Paint odor is actually a major issue. Essentially, the typical smell is caused by the emission of Volatile Organic Compounds from the painted surface. The organic VOC emission products are so harmful to people and the environment that in many states they are not used by a legal decree. They use water-based polymer paint instead, known for its low VOC emission.
Apart from low VOC products, you should also look at paints without ammonia. Many manufacturers use ammonia as a buffer, but it is always mentioned on the can. However, consumers should note that oil-based paints can also have a low odor emission. The VOC emission is still there, but it does not have a distinguishing smell. So, you need to consult with a professional contractor to choose the right paint that will not affect your health negatively.
Chemically, the odorless products are made without coalescing the solvents, especially those made for a prolonged wet time or ‘open edge’. Coalescing agents soften latex to help it form a steady and uniform film over the surface. In a low VOC paint, they do not use the solvent, but put in a different category of specialized resin to accentuate the formation of the paint film.
Apart from the chemical products mentioned above, organic-based paints are also available. These include very traditional ingredients such as basing the paint on a clay solution. Lime wash paint is also without any emissions. If you really want heritage paint, go for the products that include milk protein as the solvent. This has been in practice since ancient Egyptian times. Your bedroom and Queen Cleopatra’s can now have the same color and feel!
These are actually the safest and truly odorless products. The latex paints still have VOC, the emissions are low, but they are not absent altogether. The lime-based product is very suitable for rugged surfaces, both interiors and exteriors. The clay paint should be perfect for a genuine earthy look and feel. For rooms without adequate ventilation, choosing odor-free paints is a must. You will need to consult with professionals. Call and discuss your project requirements clearly.
More than 80% of residential paint sales are in the latex-based category, so do not worry about not finding the exact shade. In fact, expert contractors can also commission a custom color from the manufacturer. In any case, always make sure that, at the end, you have a job well done and cleanly covered.