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Zero / low VOC paint and stain

My contractor's painter only uses Frazee paint. He will charge me $1600 more to use zero VOC vs low VOC Frazee paint (which is standard in California). He prefers not to use zero VOC paint and said that it does not last as long and you end up having to repaint sooner which is not good for the environment. If I go with the regular low VOC paint, how long does it off gas ($1600 is quite a bit plus the potential of repainting a few years later)? If you know other brand work better, I will try to convince him to use a different brand.

For staining (clear stain; no added color) the wood windows and doors, he strongly recommend against the water based low VOC stain. He said that it does not last and harder to work with. He is fine with the extra work but is very concern that he will have to come back to fix the stain soon.

Do you have experience with zero/low VOC stain that you used years ago and know they really last for a while (similar to regular stuff)? I am willing to pay more for zero/low VOC products since my family is sensitive to chemicals but also dont want products that do not last and just marginally less VOC.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Asked by Rian Bart
Posted Sep 17, 2012 2:44 AM ET
Edited Sep 17, 2012 10:50 AM ET

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Are there any GBA readers or painters who want to tackle Rian's questions?

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Sep 18, 2012 5:50 AM ET

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