Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

December, 2003

Paint Off Gasing

Q. How long does paint off gas? If a standard VOC latex paint is used, what are the risks after the paint is cured? Also what are the pros and cons to vaper barrier paint on drywalled interior walls in a new home?

A. Basically, when the solvents (or in the case of waterborne paints, cosolvents) have evaporated you should not expect any more "off-gasing". If there are plasticizers in the paint then off-gassing can take place especially when it is exposed to the sunlight. In clean rooms or aerospace applications off-gassing can be a problem because even the smallest concentration of vapors can be detrimental. For house paint the same is generally not true.

Unless someone is super sensitive or allergic to organic vapors I would not expect to experience health risks after the paint has completely dried and cured.

Unfortunately I don't have sufficient knowledge to answer your second question.

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