Alkyd Paint Use in Refinishing

There are many varieties of paint available to the consumer, which have been safely developed for all kinds of applications. Some have been developed especially for refinishing projects such as solvent-borne or alkyd paint products. These tend to generate more odours and dry more slowly than low odour, water-based paint products on the market. Therefore, when applying alkyd paint indoors, consumers should always ensure adequate ventilation to reduce odours. Consumers should read all paint labels and take additional precautions with a solvent formulation or thinner. MEKO is a chemical exclusively used as an anti-skinning agent in alkyd or solvent-based formulations such as primers, varnishes and stains. It is never used in water-based products also known as latex paint. This chemical helps assure the integrity of the paint product during storage. In order to minimize exposure to this particular chemical when used inside, Health Canada and paint manufacturers note on the label the importance of ensuring adequate ventilation when using alkyd or solvent-borne products indoors to prevent health risks due to sensitization. For further information please see the information below developed by CPCA and approved by Health Canada.

Code of Practice for MEKO

Health Canada has published Code of Practice for MEKO used in alkyd or solvent-borne paints, primers, varnishes and stains when used indoors. It is not found in the more common latex or water-based products on the market.  The Code of Practice for MEKO is the first of its kind in Canada for consumer products. The Canadian paint manufacturing industry complies with all national and international standards for both water-based and solvent-based paint products and fully supports this new code. MEKO levels in alkyd paints are at minimum levels and have been phasing out over time.

The Canadian Paint and Coatings Association (CPCA) developed educational tools to further ensure that all consumers adopt recommended practices with regard to ventilation when using indoor alkyd paint products containing MEKO.  Paint manufacturers, retailers and consumers have the option of viewing, downloading and printing copies of the fact sheet, poster and video as needed for use at the retail level in Canada to inform their customers.

Watch the Video

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