Thinking about a new look for your home in the new year? Maybe you’re planning to use a tax refund to finally redo a few rooms? Before you buy any paint, know this: if you’re looking to avoid volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can potentially harm the environment and your health, you need to look for low-VOC or VOC-free base paint and colorant. Recently, paint companies Sherwin-Williams and PPG agreed to settle FTC charges they misled people into thinking their paints didn’t contain VOCs. The truth was, even if the uncolored “base” paint was low-VOC or VOC-free, adding tints to make different colors — which most people do — upped the VOCs, the FTC says. Want to know more? Read Before You Buy Paint.