Completely odourless paint is a myth. Anything formulation that contains more ingredients than just water will naturally carry some sort of odour. That said, the days of interior paint that stinks out the house for weeks are long gone, with modern paint products being largely low odour.
Do All Paints Smell?
A bit, yes. But it doesn’t have to smell bad. Solvent or oil based paint products (e.g. traditional gloss paint) still stink a fair bit. It’s unavoidable, because of the chemicals they contain. Modern water-based paints on the other hand often hardly smell at all - because they contain far fewer nasties.
You can stick your nose in a tin of COAT paint and barely catch a whiff of anything, which we’re proud of. But the same is true of many modern water-based emulsion paints. They’ll all have a slight note of something - whether earthy, fresh or metallic - but like any recipe that’ll be down to what’s inside which will be different across brands.
Should Paint Smell Bad?
Absolutely not. Any paint that smells remotely rank or egg-like has turned. A whiff of chemical is fine - you’ll know if something isn’t right. Most paint contains a small amount of biocide to keep bacteria from turning it, so you’re unlikely to get spoiled paint out of the factory. If there’s separation and a liquid on top of the paint it might just need a mix, and if it comes together smoothly then you’re all good.
COAT paint is mixed fresh on the same day it ships, so you’ll never get that from us.
If you’ve stored paint for a while having opened the tin, that’s way more likely to go off. Or you'll get a thick skin later on top. You’ve probably got a few months max to store small amounts of paint in previously opened tins before it starts to take a dive.
What Is Low VOC Paint?
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. It means the amount of solvents used in a paint. Low VOC paints have less solvents, and High VOC paints have more. Paints with a High VOC emit nasty gasses when drying which are harmful to breathe in. So most people prefer to stick with Low VOC products.
Is Low Odour The Same As Low VOC?
There’s a close link, yes. Paints with high VOC, solvent or oil based ones like traditional gloss paint, have a distinct and often powerful chemical smell. That’s literally the solvent evaporating from the paint and going into the air. Breathing that shit in is not a good thing.
On the flip side paints that are low VOC don’t give off such nasty gasses when they dry, meaning that any smell is far less powerful.
What's The Best Low Odour Paint?
Most modern water-based paint products claim to be Low Odour - and that’s largely true. Each paint brand uses their own unique recipe for paint, so will all have a subtly different whiff to them. COAT paints barely smell at all, which we get told all the time. So we’re a safe bet. But whilst completely odourless paint is a myth, the days of stinky solvent-based paints are pretty much over - so you can have confidence in most water-based options.