The formulation solution

Take a deep breath: improve your indoor air quality

Did you know that the air you breathe inside your house can be more polluted than the air you breathe in a large city?Poor indoor air quality can be caused by several sources. Starting your formulation with the right raw materials can help limit indoor pollutants.

Indoor Air Quality - Let’s look into the facts:

Studies have found that during and after certain activities, such as paint stripping, the levels can be 1,000 times more than the outdoor levels. 

formulation options and their challenges

Formulating indoor paints

Moving to low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and low odour formulations is proving a game-changer for an improved indoor experience. Several raw materials serve to achieve that goal, however changing your formulation is not an overnight process, and we know it.
Most challenging to formulate 

Switching to low-VOC resins
Changing the resin of your paint can lead to adjustments of other raw materials in the formulation, such as the defoamer, the rheology modifiers, and the coalescing agents. That is why switching your formulation to a binder with low-VOC content is usually perceived as complicated, costly or even inferior. However, with the right formulation, that perception can be changed.
Switching to low-VOC resins is an efficient way to drastically reduce the VOC levels in your paint as well as the odour and emissions, while maintaining good performance.

Easier to formulate
Add coalescing agents with zero VOC

Coalescing agents are the raw material that adds the most VOC to the paint formulation. If you prefer to continue using your current resin and still create a low-VOC / low odour paint you can do so by adding coalescing agent with zero VOC. With a drop-in replacement, this shift is considered easy and fast. However, the quantities might be optimized at the end to achieve the desired performance.

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Swapping your pigment dispersions

The tinting and the compatibility between the pigment paste and the paint can be challenging. Suitable for in-plant tinting, aqueous pigment dispersions can be a good alternative to your formulation. These water reducible dispersions offer excellent color and strength, high consistency, low odour, and have several glycol-free and VOC-free options.

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Shifting to other additives

Besides coalescing agents, other additives can add to the total VOC and odour of the final paint. For example, pH adjusters, are quite often based on amine-technology which is known to be odourous. However, switching the pH adjusters to another technology enables the reduction of odour and VOC level of your final paint simultaneously.

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Formulation made simple

IMCD advises on how to formulate low-VOC / low odour paints that contribute to improving the quality of the air you breathe

Understanding the need for low-VOC / low odour paints and the formulation challenges they may entail is what lead us to assist you in your next formulation. 

At IMCD we want to support you by sharing our formulation knowledge and the technical resources to help you make your improved air quality interior paint.

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What benefits can you achieve when formulating your indoor paint with us?


Formulating paints with a low level of VOC (g/l) will help you serve the market demands for better indoor air quality.

Low odour

Low odour during and after paint application contributes to a better indoor experience.

Low emissions

Low VOC levels lead to low emission levels after application. This is essential to a healthy environment.

Environmental labels

Create clean formulations ready to fulfill the requirements of environmental labels.

Product offering

Low-VOC Resins

Polynt BECKOSOL AQ®a platform of low VOC alkyd emulsion resins made from renewable resources.

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Coalescing Agents

ACS Epoxol® CA118: a Zero VOC, non-phthalate coalescent / plasticizer designed to replace fugitive coalescent in paint and coatings applications.

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Pigment Dispersions

Dystar Super Seatone® Aqueous Dispersions: Super Seatone Dispersions for aqueous coating systems are latex and water reducible.

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Dystar Super Seatone® Non VOC Trans-Oxide Red: Aqueous pigment dispersions for in-plant tinting of Industrial and Architectural Coatings.

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Dystar Super Seatone® Non VOC Trans-Oxide Yellow: Aqueous pigment dispersions for in-plant tinting of Industrial and Architectural Coatings.

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Other Additives 

Ashland Aquaflow™ NLS-220: is solvent-free and is supplied as a low-viscosity liquid for easy transfer and incorporation.

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Ashland Aquaflow™ NHS-300: is a solvent-free, nonionic synthetic associative thickener (NSAT) designed for waterborne paint and coatings and is compatible with most latex resin systems.

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Ashland Aquaflow™ NHS-310: is a solvent-free, nonionic synthetic associative thickener (NSAT) designed to increase high-shear viscosity and provide superior flow and leveling in latex paints.

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  • Solvent-free
  • Superior flow and leveling
  • Full gloss development
  • Biostable
  • pH insensitive


Evonik TEGO® Foamex 27: an effective defoamer concentrate based on polyether siloxane technology. Universal grinding stage defoamer.

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