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Friday, March 12, 2010


Going Green:

Maximizing Open Time

No one wants a product that is difficult to use. Sometimes that's been a complaint about zero- and low-VOC paints when it's really just a case of learning to work differently with these new products to get the best from them. We recently came across a good example of this in the Phoenix area, where a contractor was finish painting a chain of retail stores. The crew was spraying and backrolling with a 16-inch roller, but having trouble because the Aura paint was drying too quickly in the hot and dry conditions of the region.

One solution was to add Benjamin Moore 518 Extender, which would allow the paint to maintain a wet edge for a longer period of time. With regular latex paints, contractors often use over-the-counter paint additives to increase drying time, but they're solvent-based and increase VOC levels in the paint. With 518 Extender, you can adjust Aura's and Natura's open times to allow for environmental factors such as sun, wind, and humidity, without affecting the paint's VOC level. In fact, in this case, we opted to switch to Eco Spec WB (a zero-VOC paint), because it has a longer open time than Aura.

In addition, we made a small adjustment to their technique: Instead of the guy with the spray gun running the job, the guy with the roller was put in charge. In those conditions, that was the best way for the roller to keep pace with the sprayer. Low- and no-VOC paints have quicker drying times than standard latex paints, but this painting contractor quickly recognized that, far from being a liability, the quicker drying time allowed his crew to be more productive. These paints aren't more difficult to use; they’re just different from standard latex paints.

Finally, one of the biggest complaints heard from both homeowners and contractors is that most paints--even some of the so-called low-VOC paints--still smell. And it's true: If you open up a few cans of paint from different manufacturers, your nose will be able to tell you which ones contain higher levels of VOCs. The bottom line is that odor corresponds to VOCs; the more there are in the paint, the more the paint smells. But if the paint is odor-free, you can be sure that the VOC levels in the paint live up to the promise on the label.

Comments

hmmm only one question here, there has to be a reason why the VOC paint is more popular.. is the more "green" solution more expensive?

I've used that paint before, it's really great to use.

Quicker drying times are always awesome, you don't have to wait sometimes between coats. You can get to the last spot on the wall and the where you started is already dry, just keep going in a circle until you got 2 coats.

Good tip with the smell... I hate smelly paint, and now i know why, it's bad for the environement!!

Very good :) people like you give us a brighter future

Well, the green color can really attract clients and people itself. It's one of the refreshing color globally. It's good for our eyes too. It was said to be much better when combined to white.

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