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A large proportion of our interior and exterior products are low VOC, with many at ultra-low or "virtually zero" levels*. Low VOC paints contain fewer VOCs and are a much safer choice for your family and the environment. At Tikkurila we specialise in manufacturing water-based paint products that significantly reduce the VOC emissions during paint production.

  • *Remember: No paint can be truly VOC-free. Even trace amounts may be present due to raw materials. Read on for more information

What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that are added to paint and other household products that turn into vapours or gases at room temperature. VOCs are often added to paint to improve how well it clings to walls, decrease the dry time, and keep it looking fresh for years, but those added chemicals can create other issues. The chemicals are used in all industries, from paints and building materials, to soaps and cleaning products. The chemicals let off gases that can be harmful to people’s health and pollute the environment, therefore it is better to use low VOC or "zero" VOC paint. The higher the VOC content, the lower the indoor air quality and the greater the contribution to pollution.

What are low and zero VOC paints?

Low VOC paints are those that contain less than 50 grams of VOC per litre of paint. (Between 5-30 g/l is classed as Ultra Low VOC, while anything below 5g/l can be classed as Zero VOC.) As a rule of thumb, water-based paints generally fall into this categorisation, whilst traditional oil-based paints contain more significant levels of VOC.

Can a paint really be zero VOC?

All paints may still contain trace elements of VOC, not necessarily because they’ve been added into the paint in the manufacturing process, but because they may be present in preceding raw materials used to subsequently make the raw materials that are used in the paints. Every batch will also be unique. However, the volumes may be so infantismal that the percentage of the composition they comprise is below 0.1% and therefore rounded down to the zero classification.

At Tikkurila, we prefer to be verifiable, truthful, and non-misleading in this regard. We include product data sheets on the web pages of our interior decorative paint products for transparency, which include a breakdown of the ingredients and product compounds. On these sheets, we include a VOC categorisation field that lists the grams per litre of VOCs present in the paint. (This is not required for brands to include – but we choose to do so).

Tikkurila Zero VOC example

Optiva Matt 5

Tikkurila states the following: "Our internal standard assumes the possibility of occurrence of volatile organic compounds in the product in the amount of not more than 1.5 g/l in relation to the weight of 1 liter of paint. The content of volatile organic compounds expressed as a percentage is: 0.11% for A base and 0,12% for C base, which is rounded down to zero% VOC. The trace content indicated in the tests performed in the external laboratory (according to EN 11890: 2) is the result of the possible content of these compounds contained in the raw materials used by Tikkurila Polska SA for the production of Tikkurila Optiva Matt 5.

Our Promise to You

At Tikkurila we do not use the accreditations we hold to market ourselves as a natural or Eco paint manufacturer. Rather, we believe providing safe products to our customers is a normal function as such and all of our interior paints are accredited and tested to the highest standards.

We have a portfolio of market leading breathable systems which have been stringently and independently tested to the highest Scandinavian and European standards.

If you suffer from asthma, it’s worth choosing a low VOC paint, otherwise, the decision is usually just a preference for one type of paint over another.

Paint Calculator

How much paint do I need? 

Use this calculator to work out your requirements, if you have any question please get in touch with one of our team who will be more than willing to help you.

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Disclaimer: Tikkurila UK Paint Calculator is provided as a guide only. The coverage rates will vary depending on surface being coated and the particular product range being used. More information on these products can be found on the cans, on the technical data sheets on individual product pages, by using our live chat service or by calling our technical team on 0131 334 4999.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the estimate, however paint requirements may vary depending on the surface, type of paint, sheen level and colour chosen.