do paint voc's evaporate after drying?


Old 04-28-11, 11:37 AM
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do paint voc's evaporate after drying?

Greetings. My children have mild asthma, so concerned with VOC's. Our builder uses SH Cashmere. The SH store mgr tells me that there will be no VOC's to be concerned with after the paint dries, but I read other places that off-gassing can continue. He also said that they typically use Duration, which is more expensive, in nursing homes as the residents are living there while painting. But would it be worth the extra money? Your opinions, please?

Also, will Cashmere hold up to kids "normal" wear & tear? I realize normal is subjective.

Thanks all!
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Old 04-28-11, 04:21 PM
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SWP came out with the Cashmere line just before I retired so I'm not overly familiar with it. Seems like it's main claim to fame was it's superior leveling properties. It should be a good wearing paint. Duration is pretty much SWP's top line of coatings. I don't remember the name but SWP also has [or had] a low or no VOC paint, I've used it on a few jobs. With kids, a satin or eggshell enamel is best - it's a lot more washable than flat paints.

If this is new construction, I wouldn't be overly concerned about VOCs. Unless the house is kept closed up they should all dissipate long before you move in.
Old 04-28-11, 07:51 PM
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When you use latex paints, that "freshly painted smell" that occurs one to three days after painting is caused by the VOC's in the latex paint evaporating from the paint film. Traditionally, the principle VOC used in latex paints has been a coalescing solvent called "Texanol", and if you Google Texanol you'll find plenty on the internet about it. Low VOC latex paints simply use alcohol esters that are more effective at softening acrylic plastic resins, and so a smaller volume of them are needed to cause the same coalescing action in the paint as it dries.

In the case of conventional latex paints that use Texanol and those that use other more effective alcohol esters, all of these voc's evaporate completely from the paint film over the course of 4 or 5 days (or maybe longer in cooler temperatures).

The only ZERO-VOC coalescing solvent for latex paints I'm aware of is a natural plant oil that chemically reacts with the acrylic resins as the paint film dries, and therefore doesn't evaporate at all.

The stuff that takes the longest to evaporate from a latex paint film will by the glycerine added when tinting the paint. The carrier fluid in the various paint tinting colourants in the paint tinting machine is glycerine (or, more correctly, glycerol cuz it's technically an alcohol). They use glycerine for this because it's equally soluble in both water and mineral spirits, so the same paint tinting colourants can be used to tint both latex and oil based paints, and so your local hardware store can tint all he paint it sells with the same tinting machine and the same colourants. Typically, it can take a month or more for all of the glycerine added when tinting paint to evaporate from the paint film. However, glycerine is odorless and isn't harmful to our health. It shouldn't cause a problem for someone with asthma.
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