How to Ventilate a Room while Painting.

Do you have plans to paint a room or two?

If so, you will want to ventilate them well to avoid inhaling the fumes. Below you will find the necessary information for a well-ventilated and safe painting project.

What kind of paint should you use? No VOC, or Low VOC paint?

How harmful paint fumes are depends upon the kind of paint you use. If you are concerned about fumes, you can choose a paint that contains no VOC or low VOC.

Most paints sold in California are Low VOC.

Helpful tips for good room ventilation.

  • Open the Windows and Exterior Doors if possible
    Once you open the paint can, you will begin inhaling paint fumes, so you will want to prepare the room ahead of time by opening windows and exterior doors. This will help with the air circulation and ventilation throughout the room.
  • Use a couple of Box Fans
    Box fans are always good to use in windows and doors. Placing a box fan pulling fresh air into the room will force tainted air out of the room. You can also place a box fan facing outward which will create a negative pressure and exhaust the tainted air out of the room. This will also allow fresh air to be sucked into the room. If you have more than one window in the room – the “COMBO” in/out facing fans works best.
  • If your room has no windows, you can do air ventilation for a closed room. Open the door of the room and place one box fan in the door opening so it pulls the fresh air from outside and into the room you are painting. This will force the paint-fumed air out as the fresh air comes in. Setting another box fan in the far corner of the room pointing toward the door will help circulate and direct the tainted air to the doorway for exit.painted room and a painter
  • It never hurts to wear a mask.
    Even though you are ventilating with fans, open windows, and doors, you may also choose to wear the proper filtration mask to avoid inhaling too many fumes.
  • Ducted Exhaust Fan in Kitchen and Bath
    If you are painting your kitchen or bathroom, your ducted exhaust vents can help. They can help you get rid of paint fumes quickly. It will also help filter the room’s air and keep it clean while you are painting.
  • Turn on the house ventilation system.
    Many houses and buildings have a central ventilation system. If you have a whole house exhaust, you should turn it on for a steady clean airflow into the room.
    Close the vents in other rooms to force more air into the space that you are painting.
  • You can also check your local tool rental shops to rent a portable industrial exhaust fan.

Here are some old-home remedies to consider as well.

  • Place Buckets with Water
    This may not be the usual way, but you can use buckets filled with water and place it in the newly painted room. The water will absorb the paint fumes and help get rid of the odor quickly.
  • Get a bag of activated charcoal.
    Charcoal is powerful in eliminating unpleasant odors. It absorbs the unwanted smell and traps it. Activated charcoal works faster because it is more porous.
  • Set bowls of White Vinegar around the newly painted room
    Vinegar carries acetic acid, which can neutralize the molecules that carry unpleasant odors. Placing a few bowls of vinegar around the room and letting it sit overnight, you can expect the strong paint fumes to go away.
  • Place cut onions
    One of the things in your kitchen that can help eliminate paint fumes is onions. Though onions also have a foul odor, it turns out that they produce chemicals that fight the chemicals from paints that produce strong fumes. That is why some homeowners use this trick and place a few cut onions in the corners of the painted room.

smelly paint fumes

How long should I ventilate a room after painting?

Ideally, you need to wait for 24 hours for the paint odors to go away before you can stay in a newly painted room. But use your better judgment because some Paint fumes can last for a few days after painting, so you have to make sure to ventilate while you are painting to lessen the chance of the odor staying in the room.

Use your own good judgment when checking the room for fumes and reoccupying it.

Always check the instructions on the can for manufacturers’ best practices when painting and ventilating a room.

No one “Nose” proper painting and ventilation practices better than the professionals at El Gato Painting. We are familiar with all the paints and will be sure the fumes won’t stay long.

Get a free quotation today!

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