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Is it dangerous to sleep in a freshly painted room?

Is it dangerous to sleep in a freshly painted room?

Dec 31, 2011

This question is often asked by homeowners during bedroom painting projects. There are different answers depending on which paint is being used.


To keep things simple,

If you happen to be very sensitive to smell, I would suggest a zero odor paint. This does cost more, but when dried, there is no odor! I know some families play it extra safe and open a window the first night, especially with little children. I think that is a fine idea if it makes you more comfortable. Yet technically a non voc paint is extremely safe for people with allergies and small children.

Now if you wish to continue reading:

The majority of paints can be narrowed down to three different types:

1. Zero-VOC Paint

  • If you use Zero-VOC paint it is perfectly safe to sleep in room the same day you paint. This paint is virtually odorless and does not emit toxic chemicals. Two great VOC-free paints are Benjamin Moore’s Natura® and Sherwin Williams Harmony®.

2. Low-VOC Paint

  • Any paint with a "Green Seal" logo of any kind has few enough VOC’s that it is harmless to sleep in the room the same day the paint is applied. However, the paint is not odorless and will smell for at least 24 hours after painting. Typically the smell will lessen in 2-3 days if you keep the room well ventilated.

3. Oil-based or Regular Latex Paint

  • Paint that is not eco-friendly or oil-based may take quite a bit of curing time. Although the paint may dry within 2-8 hours after painting, it could take over 2 weeks for the released toxins to abate. If you are using this paint for a bedroom, you should wait at least 2 weeks before sleeping in the room. The VOC’s initially released are strong enough to possibly produce adverse health effects if inhaled in a un-ventilated room.

In order to play it safe, we recommend using only Zero or Low-VOC paints for all home interiors. Although because of the strict EPA regulations that require almost all paints on the market to be safe for the home, there is no need to be overly concerned.

Lancaster Painting is the leading painting contractor in Central Valley. We are dedicated to bring each of our customers reliable and quality service. If you have any further questions, contact us online or at 209-634-1111.

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