tips and tricks3 min read

Everything you need to know about water-based and low VOC paint

It's also low VOC
It's also low VOC

WordsMaha Elley


When choosing paint for your next decor project, it’s fair to assume that the first thing you’ll think about it is the colour. Although admittedly, choosing your paint colour is probably the most fun part, you also need to choose the right type of paint. That is, water-based or oil-based?  

At Lick, we’ve created a range of paints that is entirely water-based and low VOC. But, what exactly does that mean? And why should you care?

What is water-based paint and what is low VOC? 

As the name suggests, water-based paint uses water as its primary solvent. Water-based paint is the more eco-friendly choice, as it produces fewer fumes and potentially harmful chemicals. Oh, and it’s odour-free, which makes for a much more pleasant painting process. 

On to VOCs. VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds (sounds unpleasant, right?)are present in everything from air fresheners to carpets and paint. Now, not all water-based paints are low in VOCs, but we’ve taken extra care to ensure that our VOC ‘count’ is as low as possible. Which means fewer irritants and fewer irritations for you. Making decorating less harmful for both you and the environment.  

Find out more about why you should only be using low VOC paint.

So why have any VOCs at all? 

Good question - and it’s one we put to our head-chemist, David, who said: “Even water can contain VOCs in trace amounts, so it’s impossible to have zero VOCs, as some companies purport”. 

Ultimately, we’ve kept the level of VOCs in Lick paint as low as possible, to ensure a high- quality and long-lasting finish that’s super easy for you to apply.

Our manufacturing process for Lick paint

Ever wondered how your favourite Lick paint shade came to be? Here’s a little sneak peek of our manufacturing process: 

  • We work alongside a team of talented chemists with a combined experience of over 90 years in their field, who’ve been manufacturing eco-friendly paint long before anyone wanted to buy it. 
  • To ensure water is cleaned and recycled during manufacturing, we’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with the incredibly inspiring 4ocean. For every 2.5 litre tin of paint sold, we remove 18g of plastic from the world’s oceans. To date, we have removed the equivalent of nearly 51,000 plastic bottles. 
  • By producing small, made-to-order batches, we avoid wastage as much as we can. 
  • None of our paint is tested on animals and all of our paints are 100% vegan.

Want to learn more about our sustainability efforts? 

We’re committed to doing our bit to be as eco-conscious as possible while making decorating easier for you. Check out our new Sustainability hub to find out more about how we’re trying to make the world of DIY and decorating kinder to the environment.