Is it Safe to Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?

Have you been wondering if you can sleep in a newly painted bedroom? We’ve got answers for you.

It is not safe to sleep in a freshly painted room, particularly for babies, the elderly, and pregnant women. It contains harsh chemicals that can cause nausea, allergy, dizziness, headache, or even damage the nervous system. Ventilate the room and wait for at least 72 hours after painting the room.

The first thing to know is it’s dangerous and equally harmful to sleep in a freshly painted bedroom. Paints emit a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) that can negatively impact your health when inhaled. It will take time for the paint fumes to disappear. 

Let’s take a closer look at this!

What are the dangers of sleeping in a freshly painted room?

As already mentioned above, it can cause severe health problems. Paints are made using harmful chemicals, and even short-term exposure to these chemicals can irritate your nose, eyes, and throat, make you feel nauseous and light-headed. When exposed to a long-term, it can cause severe damage internally. It can affect the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. At worst, it can also lead to cancer.

It Can Cause Allergies 

Exposure to a high concentration of VOCs can also trigger various allergic reactions such as asthma, rhinitis, eczema, headache, dizziness, breathing problems, watery eyes, and nose. 

It’s Dangerous For Pregnant Women and Babies

For a pregnant woman, when exposed to VOCs, it can lead to miscarriages or congenital abnormality. And for babies, it can cause developmental issues. 

Pets Are At a High Risk of Danger

Even pets can be at higher risk than humans when exposed to harmful chemicals. It can cause health issues and respiratory problems because they are sensitive to smell. 

Hence, it’s best to let the paint dry completely before sleeping in the room. Ensure that the room is well-ventilated by keeping the windows open and use fans for better air circulation. 

However, it also largely depends on the type of pain you use. Thankfully, with innovations, paint manufacturers have now developed much safer alternatives. You don’t have to wait for days for the paint to be dried. You’ll need just three to four hours for the painted room to dry. To understand further, let’s have a look at the three types of paints. 

Three Types of paints

There are three types of paints commonly used for painting homes and have different drying times. They are oil-based(high VOC), water-based (low VOC), and non-VOC paints(zero VOC). It is recommended to use low or zero-VOC for painting rooms as they have low chemical content and are safe. It’s also entirely safe to sleep in a painted room as long as you’ve allowed the paint to dry completely. 

Oil-based Paints

Oil-based paints are usually alkyd paints that contain more chemicals (VOC) and have a strong odour. Non-eco-friendly or oil-based paints require more time to dry but are highly durable and give a smooth finish than water-based paints. 

Using oil-based paint for your bedroom may require you to wait for at least two weeks before you start using the room. As the paint fumes can cause adverse health effects, allow it to dry thoroughly and let the fumes go out. After the room is painted, it may dry within two to eight hours, but the toxic chemicals can still be present for over two weeks. Ensure that the room is adequately ventilated and allow more air in the room.

Water-based Paints

Water-based paints are also called latex paints and are commonly used for interior paintings. They contain low VOC, dries quicker, and emit fewer fumes than oil-based paints. Water-based or low VOC paints are safe and require three to four hours to dry. You can also sleep in the room the same day it’s painted, but it will take at least 24 hours for the odour to leave the room. 

However, if you’re sensitive to smells, wait for 24 hours before sleeping in a freshly painted room. With proper ventilation, the smell will leave in two to three days. 

Non-VOC Paints

Non-VOC or zero-VOC paints are considered the safest because they don’t release any toxic chemicals and are environmentally friendly. It’s completely safe to sleep in the room the same day it’s painted, and non-VOC paints are odourless. Studies have shown that non-VOC paints don’t trigger allergies. 

It can contain a low amount of VOC, less than five grams per litre. But sometimes, while tinting the paint, the amount of VOC can increase. So even if the paint is zero-VOC, it can still emit harmful chemicals. Hence, to be on the safer side, it’s best to wait for a few hours and ventilate the room before you sleep.

How To Eliminate Paint Fumes?

Paints are used as a part of home decoration, but they can cause health problems due to the chemicals. But as long as the room is adequately ventilated, VOC can vanish into the atmosphere because VOCs are volatile, and they don’t get trapped in the room for long.  

Ways to eliminate paint fumes:

  • You can light a candle in the room as it effectively works in eliminating solvent fumes. Keep the candle burning for a few hours to get rid of paint fumes. However, keep close attention to avoid any dangers and keep them away from children. 
  • Another safe method is to place two or three buckets of water in the room. It will help in absorbing the solvent gas. However, burning a candle is more effective. 
  • Ventilating the room is the best and natural way to get rid of strong paint odours. You can run the fan, keep the doors and windows open as long as possible. That way, paint fumes can dissipate into the atmosphere, and fresh air can get in.
  • Lastly, go for low or zero-VOC paints because they are safe, don’t emit a strong odour, and contain less toxic chemicals.