Paint Your Walls. Protect Your Family: Tips on How to Safely Paint Indoors
One of the quickest, cheapest and most dramatic ways to freshen up a room is paint. However, before you grab the rollers and get going, it’s important to remember that paint and paint thinner can have extremely harmful effects on you and your family, especially when used indoors.
We know you want to keep your two most important investments – your family and home – safe and healthy. That’s why UL recommends the following when painting indoors:
- Paints can release harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air. Be sure to choose third party certified low-emitting paint, such as UL’s GREENGUARD Certified paint, and be wary of paint products labeled “Low VOC,” as this claim typically refers to paint’s impact on outdoor– not indoor– air.
- Because of potentially dangerous fumes, it’s a good idea to paint the room at least a month before you move in to give it ample time to air out. Be sure to keep your space well ventilated while painting and take frequent fresh-air breaks.
- Use window-mounted box fans to exhaust vapors from the work area. Make sure the fans are secured in the window and cannot fall out. If fans cannot be used, make sure that rooms being painted have adequate cross-ventilation.
- Let your neighbors know. Provide advance notice to neighbors in adjacent units if you live in an apartment or condominium that you’re starting a painting project so they can take proper ventilation precautions if necessary.
- Take frequent fresh air breaks while painting. Leave painted areas if you experience eye watering, headaches, dizziness or breathing problems.
- Try to schedule painting for dry periods in the fall or spring. In the warmer months, windows can be more easily left open for ventilation.
- Keep young children and individuals with breathing problems from freshly painted rooms.