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 worse than the one you breathe in a city centre? Several sources can cause poor indoor air quality, but formulating your indoor paints with the right raw materials can help.

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 background 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 step, 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 that the results can lack quality. However, with the right formulation that perception can be changed.
Switching to low-VOC resins is an efficient way to reduce drastically the levels of VOC of your paint as well as the odour and the emissions while maintaining its 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 it 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.

Swapping your pigment preparations

The tinting and the compatibility between the pigment paste and the paint can be challenging. Suitable for in-plant and point-of-sale tinting, pigment preparations with zero VOC can be a good alternative to your formulation. They offer performance, colourful results, low odour, and environmental labels.

Shifting to other additives

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

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 step. 

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

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


Good pH and viscosity stability.

Excellent blister and efflorescence resistance

Helps in maintaining the appearance of a wall or building.

Low odour

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


The ingredients are natural and safe to use.

Product offering


A versatile, multifunctional and low odour pH neutraliser for water-based coatings

  • Provides good pH and viscosity stability
  •  Excellent blister resistance
  • Low odour
  • Excellent efflorescence resistance 

Find more product information below.


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