Attempting to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle in St. Louis

Environmentally friendly decisions are tough

Low VOC primer; pricey and hard to find October 10, 2008

Filed under: Green Rehab,Live Green 2.0,St Louis — budint @ 11:54 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Post Written by my wife:

Well, it is about that time (the time when you think the house is almost finished, but the details stretch out forever.) Yes, we are trying to find low cost eco friendly primer do go over the dry-wall. Did you know that there was such a thing? Well, we are finding there is and there isn’t. My husband and I have been calling different paint manufacturers…Sherwin Williams, Kilz/Behr (part of Masterchem), Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware…you name it and  we’ve called it. We have been searching for the rarest of paints in this  Low VOC Primer.

Yes, you might think this would be easy. It’s primer (which is simple) and low voc (which is pretty common now). But we have finally realized it is impossible. You can get Eco friendly/Low Voc paints as a primer, but you’re paying a stiff price for something like Sherwin-Williams Harmony or Benjamin Moore Aura.  Behr has a low VOC primer, but its not available in the state of Missouri. Why you ask? Because the state does not demand it AND there isn’t consumer demand for it. Sad but true. Not that I thought that we lived in California where they set their own enviromental standards for everything, but I at least thought we would be able to buy Behr’s product here.  So sad to say we will not be priming our walls with Low Voc. We do feel good that we have alternatives for our regular paint but our feeling kind of down about buying the crap stuff for the primer.   Btw, Sherwin Williams Harmony primer is 50% more than Behr’s crap stuff.  This equates to a $350 price difference for our project and that’s just on primer.  😦


4 Responses to “Low VOC primer; pricey and hard to find”

  1. Colleen Says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t get Home Depot to tell you about their NO VOC product called FreshAire when you called them. They carry a primer and a ton of paint colors too. PLUS, it is NO VOC, not just Low VOC. The primer is called Drywall Interior Primer. If you read the label it says it can be used to prime drywall, plaster, etc. Here is their website:

  2. Dave Says:

    My wife and I use a NO VOC primer from Lowe’s. It’s about $15/gallon which is not cheap, but you might be able to buy it in larger bulk for cheaper if you ask. We always then paint over with a NO VOC paint from Sherwin Williams. It’s pricey – about $30/gallon, but the quality is good which means less paint, less time.

  3. Jason Says:

    Lowe’s carries Olympic no VOC primer for @ $15/gallon. Haven’t tried it yet but about to and have good feelings about it.

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