Is It Safe To Sleep In A Room With Paint Fumes? [Explained]

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“Is it safe to sleep in a room with paint fumes?” is a question we receive all the time. That is why we have prepared a detailed guide on it.

The smell of a freshly painted room can be very enigmatic. Also, the sight of the room is also pleasant because you are finally successful in accomplishing a DIY painting project.

It will take a few days for the paint fumes to dry completely and the pungent smell to leave. When you initiate painting your bedroom, you need to keep in mind that unless the paint is fully dried and the smell goes away, you are not allowed to use that room, particularly, for sleeping.

Many people are not aware of the fact that sleeping in a freshly painted room can be really dangerous. A lot of paints can have different types of reactions and you may not know how far they can go.

Therefore, it is very important to educate yourself if you are a DIY enthusiast and want to give a makeover to your home.


Due to the presence of harsh chemicals, there can be a lot of life-risk involved with paint fumes. If you are allergy-prone or asthmatic, paint fumes can trigger those and lead to disaster.

To avoid such situations, check out the dangers that you might encounter with paint fumes and take the necessary steps. So without looking any further let us look at the solution for your query “Is it safe to sleep in a room with paint fumes?”

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Why Paint Fumes Are Dangerous?

Paint fumes are labeled as dangerous due to a lot of reasons. The first thing to consider is a possible allergic reaction caused by the fumes.

Allergic responses to latex-based or oil-based paint are more severe. On top of that, the fumes of the paint can cause skin, nose, and eye irritation if you accidentally touch it.

Although these side effects are temporary they can lead to a lot of issues if you have life-risk allergies. VOCs are one of the ingredients that are highly concentrated in paints.

This one can be more dangerous and lead to dizziness, nausea, breathing trouble, and more. The long-term effect of VOCs can be more dangerous affecting your kidney or liver.

Therefore, experts always suggest choosing water-based paints so that the presence of chemicals remains relatively less. Let us delve into the topic more deeply.

Can It Cause An Allergic Reaction?

When you get exposed to chemical-driven paint fumes and smell them, it can trigger a lot of things. One of the major risks is asthma and eczema.

Sometimes, rhinitis is also a huge issue that can pop up when you stay in a freshly painted room for a long time.

Now, let us see whether it is good to sleep in such a room? Well, it is very clear that is not an option at all. Still, let us explore more.

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Is It Safe To Sleep In A Room With Paint Fumes?

For pets, kids, and pregnant women, spending time in freshly painted rooms full of fumes is a big NO. As the VOC chemical is present in the paint, it can affect the nervous system and damage the organs from within.

It is recommended that you stay away from such a room for at least 72 hours unless the paint is completely dried.

It has been found through detailed research that the chemicals that are emitted in a freshly painted room can accumulate in the brain and impact its normal functioning.

Sometimes, it can cause loss of memory, smell, and even vision if the exposure was for a prolonged period.

As a result of the harm it causes to the liver, kidneys, and lungs, VOCs are able to enter the bloodstream through skin contact or inhalation.

Paint fumes, especially those produced by paint sprayers, have the potential to cause respiratory and breathing problems as well as eye, nose, and throat irritation.

You may be wondering why VOCs is such a hazardous chemical. We have come up with an explanation for you.

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What Are VOCs?

Volatile organic compounds are a type of air contaminant that can be highly dangerous if breathed in. It contains chemicals that are unstable that can have an adverse impact on human organs.

Customers are becoming more determined to buy paints that contain little or no VOC these days. Odorless and environmental-friendly paints are harmless and painters are recommended to go for those.

Choosing paints with low or non-VOC content will help you get to sleep more quickly in a newly painted room.

Read on to know which paints are high in VOCs and which one should be your choice while choosing your paint.

Choosing Water-Based Paints For Low VOC

The latex paints of water-based formula do not have a huge amount of VOCs. A minimum amount is needed in every paint to get the exact color. However, water-based emit fewer paint fumes and do not really harm people.

However, it is still not recommended that you spend time with water-based painted rooms. The vapor of the paints can also cause harm unknowingly.

Avoiding Oil-Based Paint Strictly

Stronger odors and high VOCs are the key ingredients of oil-based paint. If you think that a certain area needs only oil-based paints, you can go for the exterior of the house. For indoors, it is essential for you to avoid oil-based paints at all.

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Staying Protected While Painting

For a DIY painting project, you need to be protective enough. It is not about staying away from a freshly painted room but more than that. You need to keep everything handy so that nothing adverse happens during the painting time. What should you do?

Wearing Masks

When painting with oil-based paints, it is always a good idea to wear a mask to protect yourself from inhaling harmful chemicals. When painting with oil-based paints, you may want to consider purchasing a respirator instead of a face mask.

Using Gloves

Try to cover your hands in order to avoid any physical contact. It can cause itchiness, watery eyes, slurry nose, and more if you accidentally touch your face with a paint-splatted hand. Thus, gloves are a must!

Wearing Protective Eye Cover

It is also essential to cover your eyes because it can be dangerous if the paint accidentally splashes in your eyes. VOCs can be very harmful to your eyes, so, be very careful.

Reading The Product Label

There would be many warnings given on the paint container. It is evident that you should read every instruction carefully. Do not overdo anything to satisfy your inner DIY enthusiast. Do the absolutely necessary things to complete the project.

Ventilate It Well

You have to keep the area of the painting well-ventilated. Let it dry naturally and that would be the best to avoid its adverse impact. Good ventilation is key to getting the right color display on your walls.

How To Lessen The Exposure To Paint Fumes?

Reducing exposure to fumes is absolutely necessary for you. As we have said that prolonged exposure to those particles is risky and can lead to a number of health hazards. If you want to stay protected and healthy, follow the tips given below.

Go For Indoor Paints

When you plan to initiate your painting project, be very sure to choose the right one. When your paint is labeled as indoor usage, then only give it a final call. Otherwise, the maximum presence of VOCs in your indoor paint can ruin everything.

Abide By The Safety Information

Carefully read the safety measures that come with the paint container. The warning notes and first aid interventions can lead to respiratory issues too. You have to maintain every safety trick to avoid VOCs exposure.

Allow Fresh Air To Dry The Paint

To ensure the flawless beauty of your freshly painted wall, it is essential for you to allow fresh air as much as you can. Drying your paint artificially will not only impact the original look but also expose more paint fumes than usual.

It is also good to choose sunny days for applying paint as it gets dried quickly. Avoiding painting during winters is a wise idea because the drying process takes longer.

Close Your Paint Container

Most DIY painters often forget to close the paint containers and the vapor emits make it hard for you to breathe. It’s also harmful to your health.

You need to close the container as tightly as possible to avoid vapors from leaking. Also, do not keep your empty paint container in the garbage openly.

It can lead to health issues without even your knowledge.

Avoid Sleeping In A Freshly Painted Room

There is no option of sleeping in a room that is freshly painted. This will negatively impact your health and lead to dizziness, nausea, headaches, and more. It is always better to shift to the guest room for a couple of days and let the paint completely dry.

Final Verdict

Since paints have additives and solvents, it is never recommended that you inhale those or get in touch with them. Avoid notorious paints that have VOCs and also do not apply them in indoor projects.

Follow all the tips given on the query “Is it safe to sleep in a room with paint fumes?” and make sure your health is completely fine.

It is essential for you to avoid sleeping, spending a lot of time in a freshly painted room. Before its effects, your health negatively is very sure to follow every step. Get ready for your DIY project!

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