Painting a Baby's Room

by The Natural Handyman

Dear NH,
I want to paint my baby's room but I don't want to have the fumes that paint gives off. I heard that there is something you can put in the paint to get rid of the fumes. I'm not sure if it's a few drops cooking oil or not, and I don't want to ruin my paint if it's the wrong thing to do. If there is anything else that can do the trick, I'm all ears!

Many paints contain additives known as VOC's... volatile organic compounds. They have a variety of functions from being the primary solvent in oil-based paints, making the paint brush or roll on more smoothly and to increasing drying speed.

VOC's don't stay in the paint, but evaporate as the paint dries and are released into the air. They have been connected with some health and environmental concerns so your apprehension, especially around an infant, is warranted.

Fortunately for the health-minded, a growing number of paint manufacturers sell paints that are low VOC and low odor.

There is no additive that I am aware of that can lower the VOC level of a paint... maybe mask it, but not lower it. So put the olive oil away and head over to your local paint store!

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