Summertime is painting primetime. Warm, dry weather provides ideal conditions for paint to cure. And it may be paint’s worst kept secret that it works best as a liquid. That fact categorically rules out painting during freezing weather.
Technical realities of painting aside, mild weather allows for other niceties, like leaving windows open. With good airflow, we can reduce the accumulation of irritating or noxious gasses in interior spaces. Catch one whiff of many oil or solvent based paints and you know you’re dealing with a product intended for use only in well ventilated areas. In a closed environment, their fumes can be downright dangerous, leaving anyone sharing that environment dizzy and nauseous.
Water-born paints, in contrast, are safe to use indoors. Since these paints consist of resins and pigments suspended in water, most of the gas they release as they dry is harmless water vapour. However, water is not the only gas released from drying water-born paints. Water vapour released from drying paint usually carries an array of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs for short. These chemicals aren’t noxious; prolonged exposure to them will not cause brain damage or death. And they won’t make you dizzy or sick. But they are irritants, greenhouse gasses, generally poor company, and varying in smell between pretty bad and kind of good.
VOCs are the secret reason many people decide against painting the interior of their homes in winter. As painters, it’s in our interest to paint interiors in the winter (even Winnipeg’s best painters lack the expertise and equipment to apply frozen paint). But it’s also our duty to inform you of better ways to paint, of the variety of products on the market, of how we can protect our environment, and how we can provide trouble-free painting interior painting year-round.
To that end, allow us to introduce low and zero-VOC paint. These products have stood by us for years, and we stand by them too. We’re sure you’ll like them as well as we do!
Back in the spring of 2018, we described Harmony as the Charles Bronson of paints, but somehow better. For those of you not familiar with Mr. Bronson’s exploits, he once tunneled over 100 meters from a POW camp to freedom. Far from finding the experience stifling, Charles Bronson thrived in cramped, airless quarters. Probably because he released so few VOCs.
And that’s exactly how you should find your experience with Harmony. As a true zero-VOC paint, Harmony releases no VOCs. While other zero-VOC paints don’t release any of their own, they often use pigments that do release VOCs. Sherwin-Williams uses VOC-free pigments.
In fact, Harmony is so devoid of VOCs, it actually absorbs VOCs from its surrounding environment. As Aristotle said, nature abhors a vacuum. The upshot is that should you commit to any other interior renovations that do release VOCs–they’re common in all kinds of adhesives and artificial materials–Harmony has you covered, and will help keep your job VOC neutral.
Sherwin-Williams advertises this paint specifically as low-odour, which is something we can attest to. They’ve also received GreenGuard certification from UL Environment, which might carry as much weight as our own stamp of approval.
Natura is the most environmentally friendly product in Benjamin Moore’s lineup. Benjamin Moore carries a deserved reputation as North America’s premier paint manufacturer. And it’s almost impossible to go wrong with one of their products, when used by your most trusted painter.
Allergies are a cruel companion. At their best, allergies lurk, inactive enough that you can almost forget you have them, until you smell a flower or catch a whiff of smoke, at which point they decide you don’t need sinuses. The one positive of allergies is that they demonstrate that mucus is a scientific marvel, able to pass through hermetically sealed airways. And allergies’ big brother, asthma, doesn’t even have that dubious benefit.
This makes Natura’s certification as “allergy and asthma friendly” from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America an appealing recommendation. While we would feel more comfortable if they’d certified Natura as “sworn enemy of allergies and asthma,” we’ll accept this as an idiosyncrasy of the English language, in the same way we take something for a cold, as if we want to thank them for stopping by.
Anyway, rest assured that Natura is a very low-odour and low-VOC product that we can use in closed spaces without any undue suffering.
It’s no secret that we at Winnipeg’s #1 Painters love staining wood. The best jobs are those that yield beautiful results, and when we finish wood, it’s always beautiful. It should come as no surprise, then, that we love using products from Sansin.
Sansin is committed to making environmentally friendly products. In fact, they’re pioneers and leaders in the field, having dedicated decades to the cause. Not only do their products not release VOCs, they use non-toxic resins and pigments derived from plant sources, making their products safe, clean, and with a minimal environmental impact–whether that environment is global or inside your home.
While painting and staining in Manitoba’s cottage country, we work in some pristine natural settings. We understand our responsibility as stewards of the environment, and we care about preserving the natural settings that draw people to cottage country. We bring that same sense of responsibility to every job we do. You can breathe easy, knowing that when we work in your home–in any season–you can breathe easy!
Now that you know that you can paint during winter, you should! Give us a shout, we’ll gladly help.