Can You Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?
If you have just completed a bedroom renovation project, it can be tempting to dive into a freshly made bed and enjoy the first night in your new sleep sanctuary. However, a freshly painted bedroom is not always a healthy environment in which to sleep. Sleeping in a room with walls still wet with paint is never a good idea, while the additional risk of paint fumes makes it potentially dangerous.
Paint Fume Risks
It always makes sense to wait for paint to fully dry before sleeping in a newly decorated bedroom. This not only prevents you from spoiling a still wet finish, but also means you won’t have to deal with the health risk of paint fumes. As paints dry, unseen contaminants evaporate and escape into the surroundings. These invisible compounds are not something you want to be breathing in. They are particularly harmful to children and people with respiratory conditions.
How Long to Wait?
The kind of paint you use to decorate a bedroom will ultimately determine how long you have to wait before the room is safe to use and sleep in. Oil-based paints will require the longest waiting time. These paints tend to be more odious, with more harmful compounds released into the air as the paint dries. You will also need to ensure any room decorated with oil-based paint is properly ventilated for the duration of the drying process. Generally speaking, oil-based paints take around 24 hours to dry completely. However, you may need to allow for more time if you have been particularly liberal with you application or applied multiple coats.
Water-based paints are a safer alternative and generally dry more quickly. Water-based paints, or latex paints as they are commonly called, don’t have the same smell as oil-based alternatives. They also tend to dry fairly quickly, with far less compounds produced as the paint dries and solvent content evaporates. Ideally, you should ensure a room coated with water-based paint is well ventilated as it dries. Although drying time varies between paint products, most water-based paints will only require a few hours of drying time for every coat applied.