More on Low-VOC Paints

With your response to M.R.’s question on low-VOC paints in September’s Painting Clinic, you neglected to mention one other option—solvent-borne, low-VOC coatings.


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Q. With your response to M.R.’s question on low-VOC paints in September’s Painting Clinic, you neglected to mention one other option—solvent-borne, low-VOC coatings. We have been producing coatings that are quick-drying and offered at conventional solids. There is no change-out for application equipment. The advantage of these coatings are ease of use; thin film deposition for a cleaner, decorative look (where needed); and availability in a variety of resin systems. While the materials are more flammable than water-borne coatings, the advantages can well outweigh the disadvantages—quick drying and much more forgiving of oily surfaces. J.K.

A. You are absolutely correct—I did not specifically mention solvent-borne, low-VOC coatings; but I included them in the general category of high solids. Having worked as a research chemist formulating powder coatings and liquids, including e-coat and UV-curable coatings, I am well aware of the various types of low-VOC paints. As the corporate paint consultant at Westinghouse, where we had about 100 plants, each with at least one paint line, I saw them all!

Unfortunately, most readers of this column may not be aware of the subtle differences between the various coatings types; nor do they really need to know. Therefore, I try to be as generic as possible. Remember, this is not a treatise on organic chemistry. So please don’t be offended by my inclusion of your solvent-borne, low-VOC coatings in the high solids category.

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