Is It Safe To Sleep In A Freshly Painted Room?

If you plan to repaint a bedroom in your home, you should consider it carefully. Some people claim that paint is bad for your health in general.

Is it safe to sleep in a freshly painted room? The answer varies depending on the type of paint you use. 

Oil-based paints can cause harm to pregnant women, children, and older adults. The VOC substances can impact your nervous system and organs.

Yet, some paints are still safe for you to stay in after you paint the room.

Need an in-depth explanation? Let’s refer to this article to get more useful information!

Is It Safe To Sleep In A Freshly Painted Room? 

The bad news is no! A newly painted room generally presents various dangers from toxic particles called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

This compound can convert to a gas at room temperature and cause adverse health effects in children, pregnant women, and people with respiratory conditions. When healthy people breathe this gas, they can also face many risks.

Luckily, there is a variety called Zero-VOC that causes no harm to live in that room after you apply it to your room. The detailed explanations are right below. Scroll down to keep reading!

It's not completely safe.

It’s not completely safe.

Why Is Sleeping In A Freshly Painted Room Not Safe? 

All in all, it is not advisable to sleep in a newly painted room. If you use safe paints for humans, you can completely stay in that room for the same day after painting.

There are two primary types of paint: oil-based and water-based.

Water-based paints: This sort includes Zero-VOC and Low-VOC Paint. This kind, usually latex paint, has a mild smell and dries rapidly, producing fewer VOCs than oil-based paints.

  • Zero-VOC: If you paint your room with this paint, it is completely safe to stay in the space without stressing about appearing allergies and other health problems. It is odorless and contains no poisonous chemicals. 
  • Low-VOC: This option is also safe. It often comes with a Green Seal emblem for easy distinguishing from other types. It still smells and takes some time to subside, about 24 hours after painting.

Oil-based paints: This option, usually an alkyd, releases more smells and volatile organic compounds than water-based acrylics, necessitating greater ventilation and drying time.

When sleeping in newly painted rooms of this type, you will encounter dangers to your health as below:

Harm Your Nervous System

Toxic volatile organic compounds discharged into the air can build up in your brain and disrupt the functions of your central nervous system. 

Over time, it will result in dizziness, a lack of coordination, or even memory loss. 

Cause Allergies

The fumes of these products can cause allergic responses, including rhinitis, watery and itchy eyes, asthma attacks, a runny nose, nausea, headaches, or trouble breathing. Occasionally, it may lead to skin rashes such as eczema.

Damage Your Multiple Organs

VOCs can enter the bloodstream through skin contact or breath. It comes with the potential to damage the function of organs such as the kidneys, liver, and lungs, which are responsible for removing toxins from your body. 

In particular, nose, eye, or throat discomfort, asthma episodes, and coughing are all symptoms of VOC exposure.

Have Potential Cancer-Related Effects

VOCs can cause cancer if exposed to them over an extended time. According to some recent studies, fresh coloring exposure during pregnancy has been linked to childhood leukemia in babies. 

Water-based products

Water-based products

What Are the Health Risks Of Paint Odor? 

Here are some of the health hazards your family members may face while sleeping in a newly painted house.


Babies, especially newborns, have small lungs, and their bodily organs haven’t fully developed. 

As a result, exposure to toxic smells in the paint might raise the risk of respiratory issues and pediatric leukemia. 


The odors of these products may be dangerous to a child’s health if you aren’t aware of them. When little children are in contact with it, allergic symptoms such as asthma, rhinitis, or eczema can occur. 

When you’re applying paint, it’s best to keep them away.


Despite having a healthier immune system than other groups, adults have lung problems when exposed to toxins like VOCs. 

Breathing problems might develop, resulting in significant respiratory problems. Adults may get liver and kidney issues due to the strong odor.

Pregnant women

Women during pregnancy are extremely vulnerable when they get exposed to chemicals. That explains why they shouldn’t go to a beauty spa or salon because of the strong smell of chemicals from beauty products. 

Likewise, a strong paint odor may emit toxic chemicals that influence the proper physical development of the unborn baby and give rise to congenital disabilities.

Prolonged exposure to the poisonous smell during pregnancy can even cause miscarriage.


Lung irritation might be a problem for indoor pets. Pneumonia or irritation of the respiratory system in little animals is a possibility.

Irritating nose 

Irritating nose 

How Long Do You Have To Wait To Be In A Freshly Painted Room?

When can you sleep in these rooms with new paint? It depends on the kind of paint you use. 

If you utilize water-based paints like Zero-VOC, you can sleep in your room on the same day of painting. This option doesn’t contain toxins and releases no odor even when you have just applied it. 

If it is low-VOC, you should leave the room for about 24 hours to dry and evaporate. Your room will eliminate the unpleasant smell after about 2 to 3 days in well-ventilated room conditions.

It may take a long time for an oil-based option to cure. Even though the paint might dry in 2 to 8 hours after application, the released poisons may take up to 2 weeks to dissipate. 

If you apply this paint to your bedroom, it’s better to wait more than two weeks before returning to sleep in.

Time to wait for a room to dry 

Time to wait for a room to dry 

How To Get Paint Fumes Out Of Your Room? 

It is not pleasant to live in a room with a strong smell. Use the following methods to get it out of your room as quickly as possible.

Choose Safe Indoor Paint

Before commencing this DIY project, it would help to check the label of the products you intend to use. If possible, you should purchase water-based choices like Zero-VOCs. 

If the Zero-VOC is out of your budget, consider the low-VOCs option with a VOC content of fewer than 50 grams per liter. These types are ideal for indoor use, releasing no or less toxic VOC particles.

Choose the right products.

Choose the right products.

If you want to learn more about how to choose the suitable type of paint, you can watch this video:

Read Safety Guidelines Carefully

Not just paint, but with all products, you should carefully check the safety guidelines on the label before using it. Using a respirator when applying some paints may be necessary.

Check the label

Check the label

Wear A Respirator Mask During Application

The respirator mask will help you avoid inhaling strong odors. It’s also a good idea to rest regularly and get some fresh air. It will aid in the removal of the detrimental effects of new paint from your lungs.

A respirator mask

A respirator mask

Increase Ventilation In Painted Rooms

If possible, choose dry, sunny days to perform your painting project. It will help the coat dry more quickly.

During application, make sure the ventilation condition is good enough by opening all the windows and doors in your room. You can utilize box fans to divert airflow outdoors to facilitate this process.

What’s more, it’s wiser to invest in an air purifier to improve the indoor air quality in your living space. 

Leave The Room Enough Time To Dry And Ventilate

Do you want to struggle with the health hazards of the paint smell mentioned above? 

If not, it’s better to give your freshly painted room enough time to dry and get rid of the unpleasant and environmentally unfriendly smell.

Depending on the type of paint, the waiting time is different. If unsure, scroll up to refer to the previous section.

Close And Cover Leftover Paint

You need to close and seal any remaining paint cans properly and store them in the right place. That’s because these cans can keep leaking VOC particles into the air in the surrounding environment after you have opened them. 

Leftover cans 

Leftover cans 

In A Nutshell

This article has ultimately got to the bottom of your concern: is it safe to sleep in a freshly painted room? The answer varies based on the type of paint you apply: oil-based or water-based. 

If it’s an oil-based option, you need to strictly follow the required time, about two weeks, before staying in the room. On the other hand, the time for water-based products only takes 24 hours. 

Therefore, you should consider investing in zero-VOCs or low-VOCs to get the highest quality and create a safe environment for your family. 

Thank you for reading!

Related articles:
When is it Safe to Sleep in a Newly Painted Room?
Can A Toddler Sleep In A Freshly Painted Room?

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