When Is It Safe To Sleep In A Room After Painting?

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Are you wondering when is it safe to sleep in a room after painting?

Then stick around, because we’re going to answer the “when”, “why” and the “what” pertaining too sleeping in a room after painting.

The answer to the question, “if you’ll be able to sleep in a room after it’s been painted?” Is of course yes. However, if you ask, “When?”… Well, that requires a more detailed answer.

Paint fumes can have a negative effect on your health because of the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). VOCs are responsible for the new paint smell thanks to the gasses they give off.

In this article, we’re going to detail what you should expect after painting your interior so you can keep everyone (humans and pets) safe.

Side Effects Of Volatile Organic Compounds


1: Damage to the Nervous System

Long-term exposure to VOCs is known to cause neurotoxicity, which is a fancy word for bad stuff in your body and nervous system. This can eventually lead to dizziness, loss of memory, and even hallucinations.

Definitely bad stuff!

2: Damage to Multiple Organs

VOCs can damage the body through inhalation, ingestion, and contact through the skin. Either way, you ingest them, they can end up in your bloodstream impairing your liver, kidneys, and lungs. Remember, your liver and kidneys are primarily tasked with getting rid of toxins in the body.

A symptom of the respiratory problems VOCs can cause is eye, nose, and throat irritation, coughs, asthma attacks, and breathing problems.

3. Allergic Reactions

As we stated before, VOCs can cause allergic reactions due to the effects on the respiratory system. They can also cause skin dryness, atopic dermatitis, and other skin conditions.


Here are some precautions you can take if you’re afraid of the effects of VOCs:

  • Use low VOC or Zero VOC paints. Paint manufacturers are using safer paints for both contractors’ and customers’ long-term health. Remember that “Low VOC” simply means these paints have less VOC than other paints. There is no standard defining Low VOC as safe across the board.
  • Zero VOC paint does not emit any toxic VOC. AFC Safecoat, Behr, and Sherwin Williams are a few brands that offer Zero VOC paint.
  • Latex paints have fewer VOCs than some other types of paint. Oil-based paints are more durable but are known to emit more VOCs
  • Regardless of the paint, you decide to use, make sure you properly ventilate by keeping windows open and using a large fan.

How Long Should You Wait After Shoreline Painting Paints a Room?

You can sleep in a room as long as you’ve given it enough time to dry.

For water-based paints, wait at least 24 hours. Some people say only 4 hours, but water-based paints still have VOCs and other harmful gasses.

For oil-based paints and latex-based paints, wait at least 72 hours.

If a baby, child, or pregnant woman, elder, or pet will be sleeping in the room, then ventilate even more and for longer.

Pregnant Women

VOCs can cause developmental issues in babies and young children especially when exposed during the first trimester. They have even been known t to cause birth defects and miscarriages.

Is It Safe for Kids to Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?

VOCs are especially dangerous for children because they have smaller lung capacities. Children with asthma, eczema, and rhinitis should stay away from freshly painted rooms because of the effects of VOCs on the respiratory system.

The use of low-VOC paints can allow for rooms to sleep in 4-5 hours after they’ve been painted.


Just like children, dogs have smaller lung capacities. In addition, dogs have up to 100,000 times better senses of smell than humans meaning their respiratory tracts can become even more irritated.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to painting the interior of a home or business, these are all things that a professional painting contractor will assess. We don’t just buy a bucket of paint and start slathering it on.

If you’re looking for a professional who mixes quality with safety, then give us a call today to schedule an estimate.