Choosing the right paint also involves recognizing how the room will be used. If you don’t want to figure out the right formula, sheen, and other characteristics for a certain job, you may want to check out Dutch Boy Paints, which decided to take the guesswork out of choosing the right formula.
Dutch Boy found out what the most-often-painted interior rooms and exterior projects were and formulated products for those uses. In functional rooms such as kitchens and baths, people wanted durability and easy maintenance first. In more decorative rooms, such as living rooms, master bedrooms, and dining rooms, appearance was often the key factor. In a child’s room, safety was critical. With the results from the company’s research, Dutch Boy came out with “Kid’s Room,” “Kitchen & Bath,” “Cabinet & Trim,” and other location-specific paints. Its Kid’s Room paint, for example, is a durable, washable, low-odor latex formula that coordinates with a line of matching children’s borders.
This brings up the issue of safety. Paint contains thinners, or solvents, that release volatile organic compounds as they evaporate. These contribute to smog and can pose health risks.
Modern oil-based paints, made with synthetic resins called alkyds, have less thinner and give off fewer odors and toxic fumes than their oil-based predecessors. Still, thinner is an essential component of alkyd paint.
Because the thinner content of latex paint has always been much less than that of alkyd paint, there has been a dramatic shift over the years toward latex.
In fact, some oil-based paints are now restricted or illegal in certain areas of the country. The already low solvent content of latex paints (a maximum of 8 percent) has been reduced to zero in some cases. These paints are marked “0 VOC” (short for “zero volatile organic compounds”). While this is good news for the environment, 0 VOC paint can be difficult to work with because it dries very quickly.