Interior Design

Interior Paints and Air Quality

We all love a beautiful interior, and one of the best ways to freshen up a room and make a big impact for a small outlay is to paint the walls. However not all paints are created equal and choosing the right paint is important for your indoor air quality.

It wasn’t until my youngest daughter became asthmatic that I realised I needed to investigate ways to improve the “health” of our home to provide a healthier living space for her and our family. This newfound awareness led me down a path of discovery that has fuelled my passion for helping others to create healthy, sustainable and beautiful homes.

When clients ask for assistance in selecting a new colour palette for their home I relish the opportunity to bring this “healthy home awareness” to their consciousness. Clients are surprised to hear about the impact a Low VOC paint can have on the air quality of their home, not only while the painting is being applied, but also while it is drying and beyond.

What paint company do I use and recommend?

Thankfully we now have great paint companies who understand the need for low or zero VOC paints. I use and recommend Haymes Paints. After investigating many paint companies with their VOC ratings in paints I discovered Haymes paints produce sustainable eco-friendly paints and wood stains with extremely low VOC and zero VOC. This gives a cleaner air quality, reduces the impact on the environment with clean up and because they are an Australian owned and Australian manufactured product their carbon footprint is far better than some other paint companies.

Adding to this, the paint itself is easy to apply (yes I do my own paint work in my own Reno work) and gives a fabulous finish. Most of their paints are water based, meaning clean up is easy and I am comforted to know my paint clean-up water flow is not harming the environment or waterways.

What is a VOC rating?

Until I began my journey into creating a healthy home for our family the term VOC had never come into my knowledge of understanding. It wasn’t until I started to ask questions about chemical content and chemical exposure that this term “VOC rating” came up. I was shocked to learn our every day household items were full of chemicals that had the potential to cause ill health. VOC can emit a variety of chemicals including but not limited to formaldehyde, methylene, chloride, toluene, xylene, ethyl acetate and glycol. The rating itself is a measure for the amount of chemicals per litre of liquid.

VOC – Volatile Organic Compound while it may sound ok, even a bit ‘friendly’ after all it does have the word organic in it, however it couldn’t be further from the truth! While many household items can contain and emit VOC, paints emit VOC while being applied, drying and after the paint has dried. Have you ever noticed how strong regular paints smell while being applied and drying, or how it continues to have a strong odour when the home has been shut up on a hot day? Personally I don’t like to take chances with unnecessary chemical exposure and if I can swap out my regular high VOC paint for low or zero VOC paint, then I know what my choice is going to be!

Making your home a safer home for your future

Next time you want to do some DIY decorating or think about hiring a Painter to come in, or better still request the advise of an Interior Designer make sure you specify Low or Zero VOC paints for your home. Your health will thank you for it!

If you would like to know more about our services at Sherri Smith Interiors, including on-line consultations, email us at or head over to our website and fill in the contact form and we will answer your enquiry. We would love to hear from you!

Join us for your own “healthy home awareness” journey on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest at Sherri Smith Interiors.

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Above Image credit: Haymes Paint: Photography-Martina Gemmola, Styling-Ruth Welsby. Haymes paint colour ‘Mimosa Leaf’

2 thoughts on “Interior Paints and Air Quality”

  1. This is so close to my heart Sherri. Years ago we would have been thought of as potty! I was horrified that these nasty chemicals were allowed near our children and in places where they can impact our health. We are on the same journey! Great information.


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