How to Protect your Home Walls and Reduce VOCs

Roller and Tray

VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds

Traditional paints release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and fumes into the air we breathe inside our homes. This happens for years and years, and it can be an issue, especially if there are little ones at home.

Improving the air quality of your home should be one of your main priorities. If it is, you need to do something about the VOC-laden paint that’s currently coating your walls.

Luckily, there are three main solutions to choose from, and Laguna Painting offers one of the best!

How to Protect Your Home from Paint VOCs and Fumes

  • Apply a New Coat of Paint

Many people think that throwing on another coat of paint that’s low in VOCs will do the trick. However, that’s not always the case. Water-based paints are breathable and low in VOCs, but they don’t protect from the fumes and VOCs released by the paint coating underneath.

At least not if it’s recent! If your current paint job is over 5 years old, you can apply a new coat of paint with low or zero VOC and it will help. If the paint coat is old, chances are that the amount of gases it’s releasing is very low and a new coat of paint will keep them at bay. If the paint coat is recent, this option won’t make much of a difference.

  • Remove the Current Paint Coat Entirely

Your second option is to remove the current paint coat entirely. This will stop it from releasing VOCs and fumes into your home because you’re eliminating the source. Removing paint coatings requires you to sand the walls or strip away the paint coating if possible.

Do keep in mind that if the paint is very old, it may contain lead or hazardous materials such as formaldehyde. In that case, sanding it will just make things worse. Try to determine how old the paint is and approach the removal with caution. When in doubt, talk to a professional and have them inspect the walls. They’re better equipped to handle lead-based paint removal!

  • Apply a Sealing Primer

Last but not least, you can apply a non-toxic sealing primer on top of your current paint coat. Sealing primers are very effective! They will block VOCs from old paint and building materials, so they’re a great way to protect your home and eliminate VOCs and fumes.

The only issue here is that sealing primers can be a bit expensive. However, sometimes they’re the easiest solution. In some cases, applying a sealing primer is the only choice. For example, if the coating of toxic paint is recent and can’t be removed, the sealing primer is the only way to go.


You’ll be happy to know that here at Laguna Painting we offer safe primers and paint coats that will help you prevent VOCs and fumes! We have some of the best options on the market and they will help you improve the quality of air in your home while protecting your walls.