Paint Fumes & Wintertime:  What You Need to Know

For years, folks shied away from interior painting, waiting for the summer months when windows and doors could be left wide open to air out the house.  With the advent of new product lines, it isn’t necessary to follow those old guidelines.  We’ve got everything you need to know about paint fumes and wintertime painting to keep you and your family safe, and color your world at the same time.

What Are VOCs, and Should I Worry?


Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, refer to the fumes released as paint dries.  It’s no such much the actual paint as it is the process.  The paint you use is important, because certain paints are formulated to be Low-VOC or No-VOC.  And that means very little to no fumes released during the drying process.  That also means you’re free to paint year round, even in the wintertime.

What Are APES, Are They Harmful Too?

Newer guidelines also caution homeowners against alkylphenol ethoxylates or APEs, which include nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) present in some acrylic paints.  Known to be a chemical of concern that can accumulate over time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  NP has also been detected in human breast milk, blood, and urine and is associated with reproductive and developmental effects in rodents.

How Do I Know if My Paint Has VOCs or APEs?

Your best bet is to go with a reliable paint manufacturer that certifies its paint.  Sherwin Williams has several lines of paint free of both VOCs and APEs.  Look for Emerald, Harmony, and SuperPaint. Benjamin Moore also offers several comparable lines including Aura, Natura, and Regal Select.  Read more here.

Professional Painters Know Their Paint

If you have questions about a specific paint, talk with your painting contractor about your concerns.  Working with a painting professional that takes your needs into account before the job begins makes for a happier, healthier experience, regardless of the season.

Categories: Green Painting, Interior House Painting