see this paint dried to a very flat even film, and we found it touches up extremely well.